Hyundai’s hydrogen-fueled SUV hits Montgomery roads for 6 months

Hyundai’s hydrogen-fueled SUV hits Montgomery roads for 6 months

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - Hyundai says the world’s first hydrogen fuel cell sport utility vehicle will be making an extended test drive around Alabama’s capital city for the next few months.

Friday, Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama, announced it’s loaning the vehicle, called the NEXO, to Gov. Kay Ivey and the City of Montgomery for a test drive and evaluation period.

Hyundai wants to determine the feasibility of “clean” hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.

The vehicle was first delivered to the City, which took the wheel Friday at Riverfront Park. It’ll alternate monthly with the governor’s office until the six-month program ends.

The NEXO uses hydrogen to produce electricity for the vehicle’s electric power train, HMMA says. The hydrogen fuel reacts with oxygen from the vehicle’s air intake inside a fuel cell stack to produce electricity. The only thing that comes out of the tailpipe is water vapor.

Currently, the NEXO is only sold in California, but the South Korean automaker hopes to generate nationwide buzz for hydrogen fuel.

While the vehicle is not made in Montgomery, there are currently two at the plant that are part of a ride and drive program for team members and tour guests. One is being loaned out for the test drive. It will be exchanged with the other when it gets low on hydrogen, HMMA said.

Hyundai Motor Group wants to build 700,000 fuel cell systems each year by 2030.

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