- Aug 7, 2002
So - is this the mythical water car we've been dreaming of?
Genepax Water Energy System Makes Cars Fueled by Water a Reality
Running cars fueled by water used to be just a figment of science fiction flicks--not anymore. Japanese company Genepax Co Ltd presented the prototype of its vehicle which runs purely out of water and air through a fuel cell system called WES or Water Energy System. While the nitty-gritty of the technology is kept under wraps (as would be expected), we're informed of how it (generally) works. The secret of running a car on water is apparently the use of a special membrane electrode assembly (MEA). Genepax's MEA is capable of breaking down water into hydrogen and oxygen through a chemical reaction. In short, although the car is fueled by water, it's hydrogen that really runs it
Unlike other hydrogen-powered cars though, the Genepax technology eliminates the need for a hydrogen tank or a hydrogen reformer and even a catalyst. Moreover, unlike systems runs on direct methanol fuel cells (DMFC), carbon dioxide isn't a byproduct (which is one of the limiting factors of DFCs, by the bye). Genepax has already unveiled a 120W fuel cell stack and a 300W fuel cell system recently, with plans to bump those output figures up to 1kW for use in vehicles and residential homes. The current cost of production of a single car ran by Genepax's system US$18,522, but the company plans to scale it down to US$4630 for mass production.