£65,000-plus price tag is expected for the brand's second hydrogen-powered car – it's bigger than the previous ix35 Fuel Cell
16 January 2018

Hyundai has revealed more information about the Nexo fuel cell car shown at CES earlier in the month. The Nexo will go on sale in the UK in right-hand-drive form early in 2019.

The FCEV is based on Hyundai’s new FUV (future utility vehicle) platform and represents a step up in technical sophistication from the previous ix35, as well as a clean-sheet design, both inside and out. Fuel cell system efficiency has been improved and now stands at 60%, which Hyundai claims is the best ever achieved for a fuel cell vehicle. Fuel cells don’t burn hydrogen but split the molecules to produce electricity with only water and heat as by-products. The system incorporates a small lithium ion buffer battery to provide the fast response needed for acceleration. 

Hyundai ix35 Fuel Cell review

Hydrogen capacity has been upped from 144 to 156 litres and the compressed gas is now stored at 700 bar in three tanks rather than two, one behind the right-hand rear wheel and the other two beneath the floor. The distribution and size of the tanks frees up space inside the car and there’s a generous flat-floor load space. The range has increased from 369 miles to 497 miles on the NEDC cycle and this is partly due to the increased efficiency of the fuel cell system as well as the extra fuel. Fuel consumption (of hydrogen) is 72mpg and the Nexo can be started in temperatures as low as -30deg C.

Instruments are displayed on a 7in screen with a central 12.3in screen for navigation and system information including fuel cell and storage information. The floating centre console is based on an array of conventional buttons rather than following the largely screen-based ‘glass cockpit’ philosophy. Buttons are of different sizes and shapes, which should make them easy enough to locate by touch when on the move.

Our Verdict

Hyundai ix35 Fuel Cell

As Hyundai ramps up its hydrogen car production, can the ix35 gain some traction in the UK

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

European head of eco car and mobility, Frank Meijer, won’t be drawn on how quickly he expects the market for hydrogen fuel cell vehicles to develop. “Public awareness of hydrogen is not there yet,” he said, but hopes trials of fuel cell cars will help accelerate the process. Seventy-five ix35 taxis are being run in Paris and 50 in Munich. “These projects are allowing thousands of people to experience fuel cell cars first hand,” he added. 

Hyundai ix35 Fuel Cell long-term test review: refuelling is child's play

Hydrogen filling stations are still scarce with the number rising to only 14 in the UK by the middle of this year. Meijer doesn’t believe governments will fund the hydrogen infrastructure but will be prepared to continue supporting the purchase of fuel cell vehicles through grant schemes. Manufacturing fuel cell cars remains an expensive business but Meijer hopes costs will come down as the company continues to develop electrified cars and the components are used across different platforms. 

Hyundai sold 501 ix35 fuel cell cars in 15 European countries and has a network of 52 dealerships. The left-hand drive only ix35 cost £53,105 in the UK but the price of the Nexo has yet to be confirmed. Meijer says he expects it to cost more than the ix35 because “it is better looking and bigger”. A likely figure is £65,000-£70,000 when the Nexo goes on sale next year. 

Read more

Hydrogen cars to cost the same as hybrids by 2025, say Toyota

Hyundai ix35 Fuel Cell long-term test: an attention-grabbing eco car

Toyota Mirai long-term test review: running costs

Fiat rejects hydrogen fuel cell power

Join the debate


17 January 2018

Still be knocking on the door of 25mpg and 10 secs 0-60 times for £70,000 which brings me onto another point, 501 sold across Europe in 2 years - no they weren't they were mostly leased at knock down prices, in America you get free fuel and massive discounts and incentives but they still struggle to sell hydrogen cars.

"14 in the UK by the middle of this year" why is it whenever Hydrogen stations numbers are given you're never told the current figure only what it will be? 

Why anyone would buy this over a XC60, petrol Q5, Porsche Macan, or new I-Pace is beyond me

typos1 - Just can’t respect opinion

17 January 2018

From the Sunday Times in 2015: "The government is easing the pain. Earlier this year one company, ITM Power, was awarded £3.59m in grants, including £1.89m from the government, to build and run two new stations in London".

So basically a private company got given £3,600,000 to build 2 stations that probably service no more than a couple of cars a week. That's on top of the £15,000 grant they got to buy foreign cars in the first place.

typos1 - Just can’t respect opinion

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week