5, 2008 12:02 PM PDT
Scorpion sportscar would burn gasoline
The $150,000 Scorpion would produce hydrogen as
Ronn Motor Company)
company is offering a glimpse of a high-end hydrogen-gasoline sportscar it hopes to sell by the fall.
Rather than using fuel cells to power an electric
motor, the Scorpion from Ronn Motor Company
would have an internal combustion engine burning both gasoline and
hydrogen, achieving 40 highway miles per gallon.
Unlike with a hydrogen fuel cell car, the Scorpion's
"hydrogen on demand" system wouldn't require a high-pressure
hydrogen storage tank. Nor would a driver need to find and fill up at a hydrogen
Instead, electricity from the Scorpion's alternator
sends an electric charge through the water in a storage tank, fracturing
molecules and releasing hydrogen, which is injected into the motor,
explained Ronn Maxwell, CEO of Ronn Motor in Horseshoe
"This means that as we're driving down the road,
we're producing hydrogen in real time, and blending it with gasoline at a
ratio of 30 to 40 percent," he said.
The hydrogen-gasoline hybrid technology comes from Hydrorunner.
"We are still using gasoline, but we're gonna be using 40 percent less," Maxwell said.
cleans up the emissions. It actually consumes carbon. It's not the
perfect car, not electric, but it is something that'll work right
Ronn Motor showed off a working
prototype of the Scorpion, sans body, Tuesday in downtown Austin.
The hydrogen internal combustion engine can achieve
between 30 to 50 percent greater efficiency over standard gasoline cars,
Maxwell added. Under the hood is a 2009 Acura 3.5 Vtech
motor with 280-horsepower stock, or 450-horsepower with a twin turbo
option. The car has a 6-speed manual transmission.
Ronn Motor has taken several orders
so far and has plans to build 200 Scorpions this year, eventually ramping
up to 500, Maxwell said. He believes his will be the first company to
market a passenger car with a hydrogen-on-demand system, which gearheads already tinker with in private garages and
which are available for the trucking industry.
Maxwell is targeting the sort of automotive
aficionados who might collect Lamborghinis, Ferraris, or an electric Tesla,
but said he wants to create a sedan next. It remains to be seen whether Ronn Motor will succeed in delivering its roadster to
customers by October as planned.
The company's stock was listed on the Pink Sheets May
Meanwhile, building the necessary
fueling infrastructure remains just one of the barriers to wider
adoption of hydrogen fuel cell cars, which primarily reside in the
garages of a wealthy and famous few.
The company showed off the Scorpion, without
its shell, on Tuesday in Austin,
Ronn Motor Company)
This is not the first car company in the world to
implement hydrogen boosting technology.
We reported on LMG in Malaysia doing a similar
concept back in our November 2006 newsletter. Though LMG was introducing hydrogen
produced by a different sort of device, this Scorpion by Ronn Motor Company is apparently the first production
car to implement an electrolyzer based hydrogen
boosting system. Congratulations to
them for implementing what we have known for years and have sold as an add on system for eight years.