Transforming a Tesla into a Hydrogen Vehicle

Written By Meg Dailey

Posted November 8, 2017

The fight between hydrogen fuel cells and lithium batteries in the transportation space may be coming to an end.

And not because one has finally won out over the other…

In fact, if you were able to listen to Wealth Daily’s latest podcast featuring Andy Marsh, CEO of fuel cell company Plug Power Inc., you already know where the industry could be headed in the next few years.

I’ll be spotlighting the interview in a longer piece, and our subscribers can keep an eye out for that to hit their inbox this weekend.

Today, however, I just want to take a look at a rather… extreme example of playing the competitor.

Meet the Hesla

A recent report by Electrek looked into a secretive project enacted by The Holthausen Group, a gas company in the Netherlands.

The company claims that it managed to hack a second-hand Tesla Model S and rig it to run on hydrogen fuel cells placed into cavities in the car rather than using the massive lithium battery pack the car comes with.

Tesla S Hydrogen

In the spirit of Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who is notorious for coming up with interesting names for his innovations, the company calls this altered car the Hesla.

With this, we can more than double the action range,” claims company founder Stefan Holthausen.

Assuming the story is true at all, this is a pretty fair estimate. I noted a few weeks ago that hydrogen fuel cells have some major advantages over lithium batteries in cars, including easier and faster fueling times and, yes, longer ranges.

Holthausen estimates that the new range for the car is about 1,000 km, or nearly 621 miles. That’s compared to the range of a Tesla Model S 100D, which can only go about 632 km, or 393 miles on a single charge.

The company is already considering selling their conversion technology to those who want to transform their own Teslas into HFC vehicles.

Electrek notes that it doubts hydrogen fuel cell vehicles are the right choice for passenger cars.

The physics of fuel cell vehicles make little sense compared to battery-powered vehicles,” the article states.

I’ll explain why I believe this article’s assertions are only half true this weekend. If you’re not signed up to get Energy and Capital’s weekly newsletter, I suggest you do so now so you’re getting the latest updates as soon as possible.

The lithium vs. hydrogen debate may not be as cut and dry as it seems!

If you’d like a sneak peak of what I’ll be talking about, check out Wealth Daily’s podcast on the subject right here.

To read the Electrek article in full, click here.

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