CO Teen Creates a Car Powered Only By Water

hydro_model.jpgA sophomore at a Cortez, Colorado high school has created a model car powered by hydrogen. The football-size car runs on distilled water. A solar panel provides energy to begin the reaction that splits hydrogen from water, so it can drive around and create hydrogen at the same time. As a result, the fuel source is never depleted, and the car never needs a fill-up.
“When it’s running, it’s making water,” Biard said. “When it’s stopping, it’s turning it back into hydrogen.”
Why didn’t I learn this stuff in High School? Read article here.
ED NOTE – May 14:If only it were that simple. One of the greatest things about the blogosphere is the virtually instantaneous system of fact checking that exists. No sooner was this post published than avid readers brought it our attention that this kid did little more than put together a ready-made kit. (see comments below) Still a neat demonstration of technology, but hardly a newfound prodigy (sorry kid).

6 responses

  1. The most obvious question is, are the auto manufacturers going to persue this? or just sit on their tires and keep building gasoline powered cars and hybrids and other such nonsense and prominsing that years from now we may have autos powered by hydrogen fuel cells and in the meantime we are at the mercy of the oil industry, did I say mercy?! I must be punch drunk!

  2. Well, the one thing in defense of the auto industry is that this particular type of car is a very slow moving vehicle – if you were to make it large enough to hold one person there would be all sorts of additional costs and performance issus. According to my digging around, there has been only one full sized hydro-water car ever built – by a guy in the Phillipines. There’s a website about him in German here:
    If someone who reads German could translate, maybe we could hear more first hand!

  3. Uh, hate to break it to you guys, but it looks like this kid has fooled you, his teacher, poor Kelsey Warner at the Cortez Journal, her editor, and maybe a whole bunch of other people.
    The kid’s class project has been available for years as a toy experiment kit, he didn’t fabricate it. Anybody can buy one for $150:
    Now, that said, the point stands: Why aren’t we already driving these things?

  4. “Why didn’t I learn this stuff in High School?”

    Dunno (maybe you weren’t paying attention :-) but this kid has fooled you twice. The car isn’t powered by water, it’s powered by sunlight. (Your electric car isn’t “powered” by batteries, either; it’s powered by fossil, nuclear or renewable energy from the powerplant that charges the batteries.) The water isn’t a source of energy; it’s a transfer medium. The batteries aren’t a source of energy either; they’re a storage medium.

    (Do I sound gnarly? Well, I just read Tom Friedman’s column — Where Have You Gone, Joe DiMaggio? — in today’s NY Times, decrying the state of education and its impact on US competitiveness: “In recent years, though, with the flattening of the global playing field, it
    should be apparent that we are not just competing against ourselves. The opening of China, India and Russia means that young people in these countries can increasingly plug and play – connect, collaborate and compete – more easily and cheaply than ever before. And they are. We, alas, are
    still coasting along as if we have all the time in the world.”)

  5. Would you be willing to tell me how you did it you see i’ve been trying to do that for a long time And i would like to build one is it possible for me to build it.

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