Thursday, January 31, 2008

Israeli Company Developing Hydrogen-Powered Car

Ezra HaLevi

Just a week after an announcement that Israel will be the testing ground for the first electric cars, an Israeli company is taking part in the development of a hydrogen-powered car.

The Israeli program, developed in cooperation with Russian and German researchers, has recently completed designing and testing a lightweight and safe hydrogen tank for use in cars, according to Globes business news agency. he greatest challenge facing developers in recent years has been developing hydrogen tanks insulated well enough not to pose a fire hazard while remaining light enough to allow the vehicle's weight to remain movable.

The company, called C.En, has conducted over 120 experiments in the past three years. It now claims to have developed prototypes that store double the amount of hydrogen of currently available tanks.

The new tank, say C.En, would weigh 50 kg (110 pounds) and run a vehicle for 600 km (373 miles).

C.En has applied for five patents based on their tests. Further tests are being carried out at the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM).

Company literature says that if the tanks meet expectations, they will prove that an alternative energy source to Arab oil exists for the world’s motor vehicles.

Many open questions and issues remain before the hydrogen-powered car can become a reality.

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