Pininfarina and NamX work on hydrogen

This is the story of a dream of infinite mobility, with no CO2 emissions and almost no constraints. For this dream to become a reality, it took more than four years of research. Four years of experimental trial and error before arriving at this first totally innovative prototype presented on May 11, 2022 at the Pininfarina facility, ahead of a public exhibition at the Paris Motor Show next October. The story of a new French manufacturer that intends to impose itself in the world of “green” cars.

innovative technology

By 2050, 1.4 billion cars will have to be renewed. How to achieve this without impacting global warming, without restricting mobility and the freedom that the car brings? According to NamX, green hydrogen seems to be the most sustainable solution in this area. It is still necessary to have a relevant virtuous ecosystem. “We started with a blank sheet of paper and imagined everything from A to Z,” explains Faouzi Annajah, CEO of NamX. With the ambition, all things considered, of hydrogen what Tesla is electric. For that, it was necessary first to look at what is being done elsewhere, in particular among manufacturers such as Hyundai, Honda or Toyota, which have more than 10 years of research in the area of ​​fuel cell powertrain. But it is not about redoing or copying what is already being done. On the contrary. At NamX we want to “change everything so that nothing changes”. Understand how to make a new car more respectful of the environment, while maintaining the pleasure of driving. Hence the idea of ​​a brand new green hydrogen SUV called the HUV (Hydrogen Utility Vehicle). Given the starving number of hydrogen charging stations currently in service (about thirty in France), this seems like a challenge, even a chimera. But at Namx we are optimistic and “we are counting on a rapid development of the number of distribution points and methods for creating clean hydrogen, without CO2 emissions”. The only way, according to the manufacturer, to combine driving pleasure and environmental protection in the future.

Pininfarina and NamX work on hydrogen

For the development and construction of its SUV, NamX joined technological and industrial partnerships. First with Magna Ingénierie to find technical and technological solutions capable of erasing the defects inherent in current hydrogen-powered vehicles, especially in terms of autonomy. “The NamX HUV is based on a new technology that frees road trips from the usual annoyances of internal combustion vehicles or current so-called clean or electric models”, guarantees Faouzi Annajah. In other words, a car that does not emit CO2, has a long range of action and can be easily refueled without wasting time. And for that, NamX offers a totally innovative solution. In addition to the traditional fixed tank, the car has 6 removable hydrogen capsules (spares) distributed under the trunk and accessible from an external hatch at the rear of the vehicle. So many mobile mini-tanks that only need to be replaced once empty for full, as is done for a bottle of domestic gas. Eventually an application should make it possible to locate stations and distributors where to exchange hydrogen cells. It is even better to consider delivering these capsules to homes or directly to the office. A real novelty that would allow refueling in a decentralized way in record time. The set allows an advertised range of 800 km. Regarding the supply and purchase of mechanical parts, NamX has a network of subcontractors and European partners, without it being possible to have more details as the discussions are still ongoing. As for the production unit, if the information still remains confidential, it should initially be located in France next to a major manufacturer, before the eventual development of a possible new production unit in the Maghreb.

a premium model

Together with NAMX co-founder and designer Thomas de Lussac, Pininfarina’s design department strove to combine their sense of form and attention to detail to create a uniquely styled, forward-looking car. The opportunity for the famous bodybuilder, based on its 90 years of experience in the automotive industry, to provide unique styling and engineering, successfully integrating the upper body structure into the chassis. There is no way to look like electric models with very fluid lines. Inspired by American muscle cars, the HUV maintains combines energy and strength, big laughs with the silky curves of European models. Here the edges are well presented, up to the giant X integrating the raised bodywork at the level of the doors, which allows the continuity of the lines between the front and the rear of the car. Also note the double row of headlights that give the vehicle an accentuated style. Regarding the interior design, nothing has yet been completely decided. The founders of NamX admit they want a car to live in with “a pleasant interior that doesn’t just provide a screen(s)”. So be patient!

What we do know, however, is the premium positioning of the HUV. The sale price has yet to be refined, but according to its designers, it should fluctuate in a wide range between €65,000 and €90,000 initially before the range expands with new, more affordable models. A business strategy borrowed, and this is probably no coincidence, from the successful manufacturer Tesla. As for the delivery of the first vehicle, it should take place in 2025. However, this new SUV will be presented to the general public at the Paris Motor Show next October. By the way, NAMX stands for New Automotive Mobility Exploration. A new French car operator to follow.

Pininfarina and NamX work on hydrogen

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