No-charge Tesla Cars

No-charge Tesla Cars

Has it been considered to have a self-fueling fuel cell added to the car to make the car require little-to-no charging at all?

I realize that fuel cells are becoming popular for some car makers, but they have an issue with hydrogen charging. There is a way to set it up to eliminate this problem, which would allow the cars to be nearly free of charging (though it would add to the weight).

Imagine a car that could run like a Tesla either without adding anything, or with only adding some water out of a tap or bottle, for a much farther distance a regular car.

RanjitC | August 17, 2013

Are you really a nerd?

Timo | August 18, 2013

Dilithium crystals have not been invented yet.

Brian H | August 18, 2013

Nerds know better than to spout nonsense like this.

bignerd1 | August 18, 2013

It's not nonsense. The biggest issue is the hydrogen. There are small-scale hydrogen generators available that could power the fuel cell. Hydrogen and power charging problems solved. All you need is to just add water. Then, all you need is a water tank to add the water yourself or a way for the car to collect water on its own (which would be doable in areas with higher humidity (over 50%).

Now you have a car that creates its own charging power.

Timo | August 18, 2013

How do those hydrogen generators work? On fairy dust?

In theory you could create low power hydrogen generator using artificial photosynthesis or similar system, but it is way too low power to be any good for cars.

bignerd1 | August 18, 2013

They run on water. They are used in laboratories the world over to supply hydrogen for things like Gas Chromatographs. Fun part is, the discharge of burning hydrogen is more water, so it is still a clean system.

Sanjuro | August 18, 2013

How about going one step further and use carbon dioxide to fuel your car? Probably not today, but who knows, perhaps it can be donewith nanotechnology bioengineered microbes sometime in the future.

This would be the ultimate carbon-negative 'range extender': a biofuel powered fuel cell that not only recharges your EV but also removes the CO2 emitted by other people with ICEs.

As long as it's not forbidden by the Laws of Thermodynamics, it's a problem of engineering, not physics, to get to the desired scale and efficiency.

NB: Don't knock nerds. Nikola Tesla was the greatest nerd in his time and everybody thought his ideas were crazy too.

bignerd1 | August 18, 2013

Yeah, Sanjuro, that would be nice, but we're not there yet. We are at a point, though, where we could have a car that can go without fueling or charging for very long distances on just a few gallons of water (that may or may not even have to be added by the driver).

The only trick I can't figure out is using salt-water instead of freshwater; that would even help add freshwater into the ecosystem.

Brian H | August 18, 2013

"Run on water". Anyone uttering such nonsense is a fool. Any such schemes depend on reactions with a second element, usually pure aluminum. No free lunch.

David70 | August 18, 2013


Fuel cells aren't nonsense, but just adding water to get hydrogen is nonsense. At least it is, if you're not including some other chemical that reacts with the water to generate hydrogen.

Mmv3 | August 18, 2013

To separate the hydrogen atom from the water molecule u must ad energy, thus makind a water based hydrogen fuel cell impractical

Brian H | August 19, 2013

And guess what: when you burn hydrogen you get water.

Jewsh | August 19, 2013

Fuel cells generally use platinum, have a limited life and require hydrogen that is mainly generated by cracking methane. (Into CO2 and Hydrogen, per my understanding.)

If you generate Hydrogen by electrolysis, you're using hydro to get... hydrogen... to get hydro again. Why bother with the intermediary step - just put the hydro in the car directly. (Hence why the Roadster and Model S make so much sense.)

A fuel cell vehicle is also more complex than a BEV.

jonlivesay | August 19, 2013

I put 21" wheels on back and 19" on the front of my car, as it is always going downhill it uses very little energy. Wondering why more haven't done this...still waiting to visit a charger of any kind.

Brian H | August 19, 2013

Even as a joke, it's a technical flub. 21" wheels have tires with smaller sidewalls and exactly the same total diameter as 19" wheels.

jonlivesay | August 19, 2013

I am a flub, fits in with the nonsense still

Go_Peddle_4_me | August 20, 2013

You can call him Flubber!!

bignerd1 | August 20, 2013

I realized that some people thought by "No charge" I meant free. I meant not having to hit chargers so often, if at all.

Brian H | August 20, 2013

You have "hit a charger" every time you want to replenish your range. Water and other *&(& goofy fuels won't do it.

Water-fueled cars uaually oxidize pure aluminum into Al2O3, which then has to be re-purified, at considerable energy cost. There ain't no free charge.

David Campbell | August 20, 2013

Just go down to a camping place and pickup 20 x 12 volt solar panels, wire them all in series and duct tape them to the roof, now you don't have to charge it as long as you always park in the sun... and only drive it once a month for 10k's

olanmills | August 20, 2013

I can't remember the name of the battery, but I believe he's talking about the battery which uses water as a catalyst.

All of the energy is stored in the battery up front. It uses water as a catalyst to produce electricity, and it must be replenished every-so-often. It doesn't "run on" water, though it might appear to the user like that. The energy in the battery is eventually used up, and has to be recycled at that point.

There was a link to a video about it on this forum.

I believe bignerd1 is mixing up this battery with the idea of a hydrogen fuel cell.