Hydrogen powered vehicles are certainly nothing new. Hybrid vehicles are certainly nothing new. How about a hydrogen hybrid system though? How using a hydrogen hybrid system in a tough off-road race in Mexico to prove a point? That’s the idea Brian Hess, founder of hydrogen fuel company Hessgen, recently went through via a little 500-mile off road race known as the Baja 500.
Hess’ vehicle, a 700 HP off road truck, was powered by his company’s hydrogen fuel system. It is described as using hydrogen as a fuel source, but not requiring “construction of new infrastructure for support, nor does it involve a complicated conversion or a redesigned engine for the vehicles that use it.” The system instead “produces hydrogen in an ‘on-demand’ basis in an electrolytic reaction cell powered by current from the vehicles alternator. In addition to the gas or diesel flowing into the engine, hydrogen and oxygen are injected as well.” Hence the hybrid model.
The race Hess embarked upon in his hydrogen power racing vehicle didn’t go exactly well for him early, according to a statement from the company. He flipped the vehicle within the first few miles, though luckily both he and the hydrogen system, located on the top rear section of the truck, survived. Hess went on to finish the race (of which you can see highlights from the video below), saying that his truck was “burning considerably less fuel and registered tremendously reduced carbon emissions.”
“I’m asked all the time if installing a Hessgen system on a family car or truck is going to result in a ‘Hindenburg outcome'”, said Hess in a statement. “Rather than tell you it’s safe, I decided to show you it’s safe in conditions that your vehicle would never encounter. I could not have asked for a better testing ground than this race, my system was ready for the challenge and is still working fine regardless of the punishment handed to it.”