Hyundai and its Malaysian counterparts Hyundai-Sime Darby Motors are establishing plans to distribute the Hyundai Nexo SUV, the brand’s flagship hydrogen fuel cell vehicle, in South East Asia. This decision was made after a recent purchase of 2 Hyundai NEXOs by Sarawak Energy Berhad (Sarawak Energy).

The Hyundai NEXOs purchased by Sarawak Energy for its pilot hydrogen production plant and refueling station project in its capital city Kuching, were delivered earlier this month. Currently, the company is conducting an evaluation on the viability of hydrogen and fuel cells to power the State’s transportation sector in the future. The refueling station will be the first of its kind dedicated for transportation in the region.

Hyundai’s NEXO SUV hydrogen fuel cell vehicle

The NEXO leads Hyundai’s plans in the development of zero-emission vehicles. NEXO’s fuel cell electric powertrain offers the latest in fuel cell electric vehicle technology, with increased performance over its ix35 Fuel Cell predecessor. An on board electric motor produces 163PS, drawing power from an under-bonnet fuel cell stack, which combines oxygen from the surrounding air with hydrogen from NEXO’s high-pressure storage tanks. The result is electricity to power the motor and charge the battery, and water vapor, which harmlessly exits through the exhaust. With full tanks of hydrogen on board, NEXO is capable of travelling 666 km (414 miles) before needing to refuel.

Apart from its environmentally friendly powertrain, NEXO also has an advanced air purification system which filters 99.9% of very fine dust (PM2.5). The exact amount of air purified is shown on the car display panel. NEXO has also been independently awarded the UL Bio Environmental Seal for the use of bio fibers from sugar cane waste and vegetable plasticisers in the headliner and carpet areas; bio plastics from sugar cane and corn waste in door, seat, pillar and console trims; and bio paint extracted from rapeseed and soybean oils for the dashboard and center console.

An alternative to electric vehicles?

The demand for eco-friendly vehicles such as the electric and plug-in vehicles has grown over the last few years fueled by government policies of various countries to reduce pollution. According to Hyundai, the NEXO, which was recently named ‘the game changer’ at the Auto Car Awards in the UK, has a great potential in the Southeast Asia eco car market place.