Researchers at the University of Sunderland in the UK have converted a Nissan Almera to run on compressed hydrogen gas. The standard Almera was built by Nissan from 1995 to 2006 as a family auto and in the U. S. the same vehicle is called the Sentra.
The of the Hypower Nissan will be this coming Wednesday, September 17 at the Partners4Automotive 2008 conference, which will feature several different models of alternative fuel vehicles. Researchers at the Institute of Automotive and Manufacturing Advanced Practice (AMAP), are calling this conversion a “significant breakthrough” but have not, as of yet, gone into detail about how this qualifies as such.
One may speculate that ease of conversion and cost will be primary factors. Other companies like Quantum Technologies have been doing hydrogen internal combustion conversions for several years now with a price tag above $50,000. In July, Roush Technologies converted a Ford Focus for around $6,500, so one can imagine that the Hypower Nissan will have to be around this price range to be a “significant breakthrough”.
If gasoline-powered autos can be converted to run on pure hydrogen gas at the price tag that won’t break the bank, then the hydrogen transportation system may just get a jumpstart that is urgently needed at this point in time.