Alt Car Expo: Feed 400 horsepower with hydrogen, and maybe a cover model will ride along

A vocal segment of the environmental movement continues to advocate the merits of hydrogen. One of the more effective showcases for hydrogen is Angels Nest, a completely sustainable living compound in New Mexico. Think of a green Disneyland for environmentalists: harvesting their own water, growing their food and generating their power with solar and wind. Included at Angels Nest is a free-range organic hydrogen refueling station, which is used to fill up a stretched Hummer limo that also runs on veggie oil.

So what's this opening photo and intro got to do with the Alt Car Expo? Just as I was leaving I spotted a crowd around a Canary Yellow Chevy SSR truck. With a massive 6-liter V8 engine pumping out 400 horsepower, I was puzzled by the connection to the show. That's when Hydro Gene Johnson, editor of H2Nation magazine filled me in that the founders of Angels Nest, actress and model Victoria Peters (shown above) and Robert Plarr, were at the show with friends looking over another hydrogen conversion from H2 Motor Works.

More info and photos after the break.
Sure enough, in the SSR's bed was a 5,000psi tank. H2 Motor Works engineer Judd Boyer didn't want to reveal too much about the conversion. The company's goal is to get a conversion kit certified by California Air Resources Board. Running hydrogen can increase NOx levels, so the keys are matching the correct hardware with two stand-alone, properly calibrated computer controls.

The truck's range just on hydrogen is only 50 miles. Projected cost of the conversion is $15,000, so early adopters and fleets are the likely customers in the beginning. But with some 27 hydrogen refueling stations expected to open in California soon, the conversion may be more appealing to mainstream consumers.

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