The British company ITM Power said today it has a made a "major breakthrough" for petrol-to-hyrogen vehicle conversions. Let's see how much through this announcement breaks.

ITM and the University of Hertfordshire have been working for about the last six months on putting hydrogen in IC engines
at the Sustainable Energy Tehnologies Centre (SETCE). The news from ITM today is that they've run a bi-fuel Ford Focus, "with minimal modifications," through initial trials that sent the car over 25 miles on a single charge of hydrogen (they don't say how much hydrogen makes up this single charge).

The other announcement is about the green box you see in the picture. This device is "a low-cost electrolyser which can convert renewable energy (wind, wave or solar power) or off-peak electricity into hydrogen." The device made hydrogen that the Focus used in its test.

Jim Heathcote, ITM Power's CEO, keeps up the bluster, saying "Both these developments represent a seismic advance in our efforts to cut ourselves free from the dependence on oil and other fossil fuels. The Bi-fuel car and refuelling system clearly demonstrate a simple, convenient and low-cost transportation solution that can significantly reduce greenhouse gases and help mitigate climate change. We believe combining electrolysers with an internal combustion-engined vehicle brings affordable hydrogen transportation forward by many years."

ITM will demonstrate the refueling station and the car later the year. But what's the breakthrough here? Other companies have hydrogen-burning ICEs, and there are other hydrogen home refueling systems in the works. I'm glad to see people working on alternatives to petrol, but, um, let's not use breakthrough without good reason, K?

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[Source: ITM Power]