NamX is a new brand from France that plans to launch the HUV fuel cell model at the end of 2025. The special feature: replaceable hydrogen tanks in the rear of the car.
The infrastructure with hydrogen filling stations and the spread of electric cars with fuel cell technology are not really gaining momentum. Despite many announcements from politics and industry, there are currently not even 100 publicly accessible gas stations on the network in Germany. In neighboring countries there are far fewer contact points for drivers of a Hyundai Nexo or Toyota Mirai. These two cars are the only fuel cell cars that we currently sell.
The global market for hydrogen cars is also small. According to a study by the Korean market researcher SNW Research, 9,300 Hyundai Nexo were registered for the first time worldwide last year, as well as 5,900 Toyota Mirai. There are also 300 Honda Clarity FCEVs and 400 vehicles from the Chinese manufacturer Foton. So you look at the often cited chicken-and-egg problem: Without infrastructure there is no market for cars, but without a sufficient number of vehicles it is not worth establishing and expanding a filling station network.
Interchangeable hydrogen tanks
This is exactly where the French company NamX would like to start with a new idea. Together with the Italian design company Pininfarina, the start-up has designed the SUV coupe HUV. The special feature: In addition to a permanently installed hydrogen tank, there are six exchangeable, smaller tanks for the gas stored under high pressure in the rear of the car.
NamX plans to deliver hydrogen canisters to its customers and exchange them for empty ones. This is to guarantee the operational readiness of the HUV even in areas where there is no gas station to fill up the tank permanently installed in the car. The range should be 800 kilometers, provided that all tanks are filled and on board.
In 2025, the HUV will be launched in two variants. The base model with rear-wheel drive is said to have 300 hp and accelerate from standstill to 100 km/h in 6.5 seconds. The maximum speed is given as 200 km/h. The GTH version with all-wheel drive should rank above that. The system output here is 550 hp, which is good for a zero-to-100 sprint in 4.5 seconds and a top speed of 250 km/h.
From the end of 2025 for 65,000 euros
According to the company, NamX designer Thomas de Lussac was influenced by science fiction as well as American muscle cars from the 1950s and 1960s when designing the lines of the HUV. That explains the shoulders of the SUV coupe. LED elements on the front form a dominant "X". At the rear, the HUV openly displays the replacement tanks. There are no pictures of the interior yet. NamX already has an idea of how expensive the brand's first model should be. Depending on the performance level and equipment, 65,000 to 95,000 euros are targeted.
It has not yet been decided where the HUV will be built. When choosing a location, not only the availability of qualified personnel, but also the availability of green hydrogen, which is produced with electricity from renewable sources, should play a role.
The new brand NamX wants to start in 2025 with a fuel cell SUV. Pininfarina helps with design and development. A delivery service for replaceable hydrogen tanks is an interesting idea. It remains to be seen whether and how this can be implemented with a pressure of 700 bar in the containers.