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New Hyundai Nexo 2021: First fleet of hydrogen fuel-cell electric SUVs arrives in Australia

The Nexo has been a long time coming, but it’s finally here – kind of.

Hyundai Australia has received its first shipment of hydrogen fuel-cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) destined for an external zero-emissions fleet.

The FCEVs in question are Nexo mid-size SUVs, which were ordered by the ACT government four years ago as part of its Hornsdale Wind Farm Stage 3 project.

With the Nexo’s official arrival, it is the first FCEV to be approved for sale in Australia, following its Australian Design Rules (ADR) certification. It also lands with a five-star safety rating from the Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP).

That said, the keys to the fleet of 20 Nexos won’t be handed over to the ACT government until the third quarter of this year, when Australia’s first public and permanent hydrogen refuelling station will open in Canberra.

Additional sites are on the way, including in Melbourne and Brisbane by the end of this year. Locations in NSW, South Australia, Western Australia and Tasmania are also planned.

Australia currently lacks hydrogen refuelling infrastructure, aside from a private station based at Hyundai Australia’s headquarters in Macquarie Park, Sydney. As such, private sales of the Nexo and other FCEVs have been ruled out in the short term.

That said, Lennock Hyundai in Phillip, ACT, has been appointed as the first dealership in Australia to support and service the Nexo, and therefore any FCEV.

As reported, the Nexo succeeds the ix35 Fuel Cell. It has a WLTP driving range 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.

Justin Hilliard
Head of Editorial
Justin’s dad chose to miss his birth because he wanted to watch Peter Brock hopefully win Bathurst, so it figures Justin grew up to have a car obsession, too – and don’t worry, his dad did turn up in time after some stern words from his mum. That said, despite loving cars and writing, Justin chose to pursue career paths that didn’t lend themselves to automotive journalism, before eventually ending up working as a computer technician. But that car itch just couldn’t be scratched by his chipped Volkswagen Golf R (Mk7), so he finally decided to give into the inevitable and study a Master of Journalism at the same time. And even with the long odds, Justin was lucky enough to land a full-time job as a motoring journalist soon after graduating and the rest, as they say, is history. These days, Justin happily finds himself working at CarsGuide during the biggest period of change yet for the automotive industry, which is perhaps the most exciting part of all. In case you’re wondering, Justin begrudgingly sold the Golf R (sans chip) and still has plans to buy his dream car, an E46 BMW M3 coupe (manual, of course), but he is in desperate need of a second car space – or maybe a third.
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