The Hyundai Nexo is only the third hydrogen fuel cell vehicle (FCV) to undergo an Autocar road test in our history, all carried out in the past four years.
Even so, testing new FCVs at a rate of one in 66 drastically over-represents the rate at which these cars are being adopted globally. Hyundai can make only 3000 Nexos a year at present. Toyota’s capacity for Mirai production is very similar. So while the technology is developing quickly, much else needs to grow before hydrogen motoring becomes practical.
When the world is finally ready for the fuel cell car, however, we can clearly depend on Hyundai to be right there, pushing it forwards. Right now, the Nexo makes a slightly bland and underwhelming alternative to the battery-electric, premium-branded SUVs we’re seeing emerge onto our roads – but as a technical proof of concept, it’s effective.
Its performance and range are comparable with those of the Honda Clarity FCV we tested in 2017, and its ride and handling, although forgettable, do just about meet your expectations of a luxury car. From a mid-sized SUV compared with the lower, more aerodynamic Honda saloon, those are decent achievements.