How it Works

New video shows how the Hyundai Nexo creates energy on-demand using hydrogen

The Hyundai Nexo is powered by hydrogen.

Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor America

The NEXO and Mirai aren't available for sale in much of the United States. However, their automakers, Hyundai and Toyota respectively, see the vehicles as the future of transportaiton.

The a world of hydrogen-powered cars, trucks, and SUVs isn't as crazy as it seems. There is plenty of naturally occurring hydrogen in the world and the technology is already figured out, for the most part. The central issues revolve around delivery to vehicles (pumping stations), moving supply around the world (pipelines), and local legislation (outdated laws concerning transporting hydrogen across bridges and in tunnels).

There's also a large education gap between engineers and consumers. While messaging concerning only water vapor coming out the tailpipe has been around for a while, the average shopper doesn't understand how a hydrogen-powered vehicle uses the fuel, and why it's safe.

A new video from Hyundai in celebration of the 50th anniversary of Earth Day earlier this week shows how the Nexo fuel cell stack creates propulsion energy on demand. This is in contrast to battery-electric vehicles, and more in line with the style of workings of a traditional hybrid car.

"We're very proud of Hyundai's fuel cell SUVs accumulating well over ten million miles in time for the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, 2020," said Brian Smith, chief operating officer, Hyundai Motor America. "Our newest NEXO fuel cell SUV truly sets the standard for zero-emissions travel in California, and it does so in the flexible SUV body configuration that many families desire to meet their active lifestyle needs. With up to 380 miles of range and a refueling speed of only five minutes, our newest NEXO is truly a vision for a zero-emissions future, available from Hyundai today."

How Fuel Cell Vehicles Work | Nexo | Hyundai www.youtube.com

Hyundai and Toyota continue to invest in hydrogen study and production. Toyota's U.S. operation is working with legislators to change laws and develop plans for more hydrogen stations while their team in Japan is planning to build an entire hydrogen-fueled town at the base of Mt. Fuji.

Hyundai is developing more hydrogen-powered vehicles and seeking to influence adoption practices worldwide. Hyundai Motor Group Executive Vice Chairman and Hydrogen Council Co-chair Euisun Chung recently outlined the path forward in a speech at the third meeting of the Hydrogen Council earlier this year.

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Nuts & Bolts

 
 

The all-electric Porsche Taycan took to a track in Germany to set a new world record.

Photo courtesy of Porsche AG

The record holder for the longest drift with an electric vehicle belongs to the Porsche Taycan. A rear-wheel drive version of the electric sedan took the Guinness World Records title at the Porsche Experience Center in Hockenheimring, near Heidelberg, Germany.

Porsche instructor Dennis Reter completed 210 laps of a 200 meter-long drift circle without the Taycan's front wheels ever pointing in the same direction as the curve. The feat took 55 minutes and covered a total of 42.171 kilometers. Reter's average speed behind the wheel was 46 km/h.

Porsche Taycan Guinness Book of World Records The attempt was logged using experts from various professions, including a professional from the Guinness Book of World Records.Photo courtesy of Porsche AG

"When the driving stability programmes are switched off, a powerslide with the electric Porsche is extremely easy, especially of course with this model variant, which is driven exclusively via the rear wheels," said Retera, "Sufficient power is always available. The low centre of gravity and the long wheelbase ensure stability. The precise design of the chassis and steering allows for perfect control at all times, even when moving sideways".

Retera has an extensive performance driving background. He is currently the Chief Instructor at the Porsche Experience Centre Hockenheimring. Previously he has competed in karting, single seaters, and endurance car races. Still, it was a challenge for him to pilot the car during the record-making experience.

"Nevertheless, it was also very tiring for me to keep my concentration high for 210 laps, especially as the irrigated asphalt of the drift circuit does not provide the same grip everywhere. I concentrated on controlling the drift with the steering – this is more efficient than using the accelerator pedal and reduces the risk of spinning," said Retera.

The attempt took place under the supervision of Guinness World Records official record judge Joanne Brent on the irrigated driving dynamics area of the Experience Center. Brent has five years experience supervising Guinness World Record attempts. "We've had some drift records, but with an electric sports car it's something very special for us too," said Brent. "Here Porsche has done real pioneering work."

