Hyundai may promote its Nexo with bottled water

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Hyundai may promote its Nexo with bottled water

Hyundai Motor is considering releasing a range of bottled water inspired by its hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle Nexo, the company confirmed Monday.

The automaker is hoping to use the Nexo-branded water to market its Nexo sport-utility vehicle (SUV) as pure and eco-friendly, like water. The unusual approach of using water to promote the car’s eco-friendly aspect is thought to be an industry first.

Hyundai will be partnering with local convenience store chain CU. The date of the water’s debut has yet to be fixed, according to a press officer from Hyundai, rejecting claims by some media outlets that the launch could be as early as next month. The company also said mass production of the bottled water has not yet begun.

When asked whether the water will be produced using any of the technology that goes into making a fuel-cell vehicle - water is a byproduct of a hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle - the press officer said, “the product will be like general drinking water used for marketing rather than a medium to show our car technologies.”

The marketing scheme comes as Hyundai Motor Group is increasing its focus on hydrogen energy as its future growth engine.

Just last month, Hyundai Motor Group Executive Vice Chairman Chung Eui-sun was appointed co-chair of the Hydrogen Council, a group of business leaders that promote hydrogen energy. On appointment, he highlighted the potential of a hydrogen energy-based economy where hydrogen energy would meet 18 percent of the total global energy demand and create millions of jobs by 2050.

Hydrogen fuel-cell cars are powered by electricity generated through a chemical reaction between hydrogen and oxygen. It is often labeled as the ultimate eco-friendly car because its only byproduct is water, which is environmentally friendly. However, there are still some technological hurdles to make it the most common car on the roads, including high prices.


BY KIM JEE-HEE [kim.jeehee@joongang.co.kr]

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