Australian-Israeli start-up Electriq~Global claims to have discovered a new way to power our vehicles: by using water.
Development is still in its infancy for the company’s bid to eradicate the use of fossil fuels and create an emission-free and cost-effective alternative – and it sounds too good to be true – but let’s hear them out.
Led by CEO Guy Michrowski, Electriq~Global uses ground-breaking technology to extracts hydrogen from liquid fuel, which is made up of a 60% water/40% chemical mix.
It is then harnessed to create electricity, a process that is, according to Electriq~Global, “inherently safe and releases zero emissions.”
The technology was developed by Dr Alexander, an electro-chemical expert with 30 years of experience under his belt. He started developing at Electriq~Global with the belief that in order to create a “hydrogen revolution” it must be safe, affordable and easily accessible.
Electriq~Global, formerly known as Terragenic, debuted their new fuel at the EcoMotion 2018 ‘Smart Mobility Summit’ in Tel-Aviv back in October.
The event was hosted by Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu and impressed those in attendance. Michrowski says that the new water-based process is a vast improvement.
“Our technology brings dramatic news of improvement in driving range, refuelling time, and cost of fuel and changes the rules of the game in many fields, including transportation and energy storage.”
The problem is that it’s difficult to find studies that back up Electriq~Global’s claims. Their findings are “based on experimental results and prototype testing that are shared with customers on a confidential basis”.
Their claim to have found a zero-emissions fuel is backed by “actual performance” rather than studies. This isn’t problematic in itself, but we are eager to see how the impressive technology progresses as it undertakes more testing.
An Electriq~Global representative told Techly that one of the ways the fuel was demonstrated was on an electric bike at the EcoMotion energy conference. Another of these tests was undertaken on electric buses.
A comparison showed that battery-powered buses had a driving range of 250km and needed 300 minutes to recharge. When powered by Electro fuel, a bus could achieve a range of 1,100km and require only five minutes to refuel.
Electriq~Global is targeting long-haul trucks next, apparently having spoken to a range of manufacturers who believe in the potential of this new fuel.
An outline of the truck case study can be found on their website, with testing due to begin next year.
It’s hard to know exactly who is funding this initiative, with Michrowski choosing not to disclose funding sources. In conversation with Forbes, he says only that:
“The company is backed by high net-worth investors. Many of them are from the oil and gas and automotive industry, with investors from the European Union, the United States, Australia and Israel.”
The company hopes to see their fuel one day available at your local petrol station and sums up their aims with a single slogan: “We’ve set ourselves a lofty target: Twice the Range, Half the Price and Zero Emissions.”
Lofty, yes, but if it can be achieved? Ground-breaking.
Electriq~Global have begun building their first pilot plant in Israel, and plan to build others across Europe and China.
All going well, the first automotive applications will be available by 2021.