Feeling like a pioneer


December 14, 2020

Image titel:


Feeling like a pioneer

A comfortable (yet still exciting) ride

Sven Geitmann loads an Hyundai Nexo
Loading a Nexo

So far, Hyundai has shipped a total of 10,000 Nexo cars. Since launching a fuel cell model in March 2018, the South Korean automaker has delivered more FCEVs than any other vehicle manufacturer in the world. This July alone, an additional 700 Nexo vehicles went to customers in South Korea and 89 were exported to countries around the world. H2-international was given the opportunity to test a Nexo car this summer. The conclusion: If it had a lower price tag and there was a fueling station nearby, the Nexo would be the perfect ride.

There is still an ongoing debate about whether it makes sense to install fuel cells in privately owned vehicles. Still, it is becoming clear that the technology works best in large, heavy vehicles, since FCEVs are more difficult to build and maintain than their all-electric counterparts. A small city car will most likely be better off with a battery. But an SUV, or anything larger than that, could benefit from a fuel cell engine.

The Nexo is that kind of car: big and spacious, with good handling despite a weight of almost 2 tons. Hyundai Germany even delivered the SUV, which, like so many Nexo cars, had been painted in a copper tone, right to my doorstep. That was the beginning of my several-day road test.

A trip to the Danish border

I took the car on a business trip to the Danish border, where I was to attend a press conference. But first, I mapped out the route. Planning was key, as there were few stations to fill up FCEVs along the way. Not that the extra time spent on this bothered me much. I faced similar issues with LPG years ago, as well as with testing other battery and fuel cell electric vehicles in the meantime.

When I checked H2 Mobility‘s website, I saw that despite being a relatively recent addition, the fueling station in Flensburg-Handewitt was closed around the time I was planning to drive there. As I was told later, it was getting a new roof. So I picked a route that would, hopefully, see me get home without having to fill up the car.

After starting in Oberkrämer, northwest of Berlin, I headed west to test out the fueling pump in Hagenow. The Nexo’s fuel gauge showed that I had just 126 miles (202 kilometers) left. The prior evening, my adult son had taken the new vehicle out for a spin, giving him something to boast about to his friends. I was not in a hurry, however, so I limited my speed to 78 miles (120 kilometers) an hour and was well on my way. Both H2 Mobility’s website and app provide a user-friendly experience. Connected to a route planner, they not only list the addresses and the distance to nearby fueling sites but also show the kilometers travelled.

One thing that confused me a bit was that the Nexo’s navigation system failed to find the fueling station I had chosen. But after making the last turn and seeing the station in front of me, I was relieved to know that my trust in the H2-Live app was not misplaced. While hydrogen had yet to be added to the site’s price sign, the white-and-blue pump was clearly visible from afar. However, following my first unsuccessful attempt at refueling, I was getting somewhat worried. I knew that if the car did not fill up, I would not make it to Hamburg.

I looked over to the gas station attendant for help. However, she only pointed me to the manual and the hotline. My second try got another 0.3 kilograms into the tank, at least. The third saw me add 0.2 kilograms, the subsequent attempt only 0.15 kilograms. During my last attempt, when I had all but given up, the compressors finally responded like they should have all along and 700-bar hydrogen was pumped into the tank. Phew, I thought to myself, what a stroke of luck. Else, I would have been in serious trouble. Hamburg’s fueling station in the HafenCity district had been my fallback option to fill up the car. But as I found out later, that station was out of order at the time. As the one on Schnackenburgallee had also been shut down, there would have been only two other options I could have tried. But making it to one of them would have hardly been possible, considering how much fuel that would have used up.

None of this mattered now. The tank was full. With the car showing a range of 353 miles (568 kilometers), I finally stepped on the gas. After leaving Hamburg, I headed toward my old home, taking a small detour to the Elbe, and to Brunsbüttel to fill up the tank again. The navigation system did not display this station either, even though the on-site pump worked like a charm. From there, I drove north to Bosbüll, where German transportation minister Andreas Scheuer was about to inaugurate the eFarm project.

You are not alone

Following the press conference, I went for a short drive to Tønder on the Danish side of the border before heading back to Hamburg via Schleswig and Eckernförde. Meanwhile, the HafenCity’s station in Hamburg had been fixed. But I decided to fill up at another one of the city’s fueling sites, the one on Bramfelder Chaussee, as I had never used it before. To my surprise, a second Nexo driver was already waiting impatiently for me to come back after I went to the bathroom. Even when I need to fill up LPG, for which there is also no more than one pump per site, I very rarely see someone else standing in line.

