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Hyundai Canada launches NEXO and becomes first manufacturer to provide fuel cell tech in Canada

fuel cell tech (Getty Images)

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.