NAMX: THIS IS HOW THE HYDROGEN CAR WORKS WITH INTERCHANGEABLE CAPSULES DON'T REFUEL, CHANGE CAPSULES Is this the hydrogen revolution? Start-up Namx and design studio Pininfarina have teamed up to create an SUV with interchangeable cartridges, similar to a sparkling water machine. They call it a HUV themselves. It should be for sale from 2025. It is Paolo Pininfarina himself who reveals the secret car to a group of journalists. The Italian design specialist has designed a revolutionary hydrogen SUV together with the French start-up Namx. At least, the bosses of the two companies think it is a revolutionary car. Pininfarina and Namx worked on the study model for four years. Sparkling water machines The special thing about this SUV is that in addition to a normal hydrogen tank, it also has six interchangeable H2 capsules. The technology is somewhat reminiscent of sparkling water machines. “We call it a HUV, or a Hydrogen Utility Vehicle,” says Namx boss Faouzi Annajah. Hydrogen is the English word for hydrogen. The Parisian start-up has set up a complex system around the car. When the capsules are empty, the driver can exchange them at an exchange station within four minutes. Namx compares itself to the Chinese start-up Nio, which has developed similar battery exchange systems. Why capsules? “There are only a few hydrogen filling stations and they are expensive to build. We have found a solution to this problem,” says Annajah. exchange stations The filled capsules must be ready at the exchange stations. A traditional hydrogen filling station is no longer necessary. With hydrogen as an energy carrier and with the use of capsules, the driver in a hydrogen car regains the freedom that a battery-electric car does not offer, according to the Namx managers. The developers promise that the fuel cell SUV will have a range of 800 kilometers. Driving prototype next step The next step is to make a driving prototype. Production could begin in the fourth quarter of 2025. Depending on the equipment, the HUV will cost between €65,000 and €95,000, the manufacturer predicts. There will be a base model with 300 hp, which has a top speed of 200 km/h and accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in 6.5 seconds. There will also be a four-wheel drive variant that delivers 550 hp, reaches 250 km/h and sprints to 100 km/h in 4.5 seconds. European-African The company's plans are very ambitious. Only 15,500 hydrogen cars were sold worldwide in 2021 – that's 84 percent more than the year before, but it's still not much. Namx says it has several investors behind it, and has the backing of renowned experts. It is not yet clear where the Namx HUV could be built. “It definitely has to be a European-African project,” says Mustapha Mokass, who is responsible for financing at Namx and who, like the CEO, has Moroccan roots. “Morocco would be a possible production location; there is already experience in car manufacturing there and labor costs are lower than in Western Europe.” German suppliers The company is also in talks with German suppliers. In any case, the start-up has already changed its original name. Namx used to stand for 'New African Mobility Exploration'. In the meantime, African has been replaced by Automotive. However, Paolo Pininfarina believes that the model has a good chance on the African continent. “As it stands, it is perfectly suited for Africa,” says the designer. However, investors are needed before the car can be put on the road. “We need a total of 530 million euros,” says Mokass. The necessary steps still need to be taken, but the start is promising!
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