In an era when people are switching over to electric cars to reduce carbon emissions and protect the environment towards getting polluted, Hyundai has taken another step towards the same goal. Its latest model, Hyundai NEXO, apparently cleanses the air as it drives. Hyundai partnered along with University College London (UCL) to drive along with London’s highly-polluted areas. It is a future-generation Hydrogen Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle that cleanses the environment as it drives.
Cleansing the London air with Hyundai NEXO
The areas such as Westminster, Kings Cross, Deptford, and Elephant & Castle are amongst one of the highly polluted places in London. These areas were finalized upon for the test drive run. The areas were decided upon post an analysis carried out by the UCL researchers. The research team arrived at the following conclusion-the places where particulate matter (PM) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2) levels were the highest were squared out, and the test drive was conducted in these areas. As a matter of fact, these roads cross the safety limits set up by the EU.
How does this vehicle cleanse the environment?
A senior researcher at UCL named Michael Whiteley, states that there needs to be a high-efficiency filtration system in an all fuel cell system. And this is exactly what Hyundai NEXO is about. A good quality filtration system would ensure the removal of all nasty particles from the environment. According to Whiteley, these particles are not only harmful to those who breathe them, but they also turn out to be hazardous to the fuel stack technology.
As far as the test drive was concerned, Whiteley remarked that “We’ve done lots of research around fuel cell technology and believe that it’s an interesting transport solution to consider as we look to the future of driving. We decided to team up with Hyundai to create the dirtiest driving route to raise awareness of the pollution on our roads and highlight the role fuel cell technology can play.”
Was Hyundai NEXO successful in its mission?
There was no better way than driving Hyundai NEXO through London’s most polluted areas in order to test its purification system. The Korean manufacturer claims that the filter system embedded within the vehicle filters out about 99.9% of extra fine dust. And the most interesting part over here is that the filtration outcomes are dynamically displayed on the dashboard’s display panel.
The result was as follows – Nexo had filtered about 2025 lbs of London air. In other words, the vehicle had a capacity of detoxicating about 26.9 kgs of air with just an hour of driving. This is equivalent to the air in which 42 people breathe in an hour. So just imagine, in case there are about 10,000 Nexo’s on the road, then the effect would be equivalent to planting about 60,000 trees, thereby drastically bringing down the carbon level in the atmosphere.
Once the test drive experiment was completed, the filter was removed from the vehicle and was put on display at the UCL so that one can know how many dust particles have accumulated.
Running of the vehicle
The fuel cell system of the vehicle is said to generate electricity, which generates power to run its motor. Sylvie Childs, Hyundai’s Senior Product Manager for Nexo, states that the vehicle requires oxygen and hydrogen to run. Both of these elements are mixed within the car’s fuel stack. Due to this, there is a chemical reaction that ultimately produces electricity.
Now, is it necessary to keep oxygen cylinders within the vehicle? Well, guess that is not required. The oxygen that is present in the air at the time of driving is being used. Thus, it becomes very important to keep the fuel stack clean and maintain it. This would guarantee the efficiency of the filtration system, according to Childs.
Childs has explained the filtration process in three steps:
- Initially, about 97% of the particulates are caught in the filter.
- The remaining part of the work is mostly done by a humidifier.
- Finally, when the air reaches the fuel stack, remaining particulates, if any, stay there. So what comes out is 99.9% clean air.
Hyundai’s Nexo has proved that hydrogen fuel technology can work wonders in reducing pollution and carbon footprint.