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Hyundai breaks distance record for hydrogen cars

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An Australian rally driver has broken the world record for the longest distance driven by a hydrogen-powered vehicle on a single tank.

As verified by the Australian National Roads and Motorists’ Association (NRMA), Brendan Reeves covered 887.5 km in a Hyundai Nexo fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV). The route took him from Melbourne to an Outback town called Silverton. That town, of course, doesn’t produce Fords but it did happen to serve as the setting for the movie Mad Max 2 in the 1980s.

The previous world record, set by French aeronaut Bertrand Piccard (also in a Hyundai Nexo) stood at 778km. This was achieved on a route in France between Sarreguemines and Le Bourget.

“Being a rally driver, I’ve always wanted to achieve a world record, but I could never have guessed it would come about this way,” said Reeves.

“I was constantly checking the Nexo’s efficiency readout to maximise the distance I was getting per kilogram of hydrogen. I found that by using techniques from rally driving, such as looking as far down the road as possible, as well as tips I have learned from my dad for driving a truck efficiently over long distances, it’s actually possible to go way beyond Nexo’s official range”.

However, it wasn’t a quick journey, having taken place over 13 hours at an average speed of 66.9 km/h. The car’s fuel warning light first lit up at 686 km, and started flashing at 796 km. The car consumed a total of 6.27 kg of hydrogen at a rate of 0.706 kg per 100km, while emitting only water in vapour and droplet form.