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Car manufacturers like Tesla have set the pace with the tried-and-tested method of lithium-ion batteries, which gave other carmakers the blueprint for going electric. However, automakers have had to get creative to get ahead, and some like Hyundai have decided to up the ante by using hydrogen fuel cells to electrify their vehicles. The Nexo, from one of the industry titans, Hyundai, is the only hydrogen-powered SUV in the U.S., and the carmaker has made various bold claims about its capability. But how fast does the 2023 Hyundai Nexo hydrogen fuel cell charge?

Hyundai claims that five minutes of charging the Hyundai Nexo hydrogen fuel cell gives you 380 miles of driving range

Range is an important aspect of electric car specs. Typically, horsepower numbers and 0-60 mph acceleration times matter, but when discussing electric vehicles, the range is the attention grabber. So what is range? The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) provides the efficiency rating of all vehicles on the road, from gasoline to hybrid and electric cars.

The EPA estimated range figure helps consumers compare vehicles they want to buy. The range ratings are simply an estimate to give consumers a sense of how efficient a car is and how far it will go before refueling. According to Hyundai, charging the Hyundai Nexo hydrogen fuel cell is the same as pumping gas.

The manufacturer claims that in five minutes of refueling your Hyundai Nexo, you’ll get the highest range of any EV or fuel cell in the world. This range, which Hyundai claims is an EPA-estimated 380 miles (and 354 miles for the Limited trim), will be enough to take you from Los Angeles to San Francisco without needing to stop for a recharge and with zero emissions.

Why this claim may be farfetched

Everyone wants to believe their product is superior, and Hyundai is no exception. Hyundai’s five-minute recharge claim is based on controlled conditions. However, perfect conditions don’t exist. Plenty of real-world factors can affect a vehicle’s EPA range, including different driving and individual conditions such as needing to use the bathroom, the weather, habits, and the car and battery’s condition.

Additionally, California is the only state with hydrogen fueling stations. This may affect the practicality of achieving Hyundai’s five-minute refueling time claim since drivers may have to detour to get a refueling station. Moreover, there can be slight variations in the time it takes to refuel depending on factors like the current fuel level and the pressure of the hydrogen refueling station.

Hyundai has got you covered with fill-ups

The Hyundai Nexo has a starting MSRP of $60,135 and has a pretty extensive list of safety features, including adaptive cruise control, rear cross-traffic alert, and blind-spot monitoring. Upgrading to the weightier Limited trim (starting MSRP of $63,585) will give you a blind spot camera display in the instrument panel but a reduced driving range of 354 miles, partly due to its larger 19-inch alloy wheels.

The car comes with a hefty price tag, but you’ll also occasionally have to buy hydrogen for the fuel tank. Buying a gallon of hydrogen is almost the same as purchasing $5.33 for a gallon of gas which can be pretty costly. But you don’t need to worry since Hyundai has a plan to alleviate some of that cost.

When you buy a 2023 Nexo, the carmaker will give you either six years of complimentary fuel with a purchase (or three years with a lease) or $15,000 in debit for charging costs, depending on which option comes first.


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