Hyundai Canada launches NEXO and becomes first manufacturer to provide fuel cell tech in Canada
Hyundai Auto Canada Corporation has announced the national launch of the first-ever NEXO, Canada's only fuel cell-powered SUV and the first vehicle of its kind to be made easily accessible to consumers.
By collaborating with Modo, the first Vancouver-based carsharing co-operative of its kind, NEXO will bring fuel cell technology to a much wider audience than before.
Modo will make two NEXO vehicles available for consumer use in the coming weeks through its carsharing services. With a focus on people, not profits, Modo serves more than 22,000 members; with 700 cars, trucks, SUVs, vans and more.
NEXO is powered by hydrogen, a fully sustainable energy source, which allows the vehicle to emit clean water vapor and purify the air as it is being driven. This technology also provides the vehicle with superior range conservation in cold climates compared to other battery electric powertrains, making them particularly resilient for Canadian winters. A five-minute refill will also carry drivers for up to 570km.
Modo will make two NEXO vehicles available through its carsharing services, and provide Canadian drivers with unparalleled access to fuel cell vehicles. Hyundai will also be the first to make fuel cell vehicles available for retail sale through select local dealerships.
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"Hydrogen vehicles are the most promising type of alternative powertrain transportation in existence today. It's important for us to make innovative green technologies like NEXO readily available for Canadians to ensure a sustainable future," said Don Romano, President and CEO of Hyundai Auto Canada Corp in a recent press release. "We're thrilled to launch NEXO in B.C, as the province is a leader in implementing important sustainability initiatives and is aligned with our vision of introducing new means of clean mobility."
Hyundai remains the only automaker in Canada to offer vehicles with four electrified powertrains including hybrid, plug-in hybrid, battery electric and hydrogen fuel cell. With the launch of NEXO, it will become the only automotive manufacturer in Canada to offer a second generation fuel cell vehicle – the first being the Tucson Fuel Cell which launched in 2015.
"We are excited to be the first carshare to offer consumers the opportunity to experience a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle for themselves," commented Patrick Nangle, CEO of Modo. "Supporting a cleaner BC aligns with Modo's social and environmental purpose as a member-owned co-operative. We are grateful to Hyundai Canada and the Canadian Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association for their financial contribution in making this possible."
While hydrogen fuelling infrastructure is still in the early stages of development, Vancouver is home to one of Canada's only public refuelling stations located in the city's Marpole neighbourhood. Members of the public interested in test-driving NEXO will have the opportunity at the Vancouver International Auto Show, which runs from March 19-24.
IMF: Variants Can Still Hurt Manufacturing Recovery
After a year of on-and-off manufacturing in the US, UK, and the eurozone, demand for goods surged early last week. Factories set growth records in April and May, suppliers started to recover, and US crude hit its highest price point since pre-COVID. As vaccination efforts immunise much of the US and UK populations, manufacturers are now able to fully ramp up their supply chains. In fact, GDP growth could approach double-digits by 2022.
Now, the ISM productivity measure has surpassed the 50-point mark that separates industry expansion from contraction. Since U.S. president Biden passed his US$1.9tn stimulus package and the UK purchasing managers index (PMI) increased to 65.6, both sides of the Atlantic are facing a much-welcomed manufacturing recovery.
Lingering Concerns Over COVID
Even as Spain, France, Italy, and Germany race to catch up, and mining companies pushed the FTSE 100 index of list shares to a monthly high of 7,129, some say that UK and US markets still suffer from a lack of confidence in raw material supplies. Yes, the Dow Jones has made up its 19,173-point crash of March 2020, and MSCI’s global stock index is at an all-time high.
Yet manufacturers around the world realise that these wins will be short-lived until pandemic supply chain bottlenecks are solved. If we keep the status quo, consumers will pay the price. In April, inflation in Germany reached 2.4%, and across the EU’s 19 member countries, overall prices have increased at an unusual pace. Some ask: Is this true recovery?
IMF: Current Boom Could Falter
Even as Elon Musk tweeted about chip shortages forcing Tesla to raise its prices, UK mining demand skyrocketed; housing markets lifted; and the pound sterling gained value. The International Monetary Fund (IMF), however, cautioned that manufacturing recovery won’t last long if COVID mutates into forms our vaccinations can’t touch. Kristalina Georgieva, Washington’s IMF director, noted that fewer than 1% of African citizens have been vaccinated: “Worldwide access to vaccines offers the best hope for stopping the coronavirus pandemic, saving lives, and securing a broad-based economic recovery”.
Across the globe, manufacturing companies are keeping a watchful eye on new developments in the spread of COVID. Though US FDA officials don’t think we’ll have to “start at square one” with new vaccines, the March 2021 World Economic Outlook states that “high uncertainty” surrounds the projected 6% global growth. Continued manufacturing success will in large part depend on “the path of the pandemic, the effectiveness of policy support, and the evolution of financial conditions”.
Mathias Cormann, secretary-general of the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) concurred—without global immunisation, the estimated economic boom expected by 2025 could go kaput. “We need to...pursue an all-out effort to reach the entire world population”, Australia’s finance minister added. US$50bn to end COVID across the world, they imply, is a small investment to restart our economies.