South Korean automaker Hyundai has set a new world record for the longest distance travelled with a series production, hydrogen fuel cell powered vehicle as its Nexo FCV managed to cover 778 km on a single tank of hydrogen.
The feat was undertaken by French aeronaut and president of the Solar Impulse Foundation Bertrand Piccard, who drove from the FaHyence hydrogen station in Sarreguemines to the Musée de l’Air et de l’Espace in Le Bourget, France.
The Swiss national was accompanied by several prominent passengers who joined him along the way, including Benoît Potier, CEO of Air Liquide, H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco, Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg, among others.
By the end of the 778-km trip, the car still had 49 km of range left, and purified a total of 404.6 kL, which is equivalent to the volume of air that 23 adults breathe in a day. Doing the same trip in a vehicle with an internal combustion engine would have emitted around 111.2 kg.
Bertrand Piccard while commenting on the feat, said:
“With this adventure, we have proven that with clean technologies, we no longer need revolutionary experimental prototypes to break records. Everyone can now do it with standard zero-emission vehicles. A new era in performance is beginning, for the benefit of environmental protection.”
Lionel French-Keogh, Managing Director of Hyundai Motor France said:
“While some may doubt the relevance of hydrogen in tomorrow’s cars, we at Hyundai have believed in it since 1998, when we began our developments on this technology. Thanks to this record set by Bertrand Piccard, all doubt has been dispelled.”
Hyundai Nexo, which is built on a dedicated platform, is the replacement for the Tucson ix35 FCEV, and is powered by an electric motor that delivers 163 hp and 395 Nm. The car’s fuel cell system combines oxygen and hydrogen to a flow of electrons that powers the electric motor and charges the 1.56 kWh high-voltage battery. According to Hyundai, the fuel cell stack generates 95 kW of power, while the battery outputs 40 kW.
Hydrogen is drawn from three fuel tanks that offer a combined capacity of 156 liters, which provides up to 666 km of range following WLTP regulations and 756 km with the NEDC. In terms of performance, the Nexo takes 9.2 seconds to get from 0 to 100 km/h, and will achieve a top speed of 179 km/h.