san fransico chronicle


Friday, January 5, 2007

Hydrogen Hybrid

Editor -- I was interested in reading your front-page story on the hydrogen car ("A peek under the floorboard of a fuel cell car,'' Jan. 2). It was especially timely for me, as I have just returned from a trip to Fresno in my 1984 Mercedes 300D turbo diesel/hydrogen hybrid. A simple, inexpensive add-on hydrogen generator from a Bay Area inventor gave me about 40 percent more mpg of diesel and equally reduced emissions, while only burning about 3 cups of tap water. With the addition of hydrogen through the air filter, the car's performance was enhanced from what was a vibrating slug at 65 mph to a smooth and zippy, cruiser at 75 mph.

It's wonderful to know that the car companies are spending billions of dollars researching hydrogen cells, but for those who aren't willing to wait 10 years, there are technologies available today. This summer, when fuel prices hit $3 per gallon, I will effectively be spending $1.80 per gallon.

Wendy Lang
Larkspur, CA