Pininfarina and NamX run on hydrogen

Pininfarina et NamX roulent à l’hydrogène

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 premises, before 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” automobiles.

Innovative technology

By 2050, 1.4 billion cars will have to be renewed. How to achieve this without impacting global warming, without constraining 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 a relevant virtuous ecosystem. “We started with a blank sheet and imagined everything from A to Z,” explains Faouzi Annajah, CEO of NamX. With the ambition, all things considered, to hydrogen what Tesla is to electric. To do this, it was first necessary 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 field of fuel cell motorization. But there is no question of redoing or copying what is already being done. Quite 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 driving pleasure. Hence the idea of ​​a brand new green hydrogen SUV, called HUV (Hydrogen Utility Vehicle). In view of the starving number of hydrogen charging stations currently in service (around thirty in France), this seems 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 associate in the future pleasure of driving and protection of the environment.

Pininfarina and NamX run on hydrogen

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

A premium model

Alongside NAMX co-founder and designer Thomas de Lussac, Pininfarina’s design department strived to combine their sense of form and attention to detail to create a uniquely styled and forward-looking car. The opportunity for the famous coachbuilder, drawing on its 90 years of expertise in the automotive industry, to provide unique styling and engineering, successfully integrating the upper body structure with the chassis. No way to look like electric models with too fluid lines. Inspired by American muscle cars, the HUV retains combines the energy and strength, big giggles with the silky curves of European models. Here the edges are well presented, up to the giant X integrating the bodywork in relief at the level of the doors, which allows continuity of the lines between the front and the rear of the car. Also note the double row of headlights which give the vehicle a sharp style. Regarding the interior design, nothing has yet been completely decided. The founders of NamX concede that they want a car to live with “pleasant interior that does not boil down to the provision of screen(s)”. So be patient!

What we do know, however, is the premium positioning of the HUV. The selling price has yet to be refined, but according to its designers, it should oscillate in a wide range between €65,000 and €90,000 initially before the range expands with new, more accessible models. A business strategy borrowed, and this is probably no coincidence, from that of the successful manufacturer Tesla. As for the delivery of the first vehicle, 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. A new French car operator to follow.

Pininfarina and NamX run on hydrogen