The number of adjectives and qualifiers it takes to be the "first" something these days is often pretty long. First person to fly? Been done. First person to fly while asleep and upside down in a rusted plane from 1965? That record is still waiting to be claimed. Maybe.
So, now, we present what is being calling the "first hydrogen powered eco race car." Sure, there have been other H2-powered race vehicles, but this was, according to Hessgen, the team behind the car, the first time in history when "hydrogen was mixed with race fuel to power a 700 HP Trophy Truck on the roughest 500 mile course" in Baja California. The truck and hydrogen powertrain survived a roll-over and covered the 500-mile distance in 21 hours and 40 minutes.
The rally truck was built by Brian Hess, the founder and inventor of Hessgen (the name applies to both the technology and the company promoting that technology). The Hessgen system uses electrolysis to add hydrogen to whatever liquid fuel the car's powertrain already burns. During the Baja race, the Hessgen truck supposedly burned "considerably less fuel and registered tremendously reduced carbon emissions exceeding all expectations." You can find the company's suitably vague informational PDF about the technology here. The Hessgen press release is after the break. It reads like something a WWE announcer would say.