Hyundai in a spot for claiming Nexo hydrogen car ‘purifies the air as it goes’


Hyundai Motor will have to defend claims that its Nexo hydrogen fuel cell SUV can actually purify the air as it runs on roads. In United Kingdom, the Korean carmaker has come under scrutiny for its claim about hydrogen cars recently.

UK’s Advertising Standards Authority has ordered Hyundai Motor’s unit in the country to refrain from saying on its website that the Nexo, one of its hydrogen fuel cell cars, ‘purifies the air as it goes’. The agency found the claim to be misleading.

Hyundai Creta (HT Auto photo)


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UK’s advertising watchdog ASA came out with this order on Tuesday. It said that the claims would misleadingly make consumers to think that Hyundai’s hydrogen cars will have ‘negligible environmental impact and would remove impurities from the air as it was driven, such that no impurities caused by driving it would remain in the air’.

Hyundai Motor, on its part, defended the advertising catchline by saying that the claim was based on the Nexo having an on-board air-purification system which filters gases and fine dust to keep the interior clean.

Hyundai Nexo hydrogen fuel cell vehicle doesn’t emit exhaust like other cars that run on internal combustion engines. But even the cleanest cars may not always escape accusations of greenwashing. The UK government’s Air Quality Expert Group think that particles from brakes, wheels can also contribute a large part of particulate pollution.

Hyundai Nexo SUV recently had set a record or the longest journey covered on a single tank of zero-emission hydrogen. The Hyundai vehicle covered a distance of 887.5 kilometres during its record run in Australia. However, the record did not last long after a Toyota Mirai car set a new benchmark.

Hyundai Nexo has an official range of a little more than 660 kilometres on a single charge, according to the WLTP protocol. Hyundai claims it usually takes 3 to 5 minutes to recharge.

Hyundai is betting big on hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, especially in Europe. Not only cars, Hyundai is using hydrogen fuel cell to power its Xcient trucks as well. Hyundai believes hydrogen fuel cell is more cost effective than spending money on electric batteries.