Porsche Taycan Guinness Book of World Records The drifting circle at the Porsche Experience Center is 80 meters.Photo courtesy of Porsche AG

Overseeing the event wasn't just an easy spectator sport. Brent documented the record with a number of technical aids and independent experts. Before the attempt, a local land surveyor measured the 80-meter diameter area where the attempt was to take place with millimetre precision. GPS and yaw rate sensors within the vehicle were used for documentation purposes, as was a camera installed on the roof of the track's control tower, with which the record ride was filmed.

Denise Ritzmann, the 2018 and 2019 European drifting campion was responsible for ensuring the car remained permanently drifted during the attempt. "You can see at a glance whether the front wheels are pointing in a different direction to the curve. As long as this is the case, the car is drifting," she said. Together with Brent, she also counted the laps completed during the record attempt.

The Porsche Taycan Drifts into the Guinness World Records www.youtube.com

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Professor Lynne Pearce studies what people think about while driving, among other subjects.

Photo courtesy of Porsche AG

As a member of the English and Creative Writing Department at Lancaster University in the U.K., Professor Lynne Pearce has spent most of her career studying the fields of feminist literary and cultural theory. These days, she has one big question: "What do we think about when we drive?"

Cars often provide a sanctuary, keeping out the noise that surrounds our daily lives. There's memes that celebrate moms who hide out inside their minivans. Hitting the open road and getting away from the hustle and bustle has been a theme of ads by MINI and the State of Nevada, both featuring the song "Don't Fence Me In".

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Pearce's interest in driving was likely sparked naturally by her father. She is the daughter of a Cornwall-based mechanic and garage owner who has spent more than 20 years writing about driving.

For the past 22 years she's lived two hours north of Glasgow, Scotland and regularly took the 800-mile round trip between her late parents' home and her home. Inevitably, the drive gave her time to reflect on her day, life, and more.

"Whenever I get into the car I feel a sense of relief," said Pearce in an interview with Porsche. "My body relaxes, and I look forward to the uninterrupted time I have to think."

That feeling prompted Pearce to publish her first essay on motoring - "Driving North/Driving South" in 2000. Since, she's published "Drivetime: Literary Excursions in Automotive Consciousness". In her work, Pearce describes how driving has given her time to enjoy a "ing-fenced slice of time which nothing would intrude upon or interrupt". Further, "Many of the things I had to think about in both my professional and personal life were unravelled, sometimes resolved, in the course of my drives ...".

Lynne Pearce Porsche Cayenne Pearce recently had the opportunity to try the Porsche Cayenne S E-Hybrid.Photo courtesy of Porsche AG

During her day behind the wheel with Porsche, Pearce took the Cayenne Turbo S E-Hybrid on the A82, a 167-mile road that runs from Glasgow to Inverness via Fort William, Scotland. It's her favorite road in the U.K. The portion of the route that runs past Buachaille Etive Mòr toward Glencoe village contains what is widely regarded as some of the best scenery in Scotland.

"When I was working on my book, and told people that I was interested in what we think about while we're driving, I was often met with incredulity because there is this misconception that the only thing we can possibly think about when we're in a car is driving itself. However, since the early days of motoring, psychologists have been interested in the fact that driving – as well as being one of the most complex, everyday tasks – is also one that frees up parts of the brain to think productively," Pearce explained.

Lynne Pearce Porsche Cayenne Pearce says that vehicles allow us to slow down and explore parts of the world we wouldn't normally venture.Photo courtesy of Porsche AG

Daydreaming can safety occur while at the wheel thanks to the brain's central executive, which remains alert throughout and will return our attention to the road when required. This is also the portion of the brain that keeps drivers alert when driving in poor conditions like snow and rain.

"From the exhilaration and euphoria associated with speed, through the day-dreaming and problem solving promoted by cruising, to the intimate communion we can achieve with the natural world when we're driving through a beautiful landscape with the windows down, I discovered that different types of driving inspire and promote different kinds of thought," Pearce said.

"By pre-occupying one part of the brain, driving helps to calm us down and think more calmly about our problems. This is why for many of us, myself included, driving is such a great 'time-out' for problem solving."

Pearce sees electric vehicles as being a key component to relaxation while on the road, serving as an even bigger break from the hustle and bustle of the daily grind.

"I love to use the minor roads close to where I live and driving slowly enables me to bond much more closely with the environment. The silence and sensation of driving in electric mode really enhances this sort of experience and it's interesting that the first users of electric vehicles raved about exactly this at the beginning of the 20th century," Pearce said.

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