Close to the Article Circle, in temperatures as low as -35ºC, Hyundai Motor Company subjected its latest fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) to the most sub-zero conditions as part of rigorous testing.
Extreme cold can adversely affect various functions of electrified vehicles, such as the ability to start the vehicle, manage thermal control of the electric powertrain, heating and ventilation and maximize the drive range.
Hyundai’s two prominent electrified vehicles – Hyundai NEXO FCEV and All-New Kona Electric – spearheaded the car giant’s winter test.
The previous generations of FCEV faced a significant technical challenge to be started in temperatures within -10ºC~-20ºC. In order to overcome the technical challenge, the Hyundai engineers designed a new component to heat up the fuel cell stack of the NEXO in sub-zero conditions. Thanks to this clever thermal management strategy, the Hyundai NEXO can be started at -30ºC, which is on par with any other types of internal combustion engine powered vehicles.
The other technical challenge typically found with FCEVs is ice formation within the fuel cell stack after the vehicle is turned off, as water is the only byproduct of electricity generation through hydrogen (H2). Utilising a blower system attached to the fuel cell stack, when it is turned off, the NEXO removes water before it becomes frozen.
The key objective of the winter test for a battery electric vehicle is to achieve the most efficient usage of electricity.
In a press release, Hyundai said, “At the apex of Hyundai’s eco-friendly vehicle line-up, Hyundai’s first dedicated H2-powered SUV, the NEXO boasts the best range within the fuel cell and EV car segments, delivering an estimated 800 km from a single charge (under NEDC testing).”