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The Future: Showcase of Hydrogen Hybrid Vehicles

PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)
Ovnics Solid H2 Powered Toyota Prius Hydrogen-Hybrid on the road.

Originally Published October 5, 2005

But First: Snide's Remarks;

Apropos to this news story, just two weeks ago at the Automotive Hall of Fame in Dearborn, Bob Stemple former chief at GM and now President of Energy Conversion Devices, Inc. (ECD Ovonics), the inventor of the Solid H2 System, made a presentation to the Detroit Automotive Press Association. Mr. Stemple showed the Ovionics solid H2 powered Hydrogen-Hybrid Toyota Prius...I thought it was kick-ass and an answer to the first world’s dependence on oil.

I asked Mr. Stemple why our government as well as the car companies have not yet stood up and endorsed this new technology, he said he didn't understand that either.

I don't get it, Ovonics showed us the way to easily utilize Hydrogen, they showed how to make it cheaply. and they described the North American Hydrogen infrastructure that is already in place.

I can understand why the Oil Companies are not too excited about losing their monopoly and their vise-like grip on the industrialized world...but when are the elected officials and bureaucrats going to get on the Hydrogen Economy future and stand up and cheer this breakthrough technology instead of back slapping and increasing CAFE requiremnets by two or three miles per gallon?

Then I was reminded by a smarter guy than I, that you can't tax a fuel like hydrogen that in the end game consumers can make cheaply and easily in their own garages...and you know how much politicians love to would they play their games without the trillions of dollars that flow into the coffers of every government entity from the enormous taxes on gasoline and diesel fuels.

Just imagine how the tax base will have to change when gasoline is no longer the tax producer it is today.

How will the highways be built and maintained, bridges to nowhere built, and a bloated highway budget be supported? Imagine the need to raise income taxes and taxes on the vehicles themselves...whew the world will be turned on its head.

That’ what I think, let me know what you think…

Ford Hydrogen Powered Focus is built and ready to where is it?

Ford Supercharged H2 Powered Car Ready to Go

Finaly the story, thanks for putting up with my rant! Milton

ANAHEIM, Calif., Oct. 5, 2005 -- Even as hydrogen fuel cell vehicles gather increasing attention, it's a less exotic - and these days a surprisingly more mainstream - auto technology that's set to showcase the near-term viability of hydrogen fuel.

What are these "everyday" vehicles? They're hydrogen hybrids, which combine the high fuel economy attributes of today's most popular gasoline- electric hybrid model with the near-zero emissions of internal combustion engines running on hydrogen. The result is an extremely clean-running vehicle that effortlessly uses the same environmentally positive fuel as hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, but at an exponentially lower cost.

Several examples of this approach are being fielded by Energy Conversion Devices, Inc. (ECD Ovonics) , developer of a unique solid storage medium for hydrogen vehicles. Using metal-hydride technology being commercialized by the company's Ovonic Hydrogen Systems subsidiary, these hydrogen hybrids carry their fuel in low-pressure fuel tanks that absorb hydrogen in powdered metal alloys, and then release gaseous hydrogen on demand to power a hybrid's internal combustion engine. The same storage technology can be used for hydrogen fuel cells.

Ovonic Hydrogen Systems' hydrogen hybrids are part of a demonstration program being launched by the South Coast Air Quality Management District, the air pollution control agency for four Southern California counties that have historically faced significant air quality challenges. The technology is featured in an article running in the Fall 2005 issue of the auto enthusiast magazine Green Car Journal, as well as on the magazine's companion website, Green Car Journal Online (

This approach to hydrogen storage is unique in several important ways. Because a pressurized storage vessel can hold a larger volume of hydrogen when using metal-hydrides than without them, greater driving range is provided. Range is one of the key challenges being faced today by fuel cell vehicles.

Ovonic Hydrogen Systems' method of storing hydrogen in metal-hydrides at low pressures of under 300 psi is contrary to the trend currently being set by fuel cell vehicle developers. Present-day fuel cell vehicles typically offer inadequate driving range because of the limited fuel carried by their first- generation 5,000 psi hydrogen storage cylinders. Because of this, automakers are exploring 10,000 psi hydrogen storage as a potential solution for their fuel cell vehicles. Storing hydrogen in metal form at low-pressures provides a safer and more practical answer.

Additional information on this innovative hydrogen storage technology, along with how ECD Ovonics' discoveries in amorphous, disordered, and related materials are being applied to nickel-metal-hydride batteries, hydrogen fuel cells, advanced photovoltaics, phase-change optical and electronic memory, and the Ovonic Threshold Switch, can be found on the company's website at