Water Powered Cars: Miracle or Myth?

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Can water replace fossil fuels in our cars? Japanese company Genepax says it can, and claims to have done it. The water powered car can run on any source of water, including salt water, rainwater, tea, or soda. By using electrolysis, hydrogen is separated from the oxygen in water (H2O) and used to power the car.

According to Genepax:

The car can run for an hour at about 50 miles per hour on just a liter of water; about 2 cans of soda worth. As long as a bottle of water is on hand, that is how long the car will run…Unlike other electric cars, the Genepax car does not require that batteries be recharged and has no emission. The water electrical generator is located in the back of the car and when water is poured it is then broken down in order to create electricity to power the car.

Genepax Water Powered Car
Genepax Water Powered Car

However, the idea of water being a legitimate source of fuel is a topic of much controversy and debate. Professor Theodosios Korakianitis at Queen Mary University of London disputes Genepax’s claim of powering a car with just water, “Because water is not a fuel, it’s impossible to do that unless you bring energy from an external source to split the water.” He believes that the next generation of cars will be fueled with a combination of second generation biofuels and hydrogen.

Despite scientific skepticism, water powered car enthusiasts believe they will become reality. In fact, this is not new technology. The first water powered car was invented in 1805 by Isaac de Rivaz (patented on January 30, 1807). Even though his design may not have been successful, it demonstrates that hydrogen derived from water has been considered a fuel source for cars ever since the internal combustion engine was invented.

[Editor’s Note: Since we first researched this story, the text on the homepage of Genepax’s website has changed to inform visitors that the company has closed their website, stating: “We have yet to overcome the many obstacles we face in the current world, to bring our systems to market…Moreover, the costs of development have become very large. As our resources are very limited, we need to retrench and reassess our resources and our development plans at this time… Personally, we are still trying to figure out how Genepax got Jason from Friday the 13th to drive the demo car in the above photo…]

Written by Jennifer Lance

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