Hydrogen Fuel-Cell Car Passes Crash Tests With Flying Colours

Thu 1st Nov 2018

Confidence in the future of hydrogen fuel-cell engine technology has received a boost after the very first Euro NCAP test for the second generation fuel saw it pass with top marks.

Hyundai’s groundbreaking Nexo was the car under scrutiny, the first time a vehicle with the hydrogen engine has been tested for its safety in collisions. There was plenty of interest in the results of the test from all across the industry as the technology which drives the engine features a pressurised tank and the tank has a low ignition point. Some were fearful of similar explosions to those that were seen from the hydrogen-filled airships of the 1930s.

But the Nexo has received impressive NCAP scores of 94% for adults and 87% for child protection.

Hyundai’s SUV was praised by Euro NCAP’s UK testing partner, Thatcham Research: “The Hyundai NEXO is the first hydrogen fuel-cell electric vehicle that Euro NCAP has tested,” said Matthew Avery, director of research at Thatcham Research.

“Its five-star safety rating should dispel concerns around how hydrogen fuel cell powered cars perform in a crash. With the NEXO, Hyundai have successfully demonstrated that alternative fuelled vehicles need not pose a risk to car safety.”

The Nexo is expected to go on sale in the UK in early 2019, with a price tag of £65,000. With a published range of 400 miles and a recharging time of just a few minutes there is certain excitement about the launch, even if the UK’s infrastructure for refueling is in need of improvement.

“The five-star rating of NEXO in the Euro NCAP assessment is further evidence of our industry-leading position in the field of future mobility,” said Hyundai’s Vice President of Marketing, Andreas-Christoph Hofmann. “We are not only a pioneer in bringing future mobility onto the streets, but our cars are also among the safest. The Euro NCAP rating confirms our commitment to provide customers and other road users with the highest level of safety and innovative mobility solutions.”