BY: MATTHEW CHIN
Water-powered vehicles have come a long way from their conception in the early 19th century by Swiss inventor Francois Isaac de Rivas, who built a six-metre-long car that weighed almost a ton and was powered by hydrogen gas.
Though there have been innovative strides towards alternative sources of transportation, hydrogen-powered vehicles—which take apart water molecules creating enough energy to power the vehicles in a process known as electrolysis—still have a long way to go before becoming competitors with electric cars or traditional gas-guzzlers.
The process of hydrogen-powered vehicles is challenging and expensive but continues to grow as an alternative to gasoline.
A major issue with the development of water-powered vehicles lies in the cost of research to develop efficient technology: the amount of energy that’s created through this process is minimal compared to the amount of electricity that’s needed to actually split the water molecules. Because of the high cost of development, hydrogen-powered vehicles are slow to become an ideal alternative source of transportation.
Despite these setbacks, public interest in finding alternatives to gasoline continues to grow. Both major car companies and individuals are striving to make a difference in the industry.
In Sao Paulo, Brazil, public officer Ricardo Azevedo has converted his motorcycle to run on water.
The motorcycle is designed to use water stored in the tank and uses an external battery to split hydrogen atoms from water molecules. The energy created through electrolysis powers the bike.
The motorcycle, called the T Power H20, is said to travel for 500 kilometres on a single litre of water, according to True Activist.
The water can come from polluted rivers, and it travels through the motorbike to eventually create a water vapour by-product that comes out of the exhaust.
“The advantage of this motorcycle, which works with the hydrogen that comes from the water, is that the result that comes out of the exhaust is water vapour. This is different from gasoline, which the result is carbon monoxide,” said Azevedo in Ruptily.
Azevedo’s technology shows how hydrogen-powered vehicles have the potential to become efficient and eco-friendly players in the transportation industry.
These innovative vehicles appeal to consumers who are looking to lower their carbon footprint and escape the costly disadvantages of gasoline power.