When I was back in Berlin, the same thing happened again. There, too, another Nexo was suddenly coming up next to me. When I told the driver that my car’s tank was only up to 90 percent full, he promptly replied that he just came from Magdeburg, where the hydrogen station was inoperative so he will gladly take every kilogram he can get.

There is not a lot left to say about the Nexo (see H2-international, January 2019). It is quiet, very comfortable and easy to control. The only thing that may raise some eyebrows during an otherwise laid-back ride is that the hood begins to “flutter” noticeably when going more than 90 miles (around 150 kilometers) per hour.

Hyundai Kona Electric

Hyundai’s all-electric model, the Kona Elektro, is priced at EUR 41,850 and is a bit smaller, which leads to improved handling. While the Nexo seems pretty massive, driving the 64-kilowatt-hour Kona feels more like being in a sports car. Its 300-mile or 484-kilometer range is also quite impressive for a battery-powered vehicle.

Sae Hoon Kim, head of Hyundai’s fuel cell division, told the Welt newspaper:

“This year, we are planning to produce 13,000 Nexo vehicles, and we will keep increasing annual production capacity in the coming years.”

He added that in 2025, the SUV – which currently has a price tag of EUR 77,000 – should cost around as much as an all-electric vehicle (see box).

Kategorien: Germany
FCEV | H2 Mobility | Hyundai | Nexo | pioneer :Schlagworte

Here are interesting and current articles on the topic of hydrogen – stocks and the stock market!

Economic prospects for companies in the hydrogen sector | Future, stocks & hydrogen companies on the stock exchange and more…

Which hydrogen companies will prevail in the competitive market in the long term? Get tips and cartwheels and learn more about risks or opportunities. Our stock market specialist and expert author Sven Jösting reports critically, independently and competently.

Feb 20 2024

55 MW electrolyzer to decarbonize Saarland

Hydrogen Regions series: HydroHub Fenne living lab The power plant site in Fenne, Völklingen, a...
Feb 20 2024

Chicken feathers as FC membrane material

Feathers from chickens or other poultry could in the future help make fuel cells more effective...
Feb 15 2024

SMEs demand more security

Guest article by André Steinau, CEO of GP Joule Hydrogen After all, the Ampel Coalition leading...
Feb 15 2024

Accelerated expansion of renewable energies

RED III is here – Elsewhere, the wait continues Progress is being made at EU level – albeit...
Feb 12 2024

Picea 2 relies on lithium instead of lead

HPS presents new product generation The company HPS Home Power Solutions has unveiled a new...
Feb 12 2024

H2 production by photocatalysis

The direct generation of hydrogen from sunlight has long been considered the most elegant solution...
Feb 05 2024

Regional instead of international

Hy-Fcell has it difficult asserting itself The aspiration of Landesmesse Stuttgart with Hy-Fcell...
Feb 01 2024

Hydrogeit Verlag turns 20 years old

Hydrogeit Verlag is proudly celebrating its 20th anniversary as a renowned specialist publisher in...
Jan 26 2024

Stracke other H2Now managing director

BMV Energy GmbH is entering the market as another player in hydrogen refueling stations. The...
Jan 26 2024

Starting points for a comprehensive hydrogen ramp-up

Industry congress GAT 2023 in Cologne To establish a functioning hydrogen economy, the entire...
Jan 26 2024

The industry highpoint in autumn

Hydrogen Technology Expo total success In autumn 2023 as well, the Hydrogen Technology Expo was...
Jan 22 2024

New management for the northern real-world lab

Obituary for Professor Werner Beba Mike Blicker will be the new project coordinator of the...
Jan 22 2024

Axel Funke moving to Apex

The Apex Group is expanding its management team from five to six people. Starting the new year,...
Jan 16 2024

Weichai Power: Strong share price increase

The share price of Weichai Power has risen by almost 50 percent in the last few weeks. The reason...
Jan 16 2024

Siemens Energy: Ideal candidate for “buy on bad news”

What should be read from: “Siemens Energy rescued.” Was the company on the verge of bankruptcy? By...
Jan 16 2024

Plug Power: Facts offer little hope

The turnover in the amount of 198.7 million USD in the third quarter lay considerably below...
Jan 15 2024

Nikola Motors: Capital increase at the right time

Short sellers are working massively against the company at the stock exchange. There were shortly...
Jan 15 2024

Hyzon Motors: Sensible withdrawal from Europe

The numbers for the third quarter and the outlook promise a very exciting future for Hyzon Motors...
Jan 15 2024

FuelCell Energy: A turnaround at last?

Here, I am cautious. The company, in my opinion, does not yet offer any convincing prospects,...
Jan 15 2024

Against the German Angst

The current situation of the German government appears to be a state of desolation: The...


Leave a Reply