Pininfarina and NamX run on hydrogen

This is a dream story about endless mobility, without CO2 emissions and almost without restrictions. It took more than four years of research to make this dream a reality. Four years of experimental trial and error before this first fully innovative prototype appeared on May 11, 2022 at the Pininfarina premises ahead of a public exhibition at the Paris Motor Show next October. The story of a new French manufacturer that intends to make itself known in the world of “green” cars.

Innovative technologies

By 2050, 1.4 billion vehicles will need to upgrade. How to achieve this without affecting global warming, without limiting the mobility and freedom that the car brings? According to NamX, green hydrogen appears to be the most sustainable solution in this area. It is still necessary to have an appropriate efficient ecosystem. “We started with a clean slate and imagined everything from A to Z,” explains Fawzi Annaja, CEO of NamX. With ambition, all things considered, to make hydrogen what Tesla is to electricity. To do this, we first had to look at what was being done elsewhere, in particular among manufacturers such as Hyundai, Honda or Toyota, which have been researching fuel cell motorization for more than 10 years. But there is no question of reworking or copying what is already being done. Vice versa. At NamX, we want to “change everything so that nothing changes.” Find out how to make your new car more environmentally friendly while maintaining driving pleasure. Hence the idea for an all-new green hydrogen utility vehicle dubbed the HUV (Hydrogen Utility Vehicle). Given that the number of hydrogen charging stations currently in operation (about thirty in France) is meager, this seems like a daunting task, even a chimera. But at Namx, we are optimistic and “look forward to the 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 link driving pleasure and environmental protection in the future.

Pininfarina and NamX run on hydrogen

NamX brought together technology and industry partnerships to design and build its SUV. First with Magna Ingénierie to find technical and technological solutions that can erase the defects inherent in modern hydrogen cars, especially in terms of autonomy. “NamX HUV is based on new technology that frees road trips from the usual hassles associated with internal combustion vehicles or the current so-called clean or electric models,” says Annaja. In other words, a CO2-free vehicle has a long range and is easy to refuel without wasting time. And for this, NamX offers a completely innovative solution. In addition to the traditional stationary tank, the car has 6 removable hydrogen capsules (reserves) located under the trunk and accessible through an external hatch at the rear of the car. So many portable mini-tanks that just need to be replaced from empty to full once, as is done for a city gas cylinder. Ultimately, the application should be able to locate stations and distributors where hydrogen cells can be replaced. Even better, consider having these capsules delivered to your home or straight to your office. A real novelty that will allow decentralized refueling in record time. In general, the declared autonomy is 800 km. For the supply and purchase of mechanical parts, NamX relies on a network of subcontractors and European partners, but more details are not available as discussions are still ongoing. As regards the production unit, if the information is still kept confidential, it should be initially located in France next to a major manufacturer before a possible new production unit in the Maghreb is eventually established.

Premium Model

Together with NAMX co-founder and designer Thomas de Lussac, Pininfarina’s design department sought to combine their sense of form and attention to detail to create a uniquely stylish and forward-thinking vehicle. This is an opportunity for the renowned coachbuilder to draw on its 90 years of experience in the automotive industry to create a unique style and design by successfully integrating the upper body with the chassis. It is impossible to look like electric models with too smooth lines. Inspired by American muscle cars, the HUV combines energy and strength, blending with the silky curves of European models. The edges are well represented here, down to the giant cross that unites the body relief at the door level, which ensures continuity of lines between the front and rear of the car. Also note the double row of headlights, which give the car a sharp style. As for the interior design, nothing has been finalized yet. NamX’s founders admit they want the car to live with “a nice interior that goes beyond screens.” So be patient!

What we do know is the premium positioning of the HUV. The sale price has not yet been finalized, but according to its designers, it should fluctuate widely between 65,000 and 90,000 euros before the range expands with new, more affordable models. The business strategy is borrowed, and probably not coincidentally, from the successful manufacturer Tesla. As for the delivery of the first car, it should take place in 2025. In the meantime, this new SUV will be shown to the general public at the Paris Motor Show next October. By the way, NAMX stands for New Automotive Mobility Exploration. New French car operator.

Pininfarina and NamX run on hydrogen