Hyundai, the South Korean carmaker, has defeated Toyota, its Japanese competitor, to take the lead in worldwide hydrogen car sales. According to SNE Research, Hyundai Motor sold 4,700 hydrogen fuel cell (FCV) vehicles in world markets during the first six months of this year, while Toyota sold 3,700. Hyundai regained the title after losing it to Toyota earlier this year when the Japanese manufacturer debuted the second-generation Mirai FCV.
The debut of the new 2021 Nexo, which arrived in January and achieved a 91.1 percent Y-o-Y rise in sales during the second quarter of this year, is the cause for increased Hyundai FCV sales. Despite falling to second place, Toyota’s sales increased 8.3 times year on year. Honda stated in June that it will abandon the Clarity FCV owing to poor sales, leaving the battlefield largely for Hyundai and Toyota.
Hyundai Nexo is a successor for the Tucson ix35 FCEV and is constructed on a specialized platform. It is powered by an electric motor that produces 163 horsepower and 395 Nm. Fuel cell technology in cars converts oxygen and hydrogen into a stream of electrons that drives the electric motor and charges the 1.56 kWh high-voltage battery. The fuel cell stack, according to Hyundai, produces 95 kW of electricity, while the battery produces 40 kW.
Nexo has twice broken the world record for the longest distance run in a single filling, first in France in 2019 with 778km and again in Australia in May 2021 with 887.5 km in a single filling. Toyota, on the other hand, broke the record in June 2021 with the newest generation Mirai FCV, which drove 1,003 kilometers on a set of highways south of Paris in a single fueling.
Hyundai and Toyota are perhaps the only two automakers who continue to believe in hydrogen-powered vehicles as a viable option to hybrids and battery electric vehicles for future transportation.