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Hyundai Proves How Clean the Nexo’s Emissions Are–By Making an Athlete Breathe It

Hyundai‘s Spanish division launched a provocative new campaign with Olympic athlete and brand ambassador Mireia Belmonte, which puts her in a bubble directly breathing the ‘exhaust fumes’ of the Nexo, Hyundai’s brand-new hydrogen fuel cell SUV.

When Hyundai announced the Nexo late last year, many had a hard time believing that the car’s byproducts are mainly composed of oxygen (99.9 percent) and water (0.1 percent). To put to rest any doubts that the SUV’s emissions are as clean as advertised, Hyundai had Belmonte run on a treadmill while in a sealed air bubble connected to the car’s exhaust pipe. Below is a video of the entire ordeal.

In an interview, Belmonte said that Hyundai’s challenge caught her by surprise, yet she accepted it without hesitation to show to the world how much hydrogen technology has progressed.

“As a Hyundai brand ambassador, I was invited to participate in a competition where I will inhale emissions directly from a Nexo exhaust pipe,” Belmonte said. “At first I was shocked by this concept, but now I can say that this is one of the most amazing projects in which I participated.”

“Engaging in this process to demonstrate the effects of inhaling direct emissions from the model, i.e. water vapor and oxygen, was an incredible test that I am proud of. Without a doubt, it is vital to continue to support brands such as Hyundai so that they remain innovative and create a better future for everyone,” she added.

To ensure that the athlete was safe inside the bubble at all times, Hyundai had representatives from the Spanish National Centre on Hydrogen on site, as well as some people from a sports medical center.

For the longest time, hydrogen-powered cars have been touted as the next biggest thing in automotive, yet the technology hasn’t really caught on. Some of the reasons include low production numbers (only 4,293 hydrogen cars were made in 2017) and no economies of scale (low demand, pricey product).

With the Nexo, Hyundai hopes to turn things around for what is widely considered a better alternative to battery-powered vehicles.

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