The hydrogen revolution has officially begun in Australia, with Hyundai registering the first sales of the Nexo fuel-cell electric vehicle (FCEV), and more will follow in the near future.
Last month, 20 zero-emissions Nexo mid-size SUVs were registered as sold locally, with the Korean brand set to deliver the fleet to the ACT government later in March as part of its Hornsdale Wind Farm Stage 3 project.
Ahead of the eagerly anticipated delivery, ACT climate change and sustainability minister Shane Rattenbury said: “Tackling climate change means tackling transport pollution, and zero-emissions vehicle technology is a key part of this.”
Of note, the Nexo is the first FCEV to be approved for sale in Australia, following its Australian Design Rules (ADR) certification. It also comes with a five-star safety rating from the Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP).
Hyundai has therefore beat Toyota to the punch, with the latter’s second-generation Mirai FCEV most recently scheduled to become available in the first quarter of this year. In which case, it should soon also become available to business and government buyers.
The first shipment of the Japanese large sedan is also limited to 20 units, although Hyundai Australia has confirmed another five examples of the Nexo are currently at sea, with the quintet set to be bought by the Queensland government.
Commenting on the matter, Queensland Treasurer Cameron Dick said: “We want to demonstrate to the Queensland community that these vehicles can be on the road like any other vehicle.
“They’ll be seamlessly introduced into the QFleet range of vehicles to show the public that hydrogen can be used safely.”
Private sales of the Nexo and Mirai are currently off the table due to Australia’s lack of hydrogen refuelling infrastructure, aside from private stations based at Hyundai’s headquarters in Macquarie Park, Sydney, and Toyota’s facilities in Altona, Victoria.
That said, the first public hydrogen station will open in Canberra later this month, while Lennock Hyundai in Phillip, ACT, has been appointed as the first local dealership to support and service the Nexo.
As reported, the Nexo succeeds the ix35 Fuel Cell. It has a driving range (WLTP) of 666km and can be refuelled in three to five minutes, which is comparable to a vehicle with a traditional internal-combustion engine.
Measuring in at 4671mm long (with a 2789mm wheelbase), 1859mm wide and 1631mm tall, the Nexo is powered by a 120kW/394Nm electric motor that helps it sprint from a standstill to 100km/h in 9.5 seconds.