Hyundai to launch new Nexo in 2025

Despite slumping sales for hydrogen cars worldwide, Hyundai is set to introduce an all-new version of its hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV), the Nexo, by the second quarter of 2025. This is the first major update since the model’s debut in 2018.

Introduced in early 2018, the Nexo has remained on the market without significant updates for six years, whereas four years is a well-adopted time for facelifts in the automotive industry. The Korea Economic Daily has unveiled that the upcoming model will undergo comprehensive changes related to its performance and appeal.

More power and more range

Contrary to prior speculations, Hyundai will retain the Nexo name for the revamped model. In reshaping its trailblazing SUV, Hyundai relied on feedback from a customer event, focusing on aspects like the powertrain and infotainment systems. These discussions led to upgrades, like larger hydrogen tanks designed to extend driving range and support for over-the-air (OTA) software updates that can change chassis components.

Spy shots of the road-testing phase that surfaced online in late April hint at a significant redesign. It adopts a boxier, more rugged SUV-style exterior, echoing the design cues of Hyundai’s fifth-generation Santa Fe, which may attract customers fond of a more traditional SUV aesthetic.

The technical advancements in the next-gen Nexo will be significant. It debuts Hyundai’s third-generation fuel cell stack, which boosts output from 95 kW to 100 kW and reduces size by 30% to lower the overall vehicle weight and enhance consumption. The anticipated range improvements are substantial, with the new model expected to achieve up to 800 kilometers on a full tank, a substantial increase over the current model’s 606 kilometers range (South Korean ratings), which was already class-leading.

Only one in 2023

There’s a global downturn in FCEV sales (-30.2%), but Hyundai also faces strong competition from Toyota. The Korean automaker’s market share dropped to 34.7% in 2023 from 54.8% in 2022, while that from its Japanese sibling rose from 17.9% to 26.6%. In Belgium, Hyundai sold only one Nexo last year, while Toyota registered eight units of the Mirai.

To tackle the challenges concerning hydrogen mobility, Hyundai made some operational changes and integrated the previously independently operating fuel cell business into its general operations. At the 2024 Consumer Electric Show in Las Vegas, Hyundai Motor Group’s Executive Chairman Chung Euisun confirmed the critical role hydrogen-powered vehicles play in the company’s future strategy, emphasizing ongoing efforts to create a comprehensive hydrogen ecosystem with the Nexo leading the charge.

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