water-powered car? not so fast.
Posted by Steve Woolf

On the show this week we talk about a bunch of responses we got to the Tesla episode where we talked to Elon Musk. A couple of weeks ago a company called Genepax introduced an eco-friendly car that ran on nothing but water.

Wait, what?

Yes, you heard right. A car that runs on water. Not only that, they claimed that you could put just about any water-based liquid in the tank and it would work. They claimed it was run by an energy generator that extracted the hydrogen from the water placed into the tank.

Too good to be true? Lots of people far more knowledgeable than me seem to think so.

Michael Graham Richard wrote articles for Treehugger and The Huffington Post debunking the company's claims. He suggests that the car is probably a fraud that uses metal hydrides to react with water poured into the tank to produce hydrogen, which then fuels the car.

This appeals to the common sense side of me. After all, if a large processing plant is normally required to create the hydrogen required to power cars, miniaturizing that technology would be the real win, not some little car.

So what's wrong with metal hydrides reacting with water to form hydrogen? Well, as Richard points out in his article, it takes a lot more energy to create the hydrides than they will take out of the water to power the car, so it's an energy loser.

Genepax refused to release information about its method out of fear of other companies stealing their idea. Until we hear more, consider it bullshit.