Friday, August 1, 2008
Japanese Car Runs on Water?
I was researching Hybrid-Electric Cars today and found out about this Japanese Car that runs on water? Do believe it or not? Is it a scam?
June 14, 2008
Japanese company Genepax unviels car that runs on Water
I would not believe it, if news would not be carried by Reuters. And if I did not see their video coverage. Also in my experience Japanese companies usually do not lie, and would not go public, if this was a hoax or not a completely working unit. Company CEO Kiyoshi Hirasawa presented their eco-friendly car that runs on nothing but water in a test drive. genepax h20 water carWhile test car is one of smalles (like Smart), the company is in talks for mass production of engine unit (converter from water to hydrogen), production of which currently costs 15.000 USD, but as soon as next year with right quantities it could be lowered to below 5.000 USD…
Big advantage of this solution is that there is only water in car's tank, and hydrogen is produces on needed basis. So no difficult hydrogen storage questions, and safety concerns… Genepax is alread in talks about mass production with another Japanese manufacturer.
The car has an energy generator that extracts hydrogen from water that is poured into the car's tank. The generator then releases electrons that produce electric power to run the car. Their new "Water Energy System (WES)," generates power by supplying water and air to the fuel and air electrodes using a proprietary technology called the Membrane Electrode Assembly (MEA). The secret behind MEA is a special material that is capable of breaking down water into hydrogen and oxygen through a chemical reaction. Exact details were kept secret, but new process, while based on existing technology, is expected to produce hydrogen from water for longer time than any method currently available. Furthermore, WES does not require a hydrogen reformer, a high-pressure hydrogen tank, or any special catalysts to get the job done. Acording to Genepax's results, one liter of water (and you can use any kind of water, even sea water) powers the car for about one hour, with top speed of around 80 km/h.
During a recent conference, Genepax unveiled a fuel cell stack with a rated output of 120W and a fuel cell system with a rated output of 300W—and there are plans for a 1kw-class generation system for use in both electric vehicles and houses sometime in the future. At this point, the cost of production on the water-powered vehicle engine itself is around about ¥2,000,000 (US$18,522), but they hope to drop the price to ¥500,000 (US$4600) or less if they succeed in bringing it into mass production.