Rather than using fuel cells to power an electric motor, the Scorpion would have an internal combustion engine burning both gasoline and hydrogen, achieving 40 highway miles per gallon.
Unlike with a hydrogen fuel cell car, the Scorpion’s “hydrogen on demand” system wouldn’t require a high-pressure hydrogen storage tank. Nor would a driver need to find and fill up at a hydrogen fueling station.
Instead, electricity from the Scorpion’s alternator sends an electric charge through the water in a storage tank, fracturing molecules and releasing hydrogen, which is injected into the motor.
“This means that as we’re driving down the road, we’re producing hydrogen in real time, and blending it with gasoline at a ratio of 30 to 40 percent,” said Ronn Maxwell, CEO of Ronn Motor.
“We are still using gasoline, but we’re gonna be using 40 percent less. The hydrogen cleans up the emissions. It actually consumes carbon. It’s not the perfect car, not electric, but it is something that’ll work right now.”
The hydrogen internal combustion engine can achieve between 30 to 50 percent greater efficiency over standard gasoline cars.
Under the hood is a 2009 Acura 3.5 Vtech motor with 280-horsepower stock, or 450-horsepower with a twin turbo option. The car has a 6-speed manual transmission.
Ronn Motor is taking orders for the car, which will cost about $150,000 and is scheduled to be ready for customers in December. It has plans to build 200 Scorpions this year, eventually ramping up to 500.