It’s rare enough for an automobile website to include hydrogen in its awards twice. That’s what happened in the United States with Autoweek’s 2023 Vanguard Awards.
Based in Michigan, this automotive magazine has been around since 1958. It is owned by Crain Communications (publisher of Automotive News), which has licensed it to Hearst Magazines to make it a website exclusively.
As part of its Vanguard Awards, which recognise cutting-edge players, Autoweek honoured Hyundai. The Korean manufacturer was singled out for its efforts to achieve carbon neutrality by 2045. And as well as battery electric vehicles, it also offers hydrogen-based solutions, such as the Nexo of course, but also the Xcient Fuel Cell trucks which are on offer in the USA. The brand has also won over vintage car enthusiasts with the N 74.
Hyundai’s former head of research justifies hydrogen
The site interviewed former R&D boss Albert Biermann, who said that “It is clear that for cars, EV is hard to beat. But my line of thinking is easy: If we want the world to go carbon neutral, we will need millions of tons of hydrogen in all aspects of society. And if you do that, it is then no big deal to put that into cars or trucks or buses.”
The same expert also explains that hydrogen can be used to store energy, thereby creating a synergy with the electricity grid. Autoweek was also impressed by Hyundai’s work to promote green hydrogen.
Extreme H: a championship full of challenges
Another award went to Alejandro Agag. Head of Formula E, he has succeeded in setting up a championship for electric single-seaters recognised by the FIA*. The original idea was conceived in 2011. Since 2014, the performance of the cars has increased 8-fold. In the meantime, Alejandro Agag has launched another championship, Extreme E, which has been running since 2021 with SUVs in deserts. And from 2025, this championship will be integrating a hydrogen category, Extreme H. “I think Extreme E will just transition to H and then disappear. We’ve been looking at ways to run both ‘E’ and ‘H’ series at the same time – but my view is that we should just focus on hydrogen,” comments Alejandro Agag.
As a side note, an agreement has been signed with Siemens and Geopura to prepare the transition to this championship.
*International Automobile Federation
Article written by Laurent Meillaud and translated by Logan King