A new FCEV has arrived in Denmark. It is the long-awaited Hyundai Nexo. Jørn Rosenlund, Senior Vice President in Nel Hydrogen, is the lucky driver: “It is everything I could want from a car.”
The long-awaited Hyundai Nexo has finally come to Denmark. This FCEV has been procured with aid from the European funding program H2ME2 by Nel Hydrogen in Herning. Here you can see the car in the parking lot when Senior Vice President of Nel Hydrogen Fueling, Jørn Rosenlund, is at the office.
“I came from a diesel car, and it is a fantastic experience to drive an FCEV”, says Jørn Rosenlund who got the Nexo handed over as a company car sometime before Easter this year. “I have already driven more than 10.000 km in it, and I can say that it performs exactly the same way that you would expect from any car with a combustion engine in the same class.”
Rosenlund has already driven many kilometers due to the long commute to work. Rosenlund: “I drive 266 km every day, mostly on the motorway. So actually, I don’t really adhere to the typical driving pattern of an FCEV-owner who probably makes shorter journeys in and around the city.”
In fact, it is the many kilometers on the road that are great, says Ulrik Torp Svendsen, Product Manager and Business Development Director at Nel Hydrogen. “Since the car is a part of the H2ME2-project, we also use it to collect data. It will be interesting to see how the Nexo performs on the motorway when it is driven in a relatively steady tempo. How long can the car run on full fuel, how does the weather affect the vehicle and how many kilometres can it drive in the next few years before it wears out?
Torp Svendsen adds: “In fact, it is on the long trips that the FCEV really does shine. The Nexo actually cleans the air when it is driven, rather than polluting it as combustion engine car’s do.” On the navigation screen you can track how much air the car is cleaning while it’s on the move. With a push of a button, you can also see exactly where the nearest hydrogen refueling station is located – both in Denmark and the rest of Europe.
To Jørn Rosenlund, the difference on the motorway is noticeable: “It is a completely different driving experience. The car is so quiet that you suddenly notice other noises like from the tyres or the wind blowing around the car”. In fact, the sound level is so low that the Nexo automatically turns on a small speaker which plays a low engine noise when it is driving slowly so pedestrians and cyclist will be able to hear it if it approaches from behind. Though, the speaker can be turned off if you want.
Rosenlund uses the car for both professional and personal use. Everyone is excited about the car in Haderslev where the family lives: “My children think the FCEV is so cool that they want to be seen in it at school. My wife also really likes the car and had no problems fueling it for the first time at the station. It is good to know that also for first-time users; it is a positive and intuitive experience to refuel the car with hydrogen. It means that there is nothing frightening about the technology, and that is what everyone needs to know. Driving an FCEV is not that different from driving a fossil fueled car – except there is no emission.”
Both Rosenlud and Torp Svendsen would like that it becomes much more attractive for companies to lease FCEVs for their employees: “It is very positive that FCEVs continue to be exempt from the registration fee, but FCEVs are taxed the same way as all other cars in this class. That scares off quite a lot of companies who do have employees who drive a lot. It would help significantly to reduce the emissions of particulate matter and CO2 if all company cars were green.”
More FCEVs on the roads would increase the demand for refueling stations, says Rosenlund: ”At the moment several drivers experience that it is somewhat of a hassle to plan long journeys because there aren’t enough refueling stations. But to expands the network of stations; there need to be cars to use them.”
That is why the H2ME2-program really matters, says Torp Svendsen: “The program aims to solve the chicken and egg conundrum. We need more FCEVs on the roads that will use the European hydrogen infrastructure, which will be greater and better with the help of programs like H2ME2.”
That the international hydrogen infrastructure works are something that Rosenlund already knows firsthand, he drove the Nexo to Berlin to show it off to the southern Danish neighbours: “It was no problem at all to drive it to Germany, you just have to remember to get a hydrogen card for the German refueling stations online beforehand.”
Rosenlund is happy to showcase the car for the sake of the good cause: “I really want that more people have the opportunity to drive an FCEV and get the experience I have every day because man, it’s really cool!”