Hyundai’s hydrogen fuel-cell Nexo earns top crash safety award
|driving.ca 14 Oct 2019 at 03:26|
The hydrogen fuel-cell-powered Hyundai Nexo has just undergone its first crash test, and subsequently, one of the U.S. Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s (IIHS) first crash tests of a hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle.
Not only did the vehicle pass, it also earned a Top Safety Pick+ award, plus a load of “Good” and “Acceptable” ratings for its other safety systems. Most importantly, however, the Nexo didn’t explode into a giant ball of flames.
Per the IIHS, “to qualify for a 2019 TOP SAFETY PICK+ award, a vehicle must earn good ratings in the driver-side small overlap front, passenger-side small overlap front, moderate overlap front, side, roof strength and head restraint tests.”
“It also needs an advanced or superior rating for front crash prevention and a good headlight rating. The NEXO, a midsize premium SUV, has good ratings in all six crashworthiness tests.”
Hydrogen doesn’t have the best reputation for not exploding — remember the H-bomb? The “H” stands for “hydrogen.” The infamous Hindenburg zeppelin was also filled with hydrogen.
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Luckily, hydrogen technology has come a long way since the days of using it as a literal bomb or of trying to hold it in a big balloon. Part of the reason the vehicle didn’t toast marshmallows immediately after its small-overlap crash is the hydrogen tanks are fairly well-protected by the body of the vehicle, and are located underneath the rear seats.
There’s more to the safety of the tanks than just the placement. In fact, Hyundai recently released a video explain more of the safety features of the Nexo.