Saturday, July 05, 2008

Japanese Water Car: Powered by Water and ???

Alot of us have Japanese Cars but there is apparently only one Japanese Water Car. Maybe your friends told you they learned about a Japanese Water Powered Car recently.  This posting will briefly describe what you need to know about this Japanese Water Car. :-)  To begin, let's debunk the first myth associated with this story.  On June 12, 2008, a Japanese company called Genepax DID NOT announce that they had manufactured a water powered car but rather they announced that they created a power generation system that some are calling a water fuel cell but which Genepax calls the  "Water Energy System (WES)" and whose core technology is a "membrane electrode assembly (MEA)" that is essentially device with a special material they developed which when immersed in water produces hydrogen or HHO gas.  They created a fuel cell installed it into an electric car made by Takeoka Mini Car Products Co. Ltd.  Essentially an electric plug feeding the car was connected to the WES and the result is what will likely become known as a Japanese Water Powered Car.  They claim that "continuous recharge is possible with the system mounted in the car." Based on the information released on their website, the company does not intend to enter the car market but rather go after all the various energy needs of the planet.  They disavow any reports that attribute specific figures related to converting water to miles per litre or gallon.  Reuters had reported that the car could travel 1hour at 50kph on 1 liter of water. 

But if they dont intend to make cars with their invention, what do they want to do? As they say on their website, "it is urgent that the WES
 be disseminated to the greatest extent possible throughout the world. " But how? Can you invest in their company?  No, they do not intend to go public and are not seeking private funding.  Can you sell their product?  No. But if you have an application for the technology, you can approach them via their website to pitch your idea to utilize WES.  They believe in mass production, their units will cost around $5000. 
Let's back up a bit. What kind of water does it use?  It can use tap, river or sea water but they say pure water keeps the unit cleaner longer. They stress that nothing other that WES and water is the source of the energy in the system.  According to their President and CEO, Kiyoshi Hirasawa, "we have created this kind of ideal energy...from water."

What's next?  First, they say some 3rd party test results will be released.  This will tell us whether or not it is a hoax. They are inviting the foreign press to meet them in Japan and learn more about WES. 

What's my take on this?  I think alot of what was believed to be understood about hydrogen generation specifically in relation to automobiles has been rewritten in the past 18 months ala hydrogen fuel injection systems.  But in this scenario, energy is gathered first from the electrical charge off  car battery.  In Genepax's case, they are claiming no such need for a battery.  My guess is there is an abundant amount of room for tinkering around with hydrogen generation.   But ultimately, this could still be a hoax with some associated scam.  Time will tell. 

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