Let's say you want to save the planet, but you’re put off electric cars by their long charge times, what do you do? One answer is to get a car powered by hydrogen, just like the Hyundai Nexo. Although it is an electric car, it effectively has its own on-board power station, called a fuel cell, to generate electricity, rather than using a massive battery pack.
By using hydrogen to feed the fuel cell, you can fill the tank in about five minutes using equipment that’s only slightly fiddlier than a regular petrol pump. Not only will you get well over 300 real-world miles out of that refill, the only emissions when you’re driving are purified air and water.
Instead of being merely a hydrogen-powered variant of an existing model, the Nexo has been engineered around a dedicated platform, which has allowed the engineers to package the fuel cell and accompanying parts more efficiently. The results, on paper at least, speak for themselves: the Nexo is right-hand drive, has boot space comparable to that of petrol and diesel family SUVs and provides decent space for rear passengers.
Now, although this fuel cell technology is nothing new, Hyundai claims this is the first mass-produced, and therefore widely available, hydrogen-powered car to go on sale in the UK. At this point, you can argue that the Toyota Mirai, launched three years ago, was the first hydrogen fuel cell car available to purchase rather than to lease or loan, but supplies have been seriously limited.
Even though Hyundai is looking to sell thousands of Nexos, they aren’t cheap. There’s only one model and it sits between the Tesla Model 3 and Tesla Model S in terms of price. But arguably its biggest rival is the Jaguar I-Pace – after all, both are trend SUVs, as well as costing a similar amount.
So to find out if the Nexo is any good, keep reading over the next few pages for our in depth review. And while you’re here, have a look at our New Car Buying service for massive savings on all manner of new cars and SUVs.