The hydrogen SUV being developed by Pininfarina and NAMX

Hydrogen, the most abundant chemical substance in the universe, is considered as a very viable fuel for motor vehicles. Over the past decade, some carmakers have progressed significantly in using hydrogen for vehicles, with Toyota and Honda even putting electric cars with hydrogen fuel cells in showrooms for sale.

While most of the prototypes have used gaseous hydrogen, Toyota has also shown that it is possible to use liquid hydrogen to fuel an internal combustion engine in the same way as petrol. It has advanced quite some way and is now even running prototypes in races.

NAMX PININFARINA HUV [2023] (9)

New concept of carrying fuel
NAMX, an African-European start-up, is also exploring the use of hydrogen in vehicles and has a project ongoing for a hydrogen-powered SUV (HUV). The special feature of this vehicle is that it can be partially fueled by removable capsules using a patented removable tank system.

NAMX PININFARINA HUV [2023]

The concept of removable capsules storing hydrogen is that it makes distribution easier and availability much better. This addresses a critical issue with any new fuel – availability to users. EVs are an example where there is an urgent need to quickly build up the network of charging stations so that motorists feel confident when travelling long distances.

Likewise, with hydrogen, the stations for refuelling need to be available and right now, they are almost non-existent. What NAMX proposes is for hydrogen to be stored in capsules which are filled up at a centralised location and sent by trucks or trains anywhere.

NAMX PININFARINA HUV [2023]

NAMX PININFARINA HUV [2023]

800 kms of range
The capsules can then be installed on the HUV (at the rear end) as a ‘refuelling process’, just like the battery-swapping concept that is used by some companies in China for EVs. NAMX says that with a single fixed hydrogen tank plus 6 capsules, a range of 800 kms is possible. Six capsules alone can provide a range of up to 300 kms, it is claimed.

Only a few technical details of the HUV have been revealed – 2-wheel drive or 4-wheel drive, with the powertrain generating up to 550 bhp and a top speed of 250 km/h.

The hydrogen SUV being developed by Pininfarina and NAMX

Designed by Pininfarina
For the design of the HUV, Pininfarina was brought in as a collaborator to create a prototype that is both future-oriented and inspired by multiple facets. With its Italian roots, Pininfarina has also brought Italian elegance to the design, right down to the brand’s X engraved on the doors in continuous lines and repeated on the grille.

NAMX PININFARINA HUV [2023]

As a ‘next generation’ car, the HUV has a futuristic fusion of muscular main volumes, aggressive graphics, and a touch of retro around the lamp elements. A new design language and identity was created for NAMX, not just to celebrate a new brand, but to really give an all-new meaning to the innovative hydrogen concept.

NAMX PININFARINA HUV [2023]

On sale from end-2025
NAMX plans to start marketing the HUV (which has no name yet) from the fourth quarter of 2025. Two versions are being developed and the target price range for now is between 65,000 and 95,000 euros (RM329,000 – RM480,500).

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