2023.03.31 Hyundai Motor Company

Hyundai Motor Company: Searching for Sustainability in Circulation

Hyundai Motor Company
Making efforts to create a sustainable earth, the Discovery Channel captures Hyundai Motor Company’s action for sustainability.

Hyundai Motor Company is making various efforts to create a sustainable world - just like developing and producing leading eco-friendly cars, such as the Nexo and IONIQ 5. However, Hyundai’s actions are much broader than this. Discovery Channel, an American documentary channel, released a film on the theme of ‘Going Circular’ with Hyundai Motor Company, talking about what would be necessary for the earth, and what kind of actions Hyundai Motor Company is taking to achieve this.

The documentary covers three of Hyundai Motor’s efforts toward sustainability. Hyundai Motor Company is working with the marine conservation organization Healthy Seas to clean up marine debris such as fishing nets. In addition, the collected sea garbage is made into nylon thread and used to make interior parts for automobiles, such as floor mats. And Hyundai Motors is also exploring sustainability through electrification in the field of motor sports.

The story begins on the Greek island of Ithaca, where Hyundai Motor Company and Healthy Seas carried out extensive marine debris cleaning campaign. There were many fish farms in Ithaca, and as these were abandoned, a significant number of fishing nets sank to the sea floor, and the nylon fishing nets did not decompose and remained intact, affecting the ecosystem.

Hyundai Motor Company and Healthy Seas are collecting the marine waste with the help of partners, volunteer divers, and local fishermen. So far, more than 800 tons of fishing nets and more than 76 tons of marine debris have been retrieved, but tens of tons of fishing nets and other marine debris still remain in the waters of Ithaca Island. Restoring such a damaged nature requires considerable effort. The situation is even worse when looking at the planet as a whole; According to the United Nations, more than 580,000 tonnes of fishing gear are lost or discarded at sea every year.

To get out of this situation, we need to rebuild our awareness of marine debris and find new ways to utilize them - collecting then recycling, for example. Waste such as fishing nets retrieved from the sea by Hyundai Motor Company is turned into ECONYL® yarn at the Aquafil plant in Slovenia. The quality is the same as that of newly made nylon 6 yarn, but it is more environmentally friendly as it emits up to 90% less carbon dioxide (CO₂) during production.

Hyundai is using ECONYL® nylon yarn to make the IONIQ 5’s floor mats. In addition, Hyundai Motor Company used plant-derived bio-oil-based paint to make the IONIQ 5’s door trim, door switches, and dashboard, and some of the seats are made of bio-based fabric obtained from plants. In addition, Hyundai Motor Company is continuing various attempts with sustainability in mind - such as using materials from recycled PET bottles.

Hyundai’s attempt to reduce its environmental impact is found in its design. IONIQ 6’s new design for the electrified era is the Electrified Streamliner, which minimizes wind resistance. This gives the IONIQ 6 a drag coefficient of just 0.21, which means you can run longer with the same amount of energy. Of course, the IONIQ 6 is also made of various eco-friendly materials - seats using recycled plastic fabric, headliner using bio-pet fabric, carpet using ECONYL® nylon yarn, and dashboard covered with bio-plastic skin extracted from sugarcane.

Hyundai is also looking for sustainability in motorsport; “Electricity is the future of our industry,” said Stefan Ph. Henrich, Head of Marketing and Public Relations for Hyundai Motorsport Corporation (HMSG). “Like all automakers, Hyundai Motor Company is trying to clean its carbon footprint, and motorsport also has to do its part,” he said.

Motorsport today is like an experimental stage for electrification for sustainability. WRC has already introduced a hybrid drivetrain, and Touring Car Race (TCR) is also expanding its category to ETCR using an electric drivetrain. Ideas and know-how gained through motorsport are very important in developing future high-performance automobile technology.

RN22e, Hyundai’s ‘rolling laboratory’, is one example. The RN22e boasts the robust performance of a high-performance electric vehicle, which is different from current high-performance internal combustion vehicles, by utilizing electric motors mounted on the front and rear. The new technologies of the RN22e will soon be used in the high-performance electrified N model to be released in 2023.

Ideas coming from motorsport are also used for the future vehicles; The hydrogen hybrid drivetrain of the N vision 74 can overcome the mileage limits of electric vehicles. N vision 74 uses a hydrogen fuel cell with an output of 85 kW and a battery for driving with a capacity of 62.4 kWh. It utilizes hydrogen fuel as its primary power source, and uses power from its batteries as a boost.

Hyundai Motor Group’s efforts for sustainability reach a variety of fields. For the sake of the earth, the automaker is trying to minimize the impact on the environment by collecting garbage, recycling it to reduce carbon emissions, and developing eco-friendly vehicles. However, a single company is not enough for making sustainable earth; it takes everyone’s attention. If we all join forces and start taking actions, reducing waste even for a day, our future will definitely change.

HMG Journal Operation Team


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