In 2019, a Hyundai Nexo set a new world record for the longest distance travelled by a series production, hydrogen-powered vehicle. The record, which was attempted in France, saw the crossover cover a total of 778 km on a single tank of hydrogen with French aeronaut Bertrand Piccard at the wheel.

Now, the Korean carmaker has beaten its own record with another attempt in Australia, with local rally driver Brendan Reeves responsible for bringing a Nexo from Essendon Fields in Melbourne to just beyond the country town of Broken Hill. The total distance travelled? According to the trip computer, the vehicle covered 887.5 km over 13 hours and six minutes of driving, at an average speed of 66.9 km/h.

The distance covered eclipsed the previous record by 109.5 km and exceeded the Nexo’s WLTP-rated range of 666 km. Interestingly, an isolated GPS unit fitted on the Nexo registered 903.4 km, while Google Maps registered 905 km travelled. However, for the purposes of the test, the Nexo’s own trip computer is used as the official distance recorder.

According to Hyundai, the Nexo’s fuel warning first lit up at 686 km, with over 200 km of range left being shown on the trip computer. Pushing on, the fuel light started flashing after 796 km, with 90km of real range remaining.

It added that the crossover consumed a total of 6.27 kg of hydrogen at a rate of 0.706 kg/100 km during the trip, purifying 449,100 litres of air along the way – enough for 33 adults to breathe in a day. With water being the only emission, a vehicle with an internal combustion engine would have emitted about 126 kg of CO2 over the same distance.

For validation purposes, A representative from the Royal Automobile Club of Victoria (RACV) was on hand to seal the Nexo’s tank at the start of the journey, and a National Roads and Motorists’ Association (NRMA) representative confirmed the tank remained seal at the end.

“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. As we set out from Essendon Fields in the early morning, I found NEXO immediately familiar and easy to drive – the controls are intuitive and easy to use, the driving position excellent and seats very comfortable,” said Reeves.

“Nexo is in its element on the open road, with its long range, peaceful and refined cabin, and smooth, near-silent fuel-cell electric powertrain. 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,” he added.