Korean car brand Hyundai is taking green mobility a step further with plans to launch India’s first hydrogen-powered car Nexo in 2021, a top company official said.
Hyundai, India’s second-largest carmaker, July 9 launched its first all-electric vehicle Kona in India at Rs 25.3 lakh (range of 450 km) becoming the first foreign multinational auto company to do so.
“The Nexo is already on sale in Korea and we will be launching it in India in 2021. We will be partnering in building the required infrastructure for the Nexo in and around the Delhi-NCR area,” said SS Kim, Managing Director and CEO, Hyundai Motor India.
No other car company has spoken about developing or launching hydrogen-powered, also called fuel-cell, cars. Japanese giant Toyota has also shown interest in having a fuel-cell car but it is currently focused on electric and hybrid technology at affordable costs. Home-grown automaker Tata Motors had showcased fuel-cell powered bus.
The Hyundai Nexo is a five-door, five-seater sports utility vehicle which is slightly bigger than the Hyundai Creta, India’s best-selling mid-size SUV. The global version comes powered by a 120kW motor (163 ps power) with a fuel tank capacity of 163 litres of hydrogen.
Internationally fuel-cell is hailed for its extended driving range which has attracted many commercial vehicle projects. The Kona also delivers almost double the high driving range compared to conventional petrol-powered SUVs.
“In Korea, the Nexo can deliver a driving range of 800 kilometres but in India, it can go up 1,000 kilometres,” added Kim. Fuel-cell cars are considered to be amongst the cleanest vehicles in the world with the only by-product emitted by the vehicle being water.
The Indian government has also shown positive intent towards the promotion of hydrogen-powered vehicles after the GST council slashed the rate to 12 percent from 28 percent. Hydrogen is a colourless and odourless gas and on combustion produces a colourless flame.
Hyundai plans to introduce up to 18 environment-friendly cars globally which will include electric and hydrogen. Many of these will come to India including a mass-market compact electric car which Hyundai is working on with sister concern Kia Motors.