Hydrogen-Powered Sports Car May Sex Up Clean Energy

The hydrogen revolution got an injection of sex appeal yesterday with the launch of the Hydrogen Shelby Cobra, a version of one of the world’s most admired sports cars. The new model, being sold by the Los Angeles-based Hydrogen Car Co., uses hydrogen to power a traditional V-8 internal-combustion engine, a system that is cleaner and more efficient than a standard gasoline-powered engine and less technically complex than a hydrogen-powered fuel-cell engine. The big question, though, is where Cobra buyers will fill up. Though California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) has announced an ambitious plan to build a network of hydrogen filling stations along the state’s highways, that plan is going nowhere fast; there are currently only 13 hydrogen filling stations in the state. And naysayers will point out that unless hydrogen is produced using clean energy, it’s not an enviro dream fuel. Of course, considering that the new Cobra has a starting price of $149,000, filling it up may be the least of a prospective buyer’s worries.