DETROIT -- The Ford Motor Company, in conjunction with Hydrolytics, Inc., announced today that they have produced, in an unprecedented engineering feat, a water-powered car that could end America's dependence on foreign petroleum for vehicle propulsion.
The prototype vehicle, currently code-named the H-2-0, runs completely and solely on pure water. "The H-2-0 gets great water mileage," said Ford automotive designer Brent Sigelbach. "The latest tests show it gets 42 miles per gallon on the highway and 36 in the city, about the same as the gas mileage of a fuel-efficient Honda Civic."
Minor concerns are all that are keeping the car from entering mass production today.
"As you might expect, you couldn't just take water out of a puddle to fuel an H-2-0. The water can't be tap water or even filtered, it has to be pure -- Evian class or better. And it needs to be cooled, 44 degrees Fahrenheit or cooler, but not frozen," said Ford Chairman and CEO, Bill Ford.
The infrastructure is not there yet to have pre-cooled pure-water pumps at filling stations, say CEO Ford, so to use existing technology H-2-0 drivers will have to fuel their cars from half-liter bottles. Fortunately for Ford, and the H-2-0 drivers, most convenience market/filling station stores currently sell acceptable quality water/fuel, keeping it appropriately refrigerated in their "beverage" cases.
Hydrolytics, Inc., originally had been working on a cold-fusion-based vehicular propulsion system, when one of their test engineers, since laid off, hooked up the apparatus backwards. Rather than cold fusion, cool fraction occurred. While the explosion which took place did destroy the facility and set Hydrolytics research in general back for nearly a year, it also formed the basis for the H-2-0 propulsion technology.
A German efficiency expert working with Ford is trying to reduce several functional inefficiencies and cost-factors in the H-2-0's operation. According to Dr. Hans Krabbe of Sehr-Sehr Deutsch Consulting, the average fueling time for the typical eleven gallon gasoline or diesel car fuel tank is 4.2 minutes. For the H-2-0, it takes 28.6 minutes, and produces 48 empty plastic bottles and 48 plastic caps, which Krabbe estimates contain the petroleum energy of 9.8 gallons of oil. At current prices, which are expected to rise as demand increases as more H-2-0's get on the road, filling up an H-2-0 costs about $52, or about $4.40 a gallon.
Ford hopes to have H-2-0's on the showroom floor for the 2010 model season, which begins early in January 2009.
Gary D. Gaddy once owned a steam-powered boat he bought from an ad in the back of a comic book. It was the first time he really got snookered.
A version of this story was published in the Chapel Hill Herald on Thursday October 2, 2008.Copyright 2008 Gary D. Gaddy