Turbo Hydrogen-Electric Prius

Oct. 29, 2006: The Daily Oakland Press—New Kind of Hybrid Fuel

Summary: "Ignore the funky paint job, and the 2005 Toyota Prius looks – and drives – like any other year-old hybrid passenger vehicle on the road. That’s kind of the point."

Energy Conversion Devices, Inc., has tinkered with a Prius so that it burns hydrogen instead of gasoline. But you can’t stray too far from the mother ship in it, at least not yet. Hydrogen infrastructure is still in the embryonic stage, and its viability is far from assured.

One hydrogen possibility that looks appealing is electrolysis by solar power, which could be adapted for home use. Using hydrogen fuel cells instead of burning the hydrogen in the internal-combustion engine would make for even higher efficiency and lower emissions, too—but many say that technology is up to 20 years in the making.

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