French startup presents a hydrogen car with a removable tank

15-05-2022 11:00
Budding automaker NamX has unveiled an SUV powered by six canisters of fuel-cell hydrogen, which can be handily installed, removed or swapped. PininFarina took part in designing the vehicle, and TopCar believes sales could begin in three years’ time.

Budding automaker NamX has unveiled an SUV powered by six canisters of fuel-cell hydrogen, which can be handily installed, removed or swapped. PininFarina took part in designing the vehicle, and TopCar believes sales could begin in three years’ time.

The first prototype of the SUV will debut at the Paris International Motor Show this autumn, but in the meantime, NamX has already disclosed two sets of specifications for it.

According to the startup, the most basic version will be driven by a single electric motor mounted on the rear axle, which will convert hydrogen into 300 PS (296 hp / 221 kW) of thrust. This will enable it to reach 100 km/h (62 mph) in 6.5 seconds and max out at 200 km/h (124 mph).

The flagship spec named GTH will benefit from dual motors and 550 PS (542 hp / 404 kW) in total. It will max out at 250 km/h (155 mph) and shave off two seconds from the sprint time mentioned above.

However, the killer feature of the hydrogen car comes in the way it stores its hydrogel fuel: the cells are located inside detachable canisters that you can unplug and swap out once they run dry. The principle is similar to swapping electric batteries, with the added advantage of low weight. NamX claims it intends to launch its own hydrogen refueling station network for the car.

In addition to six removable tanks, the prototype has a conventional hydrogen tank you can refill in a traditional fashion. With the fuel capacity at the max, you get around 800 kilometers (500 miles) of all-electric range.

The company plans to begin full-scale development of the SUV in 2023 and launch sales in a couple of years. Pre-orders are already being registered, with prices starting from £55,000 in the UK and €65,000 in the rest of Europe.

Editor Andrew Raspopov
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