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NamX HUV Proposes Swappable Hydrogen Capsules to Make FCEVs Practical

NamX – you should read “Nameex” – did not present a vehicle that is much different than other electric SUVs. The elegant design that Pininfarina and Thomas de Lussac gave it is just a beautiful frame for what should really make it grab your attention: the hybrid hydrogen storage with swappable hydrogen capsules.
NamX HUV intends to create a new path for distributing hydrogen 17 photos
NamX HUV intends to create a new path for distributing hydrogenNamX HUV intends to create a new path for distributing hydrogenNamX HUV intends to create a new path for distributing hydrogenNamX HUV intends to create a new path for distributing hydrogenNamX HUV intends to create a new path for distributing hydrogenNamX HUV intends to create a new path for distributing hydrogenNamX HUV intends to create a new path for distributing hydrogenNamX HUV intends to create a new path for distributing hydrogenNamX HUV intends to create a new path for distributing hydrogenNamX HUV intends to create a new path for distributing hydrogenNamX HUV intends to create a new path for distributing hydrogenNamX HUV intends to create a new path for distributing hydrogenNamX HUV intends to create a new path for distributing hydrogenNamX HUV intends to create a new path for distributing hydrogenNamX HUV intends to create a new path for distributing hydrogenNamX HUV intends to create a new path for distributing hydrogen
During the world premiere of this vehicle, the company’s co-founders Faouzi Annajah and De Lussac – who is also a designer – showed that the HUV (Hydrogen Utility Vehicle) comes with six of these 8-kilogram capsules. The vehicle also comes with a fixed hydrogen tank.

In his presentation (check it in the video below), De Lussac almost talked about the range each of these capsules offers when he mentioned they contain enough hydrogen… and did not complete his sentence. Instead, he just continued talking about something else. The designer later said all info would be disclosed at the 2022 Paris Motor Show in October.

There are two ways to give the HUV the hydrogen it needs: filling the tank in a hydrogen station or replacing the six capsules, which NamX calls CapX. Replacing each of them takes five seconds, but De Lussac said the whole process would take about two minutes.

NamX HUV intends to create a new path for distributing hydrogen
Getting the HUV to a hydrogen station gives the driver 800 kilometers (497 miles) of range, and the swappable capsules are also replenished in the process. The NamX co-founder did not inform how much range the vehicle has solely with the hydrogen provided by the six capsules.

The idea came up because NamX acknowledges that finding a hydrogen station is impossible in most places because they simply do not exist. De Lussac explained that the swappable hydrogen capsules would make that much easier because they “will be available everywhere.” On the company’s LinkedIn page, NamX repeats that the “NamX capsules will be available everywhere in the CapX store and can also be delivered on-demand.”

We can only speculate on what that means: CapX stores (in plural) could be locations where you can buy these capsules. In the singular, it suggests a website where you can order these CapX units, but that would make the “delivered on-demand” part of the description redundant. The company has so much faith in this model it is calling it “Infinite Mobility.”

NamX HUV intends to create a new path for distributing hydrogen
Even though it's a significant challenge, the idea is quite good. Hydrogen stations do not exist because there is no demand. At the same time, automakers decided not to bet on FCEVs because their customers would have nowhere to refill their tanks. A “chicken or the egg” dilemma that got fuel cells stranded. With the hydrogen capsules conceived by NamX, the startup intends to solve this by creating the demand that energy companies need to justify the hydrogen stations.

The question is how NamX plans to do that. The answer may lie in Faouzi Annajah. Apart from being a co-founder, he is also the president and founder of WeRevo, a consulting platform. During the presentation, he mentioned that NamX is an African-European enterprise and that his father came from Morocco to build tens of thousands of cars. He did not elaborate on that, and we found no information on his father.

Annajah also thanked the investors and supporters that allowed the company to develop this vehicle in the last five years. Among his partners is Ibrahima Sissoko, who qualified as a serial entrepreneur after having founded “nearly 30 companies on three continents.”

NamX HUV intends to create a new path for distributing hydrogen
Developing a car is a capital-intensive business. Doing so with Pininfarina must demand deep pockets. As successful as WeRevo may be, Annajah must have powerful backers for his company to have done so. Remember that the NamX HUV is just part of the plan. The other part is making CapX swappable hydrogen capsules available: not only in the markets where these vehicles will be sold but also in the places where their owners will want to drive them to.

According to NamX, the HUV will have two derivatives: an entry-level RWD (rear-wheel-drive) car costing €65,000 ($67,672 at the current exchange rate) with 300 hp, a governed top speed of 200 kph (124 mph), and a 0-to-100-kph (62-mph) acceleration time of 6.5 seconds. The more upmarket GTH will be an AWD (all-wheel-drive) SUV with 550 hp, able to reach an electronically limited speed of 250 kph (155 mph) and go from 0 to 100 kph in 4.5 seconds. A fully loaded GTH should cost €95,000 ($98,905).

NamX plans to deliver the first units by Q4 2025, or more than three years from now. That’s enough time to develop a new car from the ground up and to answer questions such as who will supply the fuel cells, the motors, who will manufacture the FCEV (NamX or a manufacturing contractor), how the hydrogen distribution with the swappable hydrogen capsules will work, and a lot more. We’ll try to solve some of these doubts before the 2022 Paris Motor Show opens its gates.

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