Hyundai's First Hydrogen SUV Celebrates Huge Milestone

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The Hyundai Nexo is proving popular in its home market.

While many automakers are focusing on expanding their electric vehicle lineups, Hyundai is embracing fuel-cell technology as well as EVs to help save the planet.

Along with Toyota, Hyundai was one of the first manufacturers to make hydrogen fuel cell vehicles commercially available. It also introduced the first-ever fuel cell SUV to the world: the Hyundai Nexo. In the US, the Hyundai Nexo isn't exactly a hot seller. Last year, Hyundai sold just 267 units in America, compared to 73,326 units of the Hyundai Kona. For comparison, 1,502 units of the Toyota Mirai, the Nexo's closest competitor, were sold in the US last year.

2019-2020 Hyundai Nexo Fuel Cell Front Left View Hyundai
2019-2020 Hyundai Nexo Fuel Cell Three Quarter Rear Left View Hyundai

It's a different story in Hyundai's domestic market in South Korea, however, where the Nexo just achieved a huge sales milestone.

Hyundai has now sold over 10,000 Nexos in South Korea since the fuel cell electric SUV first went on sale in March 2018. In its aim to become the leader in fuel-cell mobility technology, Hyundai is confident it can retain this sales momentum and estimates it will sell 10,100 Nexos in Korea by the end of the year. Most of these will be sold to public organizations and companies. If Hyundai achieves this, it will more than double the Nexo's domestic sales from last year - a total of 4,194 units were sold in 2019.

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2019-2020 Hyundai Nexo Fuel Cell Driver Seat Hyundai
2019-2020 Hyundai Nexo Fuel Cell Front View Hyundai
2019-2020 Hyundai Nexo Fuel Cell Front View Hyundai

Hyundai also exported 1,841 Nexos from March 2018 to September this year. By 2025, Hyundai aims to launch 44 new electrified models in its lineup, including two new hydrogen-powered cars that will be sold alongside the Nexo. Hyundai also plans to build more hydrogen-powered commercial vehicles such as trucks and buses, which will be assembled at a new planned production facility with a projected annual capacity of 50,000 hydrogen-powered vehicles by 2030.

In the US, the Hyundai Nexo starts at $58,735. It's expensive, but new technology always comes at a premium. The SUV's hydrogen-electric powertrain generates 161 horsepower with 291 lb-ft, which is sent to the front wheels via a single-speed gearbox.

2019-2020 Hyundai Nexo Fuel Cell Front View Hyundai
2019-2020 Hyundai Nexo Fuel Cell Three Quarter Front Left View In Motion Hyundai

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