Life is in the Air: Blowing bubbles and planting joy with the Hyundai NEXO
6 minute read
What’s that making everyone turn their heads? It’s a Hyundai NEXO hydrogen car fitted with a bubble-maker that is bringing life, joy, and innovation to the streets in the form of seed-filled bubbles.
Life is in the Air
Our bubble blowing NEXO is part of our latest campaign called ‘life is in the air.’ Although this tagline is a fun play on words, it’s a surprisingly literal summary of what the NEXO fitted with a custom bubble-maker does - it emits seeds (life) inside bubbles (air). With this simple bubble-making equipment, we wanted to show people that the Hyundai NEXO is already emitting positive energy on our streets and is a sign of things to come.
We were thrilled by the idea of doing something new. EXEL, CEO AT NEULANT VAN EXEL
The Hyundai NEXO is powered by a hydrogen fuel cell. The fuel cell combines hydrogen and oxygen to produce electricity, which runs the motor. It only emits water. So, we came up with a crazy idea to use the NEXO to make bubbles and set out to find engineers and artists who love building new and exciting things.
All we knew was that we needed a team that could work with us to design a bubble-maker to attach the NEXO’s tailpipe. Ideally, this small mechanism would store our seed-and-bubble mixture alongside a wand that placed the mixture in front of the tailpipe. As the NEXO drove along, bubbles would form. But, was there anyone out there who could bring something like this to life?
The team behind the bubble-maker
At first, we were not 100% sure if this idea could be realized and brought to reality, but we needn’t have worried, because we found the perfect partner for the job. We teamed up with artistic agency Neulant van Exel and tasked them with bringing the NEXO’s bubble maker to life. The Neulant van Exel team is based in Berlin and they call themselves, "artists, architects, doers, shape inventors, designers and bonkers." They "love designing and building" and "think and build everything, as long as it is not normal," much like we do, here at Hyundai.
It's quite charming that in the end we built a machine that looks quite industrial and heavy to make something as light as bubbles coming out of a car. ENGINEER AT NEULANT VAN EXEL
The making of the NEXO’s bubble-maker
The process behind the making of the bubble-maker for the Hyundai NEXO was a long one. The engineers at Neulant van Exel tried multiple variations of soap bubble mixtures, a range of seeds, and different sized bubble wands, before they nailed the final bubble maker.
Talking about the process of putting life (flower seeds) into bubbles, Exel, the CEO at Neulant van Exel says, "we were trying out between 30 and 35 different seeds and finally we found 3 that worked within the project. Some are heavier, some are light, some connect easily with the bubbles, and some just fall through, it was a lot of testing."
The team used 3D printing and had a new iteration every day. "The bubble machine used the water coming out of NEXO as it drove down the road plus liquid soap to create bubbles." says Yomi, the engineer.
To find out more about the design process, watch this video.
Taking the Hyundai NEXO and the bubble maker to the streets
Once the bubble maker was ready, we took the NEXO to the streets of downtown Berlin and then drove the car through the countryside. Everywhere we went, the bubbles coming out of the tailpipe brought joy to people’s faces.
Not only did the team enable the Hyundai NEXO to emit beautiful iridescent bubbles, but each bubble also carries flower seeds which create new life. As the NEXO drove through the streets and country lanes, these seeds took root and rewilded urban and rural spaces.
This image sums up our commitment to making sustainability a central part of our design process for next generation mobility options. By putting flower seeds into the bubbles emitted by our NEXO, we want to show that we want to be part of the shift towards cleaner mobility and towards building a better world.
The Power of the Hyundai NEXO
We’re going further than planting flowers. We created the NEXO, our hydrogen-powered fuel cell electric vehicle, because we’re committed to a connected, free, and clean tomorrow. One in which vehicles co-exist with us and our environment, liberate us from constraints, and make a big impression.
The NEXO is part of our bigger commitment to creating a hydrogen society that will end our dependency on fossil fuels and create mobility options which work with the planet instead of against it. The hydrogen society will consist of new infrastructure, new ways to produce green hydrogen and the development of hydrogen fuel cells for everything from ships to aircraft to busses and trucks. This is the future.
Follow Hyundai’s Instagram(@hyundai) to find out more about our NEXO and see how we’re building a hydrogen society for future generations.