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Green Auto Startup Shows Off Hydrogen-Powered "Scorpion"

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The race to get green cars to market continues to heat up. Today brought details of the Scorpion, an “eco-exotic” sports car with an on-board hydrogen generator made by Ronn Motor Co. The Austin, Texas-based company says it hopes to have the first production Scorpion, which will cost $150,000, on the road by October, and to build 190 more over the next year. And Ronn Motor is getting ready to develop its second-generation vehicle, likely a four-door sedan, in the next six months, VP Adrian Pylypec tells Earth2Tech.

Ronn appears to be taking a page out of the books of Tesla and Fisker: Launching a high-end, high-concept sexy sportscar and then, after grabbing lots of media attention and working out the kinks, incorporating the technology into a more consumer-friendly sedan. “I’m honored to be mentioned in the same sentence as Telsa and Fisker,” Pylypec says.

The Scorpion burns a mix of gasoline and hydrogen in its combustion engine. Regular tap water is split into hydrogen with electricity from two batteries that are charged by an oversized alternator. The hydrogen is produced by a G3 unit from Hydrorunner which makes on-demand hydrogen systems available for retrofits. A computer will manage the flow and ratio of hydrogen, keeping the fuel at around 30-40 percent hydrogen, Ronn says.

Funding-wise, the company has taken in an undisclosed of private investment. Shares of Ronn started trading on the OTC Bulletin Board last week; the company hopes to get an IPO underwritten a year from now.

Founder and CEO Ronn Maxwell previously designed an A/C system for Porsche’s 911, worked with large Chinese bus manufacturer Zhonda as well as Amos Minter, the famous bodywork designer of the imitable 1955-57 Thunderbirds.

Currently the company only has just eight employees, but does have several operable pre-production prototypes. But as production moves ahead, Pylypec says they’ll have 20 employees in a month and 40-45 come October. Currently the company is in the “shakeout stage,” Pylypec says, as the last few tweaks are made to the prototypes before heading into production. From our experience with Tesla, we know the shakeout stage can take longer than expected. We’ll see if Ronn’s new Scorpion gets stung.

25 Responses to “Green Auto Startup Shows Off Hydrogen-Powered "Scorpion"”

  1. Laws of Physics

    Old article, but for those who still see this: As one fellow above mentioned – you can not break the laws of physics. You can not create energy from nothing. It takes more energy to generate hydrogen that you get back out of it when you burn it.

    Thus – all “water for gas” gadgets are nonsense. They can not possibly work. Sorry there is no magic in the universe! Were you not paying attention in high school physics class? (Don’t give me any bogus arguments about quantum physics or atomic energy either – neither has any possible application to a consumer vehicle. The only energy exchanges taking place in any engine or battery are “conventional” molecular chemical reactions. Newtonian laws of physics are certain – no buts.

  2. We need mass prodution of hydrogen in a green way.

    Can’t we build hydroelectric dams for the sole purpose of making electricity for hydrogen production, or even wind farms for this purpose? I think the first government to invest heavily in a project like this, with big enough capacity, will end up quids in by supplying the demand for a green oil alternative.

    Not only will they profit from supply, but the cost of doing business in a country with a green, renewable source of energy such as hydrogen will be amazingly low and attract all sorts of companies…

  3. Benjamin….Big oil and car companies are not the reason that perpetual motion machines do not work/exist. That, my friend is due to the laws of physics ( check out newton’s 1st and 3rd laws of motion).

  4. nights

    Benjamin don’t sweat the nay sayers. who say perpetual motion machines do not and can not exist.
    thye are afraid to cross the ocean blue because they know they’ll fall off the edge of the ocean. Some of them don’t even know america exists.
    perpetual motion machines can exist if individuals like ourselves stop kissing up to oil companies and their representives like greensolutions.
    to day a big b problem with the aautomobile fuel development is the same as with the medical research developments. everything is based on selling you something as expensive as possible and ensuring it’s maker corners the market. If we get awy from this mentality we can make a pure workable electric or hyfrogen car which uses only hydrogen as it produces or make selectricity as we need it in the car.
    Many people are sick, or dead/dieing today because drug companies research only release treatment plans or drugs, not cure as once was the main idea /plan behind every researcher. the same holds true for the automobile industry.
    thsi mentality has resulted in the near closing of GM and ford. ford is and has been quality number last due to it’s dysfunction engineering depts. Gm is a close second for stupitidy in allowing the japaneese to overtake them with their quality automobiles which offer better service with beter gas milage and low maint.
    The only answer is for small developers and researchers like Ronn to force hydrogen and electric cars into the market. and i mean workable automobiles which do not require constant charging or refilling at some gas station owned or controlled by big oil interests.
    Oil must be on it’s way out.
    The company I work for used ot use burnt motor oil to run it’s dryers but now with the oil so high and gas so high they are able to use prime virgin oil which is diverted form the gas refiiners to keep the price of gas high.
    Support electric and hydrogen research to it’s fullest.

  5. greensolutions

    sorry benjamin, perpetual motion machines do not and can not exist.

    I agree with Tony….I can’t imagine how the well-to-wheel efficiency could be anywhere near that of a battery-electric vehicle. They’re using power from a gasoline generator to split hydrogen to feed back into the generator that is now burning gas/hydrogen which, presumably, makes the engine more efficient. I don’t see how that efficiency increase could possibly make up for the losses from an increased alternator load, not to mention the fact that ICEs run at a sub-optimum RPM a large portion of the time when used to move vehicles directly. Add to this the fact that by the time they are actually producing these, the price of gas will probably be like $10/gal.

  6. Benjamin

    What we need is for someone, anyone (I don’t care whol makes money from it, I just want it done) to harness the currently wasted energy that the wheels, not connected to the drive-train, could be generating…For example on front-wheel-drive cars/vehicles, the rear wheels can be wired into the electric engine, through a generator, and charge the electric part of the engine…and we could get something like 300+ MPG!…go for it!

    • I think the term for it is regenerative braking –
      essentially a generator at the axle, or some similar concept
      used and then the energy is stored in a battery or used right away – as in your electric vehicle is running lower as you travel,
      but the regenerative breaking is doing what it can to help out
      in keeping the charge going.

  7. Not sure I understand what makes this green. The H2 is generated by an alternator, which is presumably driven by the ICE, which burns a combination of gas and H2. Presumably when the car is first started there is no H2 only gas. Whatever H2 is available contains energy derived from burning gas. Once H2 production begins, the engine starts burning a combo of gas and H2, with some of the resulting energy used to generate more H2. But ultimately it’s a close system with all energy ultimately coming from the gas.

    • That’s some funny logic.
      Let’s just say it makes the
      conventional fuels more efficient,
      as well as making your engine more efficient.
      An alternator is turning anyway, so why not use
      what your car is already making to make more fuel.
      I’ve been doing this for over a year and
      I don’t want to do anything else.
      One bubble at a time does not a disaster make.
      People that hear about the technology
      either get it or they don’t.
      The problem is with the air quality state refulators
      and other state vehicles codes may not allow add-on devices.
      Call your elected officials to change this
      immediately if anyone cares about the U.S.