Hyundai has made the first hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle to be tested by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). While IIHS wouldn’t usually test such a selectively-offered vehicle, Hyundai nominated the car for testing.
The results were somewhat surprising, considering some people were skeptical of the car’s hydrogen fueling system. However, the Nexo earned top ratings and was awarded the Top Safety Pick + by IIHS.
The Hyundai Nexo is the world’s first dedicated hydrogen-powered SUV. The car is powered by hydrogen, similarly to Toyota’s Mirai and Honda’s Clarity. It’s selectively offered only in California.
The SUV scored “Good” marks in all six tests (with scales ranging from Poor to Marginal, Acceptable, and Good). The car was rated for:
- Driver-side small overlap front crash
- Passenger-side small overlap front crash
- Moderate overlap front crash
- Side Impact crash
- Roof strength
- Head restraints
These tested categories all earned “Good” ratings. Depending on the trim level, headlights were rated “Good” or “Acceptable”, and the frontal crash prevention systems were found to be “Superior”.
The Nexo gets 163 horsepower and 291 lb.-ft. of torque, going from 60 mph in 10 seconds, which isn’t bad considering this car doesn’t run on gas or diesel. Hyundai currently has 12 Top Safety Pick or Top Safety Pick + vehicles sold in the United States, including Nexo.
Hyundai says the Nexo can charge to get up to 380 miles in five minutes or less of charging—similarly to the time you take to pump gas. The SUV starts at $58,300 and in California—currently the only state where one can purchase a Nexo—residents can get a clean vehicle rebate of up to $5,000 with a purchase.