I'm in involved in the energy industry, specifically financing and investing, however I have a solid education regarding its mechanics and the physics
as well, and keep myself involved with as many different aspects as I can.
In order to run an automobile off of pure water, first of all, that water needs to be distilled water or else you're going to have some issues.
Through electrolysis you can split water into Hydrogen and Oxygen. In order to do this you would have to introduce an electric current, this could be
accomplished by a solar panel integrated into the roof of the vehicle, and an electron membrane, which is where the reaction takes place and the water
splits into Hydrogen and Oxygen. You would then store both in some sort of tank and then you would then recombine by using a fuel cell. The reaction
creates an electric charge which in turn powers your car. This is sort of a watered down (no pun intended) version of what actually happens, but in
essence it is extremely possible. The biggest obstacles lay in the cost of these membranes and introducing enough electricity to perform electrolysis.
Both, however, are really only a few years away. Solar panels, for instance, only operate at a level that about 14% - 15% efficient, meaning that it
is only able to take that much of the suns energy and turn it into electricity. However, I'm involved in research that has already gotten efficiency
past 60%, the implications of that alone are huge.
I attended a conference on sustainable and renewable energy technologies and this was covered. The company Air Products is working on building cars
that run completely off of Hydrogen. In fact, they rolled up in a Chevrolet Equinox that ran off of Hydrogen (I took a test drive in it, the first
thing I noticed is that it was silent, it sounded like a bicycle). They're developing the fuel cell technology and logistics (pipelines, fueling
stations, etc.) whereas GM will manufacture the vehicles. They signed an agreement to release vehicles like the Equinox, but also other lines as well,
by 2015 at the same price as its regular gasoline engine models. As of now, the fuel tanks, which are made out of extremely durable carbon fiber, hold
a little over 2.5 kg of Hydrogen. To fill the tank with Hydrogen at one of these fuel stations, you're looking at anywhere from $5 - $7/kg. Each kg of
Hydrogen will yield approximately between 75 - 100 miles.
So yes, it is still based on a system where you will pay for the input every time, but Hydrogen can be taken from water and unlike oil, it returns to
water after the Hydrogen fuel interacts with Oxygen, which creates the charge and is actually what your car is running off of. Your "exhaust" is H2O.
Eventually, though, and it's really not that far off, you will be able to run a car off of pure water alone. It's really not that far off, and is
definitely already in the works.
(I'll expand on everything in depth in the future, so stay tuned)
edit on 30-9-2011 by Resonant because: NOTE