Australian rally drivers drive hydrogen vehicles lightly to the world record.
By driving the Hyundai Nexo fuel cell electric vehicle somewhat conservatively, the Australian team broke the world record for the longest distance traveled by a hydrogen-powered vehicle in a single tank.
Australian Rally Driver Brendan Reeves drove a production Nexo with a mileage of 887.5km. This exceeds the previous world record of 778km set by Bertrand Piccard, a Frenchman who also holds the steering wheel of Nexo. 666km (measured on the WLTP scale).
Hyundai Australia does not say whether Reeves has entered full-mode hypermilling (extreme form of energy-efficient driving), but the average speed quoted is 66.9kmh, largely limited to the 100kmh zone. The admission fee was 13 hours and 6 minutes. The fact that it included “efficiency-focused” driving suggests that it is very light. Still, it seems to have taken in more than a smooth runway, including driving on some dirt roads.
Interestingly, the official distance was measured by a car trip computer to meet record requirements. The distance measured by the onboard isolated GPS unit recorded 903.4km, while the Google Maps distance showed a movement of 905km.
This attempt was monitored by the two largest equivalents of Australia’s NZ Automobile Association. At the beginning of the journey, a RACV representative was waiting to seal the fuel tank, and an NRMA representative finally confirmed the effectiveness of the tank seal.
The drive started in Melbourne’s Essendon Fields, passed through Broken Hill, and then through Silverton, an outback town on the outskirts of Broken Hill. It is best known as the setting for the apocalyptic action movie “Mad Max 2” in the 1980s. Before the hydrogen tank was exhausted on the Willangy Road beyond Eldy Station.
Reeves said he always wanted to set a world record.
“When I left Essendon Fields early in the morning, I quickly found that Nexo was familiar and easy to drive. The controls were intuitive and easy to use, the driving position was great and the seats were very comfortable.
“We were constantly checking efficiency readings to maximize the distance per kilogram of hydrogen.”
He relied on rally drive techniques. There is also a hint I learned from my dad to drive a truck efficiently over long distances, such as “looking as far as possible.”
Nexo’s low fuel warning initially turned on at 686km, leaving more than 200km from that point. The fuel light started blinking after 796km, leaving 90km of actual cruising range.
During the trip, Nexo consumed a total of 6.27 kg of hydrogen at a rate of 0.706 kg / 100 km.
Hyundai says it purified 449,100 liters of air on a trip-enough for 33 adults to breathe a day. The brand theorizes that if a standard internal combustion engine vehicle emits about 126 kg of CO2 over the same distance, it emits zero CO2.
Hyundai has 20 Nexo in Australia, which are mainly used by the national government. There are several in Hyundai NZ, but their use is much more modest.
Reset records slowly and steadily
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