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Hyundai's Latest Hydrogen Experiment Is Highly Unusual

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Time to put clean emissions to the test.

If the movies have taught us anything about cars, it's that their exhaust fumes are poisonous enough to kill a person if they breathe in little else. But that applies principally to internal-combustion engines – no matter how "green" they are, assisted by hybrid systems or not.

Hydrogen-powered fuel-cell vehicles, however, are a very different story. They still have tailpipes, but their exhaust systems emit nothing more noxious than air and water. And to highlight that much, Hyundai put out this little video clip starring its Nexo crossover and an Olympic swimmer.

Hyundai
Hyundai
Hyundai
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The video shows Spanish competitive swimmer Mireai Belmonte training on a treadmill, as we're sure she does regularly. Only that treadmill has been placed inside a transparent plastic bubble, with the only air coming in from the Nexo's "exhaust" pipe.

It's not something that we'd want to try at home ourselves, much less advise anyone else to do. But it sure does drive the point home, so to speak: FCVs are clean. Clean enough to breathe, even for the demanding lungs of a dedicated athlete like Belmonte, who has won no fewer than 24 gold medals, 20 silvers, and seven bronze in international aquatic competition.

Hyundai
Hyundai
Hyundai

Somewhat ironically, Belmonte's first name sounds much closer to that of Toyota's fuel-cell vehicle. But the Mirai isn't the only hydrogen-powered vehicle on the market. It competes (where the infrastructure exists) with the Honda Clarity FCV and the Hyundai Nexo, which stands as the only crossover on the market with a fuel cell.

It's one of a handful of electrified, environmentally friendly vehicles offered by the Hyundai group, alongside the Ioniq (available in hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and battery EV specs), the Kona Electric, the Sonata Hybrid, and electrified versions of the Kia Soul, Niro, and Optima. And you can bet there'll be more to follow.

Hyundai
Hyundai
Hyundai
Hyundai
Hyundai
Hyundai

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