The benefits of zero emissions vehicles are many: reduced traffic noise, no carbon emissions, and no exhaust fumes.
But South Korean carmaker Hyundai is adding one more benefit to the list with its zero emissions hydrogen fuel cell vehicle, the NEXO, which is already open for order in Australia.
The fuel cell SUV, which has a range of over 650km, is fitted with an advanced air purification system, which is designed to purify the dirty emissions of other petrol and diesel vehicles as it drives.
As Hyundai Australia’s manager of future mobility and government relations Scott Nargar explains, the NEXO can “scrub” particulate matter it takes in while driving.
“It has a rolling purified air system that sucks up the exhaust of buses and trucks,” he told The Driven.
“The more of these are on the road, the better the benefits.”
Hyundai estimates that 10,000 NEXOs on the road is the equivalent of planting 600,000 trees.
The heavy duty filter system of the NEXO removes 99.9% of the damaging PM2.5 fine particulate matter from polluted air – the same particulate matter that has been labelled the cause of death for 1 in 10 children globally by a damning report released by the World Health Organisation earlier this week.
A three-step process begins with 97% of particles being removed via an air filter, much the same as in an ICE vehicle.
More particles are then absorbed by a humidifier, and lastly a specialised carbon fiber filter with microspore structure removes the remaining ultra fine particles, leaving air that is 99.9 per cent pure.
For every hour that the NEXO is on the road, 26.9 kilos of air is purified, says Hyundai – the same amount of air that 42 adults would breathe in the same period of time.
While Nargar could not confirm on what the replacement cycle for the NEXO’s filter in Australia would be yet – the data simply is not in – he did confirm that its design can handle some of “the dirtiest places in the world, California, China, Korea and the UK”.
Hyundai Australia cannot yet confirm an on-sale date for the NEXO in Australia, but says that there will be sample models available for viewing from next year.
Nargar has also stated that Hyundai already has plans to build an FCEV charging network in Australia, telling Cars Guide that “a couple of stations … will be online next year”, starting with the ACT.
Bridie Schmidt is lead reporter for The Driven, sister site of Renew Economy. She specialises in writing about new technology and has been writing about electric vehicles for two years. She has a keen interest in the role that zero emissions transport has to play in sustainability and is co-organiser of the Northern Rivers Electric Vehicle Forum.