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Dateline NBC Takes Hydrogen Assist Fuel Cells to Task

Hydrogen Assist Fuel Cells (HAFC) was featured last night in a segment of Dateline NBC with Chris Hansen called “Promises, Promises”. Dateline made a compelling argument against the mechanic who installed the HAFC hydrogen fuel injection device into a 2004 Honda Accord.

First, Dateline brought the Honda to an EPA sanctioned testing facility to test for MPG’s and emissions. The EPA sanctioned test facility said the Accord was getting 24 mpg city and 34 mpg highway.

Then Dateline brought this auto to a mechanic to have the HAFC device installed. The mechanic at first said the Accord was getting 96 mpg with just him driving, then said the auto was getting 57.7 mpg with 3 other people in the auto.

The Honda Accord was supposed to be tuned with the HAFC device and ready to go getting at least the 57.7 mpg. So, Dateline took this auto back to the EPA sanctioned facility for testing with the HAFC device on it and the facility said the auto was still getting 24 mpg city and 34 mpg highway.

This is pretty compelling evidence, now isn’t it? Now, what I don’t want to do is to try to defend HAFC because I haven’t tried their product so I have no firsthand knowledge of whether it works or it doesn’t.

What I would like to talk, about however, is some of the assumptions that Dateline NBC made in their broadcast and let you decide for yourself whatever you want to decide.

The basic set of assumptions that Dateline made is that if the HAFC product did not work as advertised from this particular mechanic, then this must mean that all HAFC devices don’t work. If all HAFC devices don’t work, then the guy who owns the company Dennis Lee must be a scammer.

If Dennis Lee is a scammer, then the whole industry of hydrogen fuel injection and HHO generators must be fraudulent and filled with nothing but scammers.

So, what did Dateline actually prove? They proved that the mechanic who installed the HAFC device either did an incompetent job or was trying to scam them. Was this fair and balanced reporting. No, and it wasn’t meant to be. It was meant to take on a particular negative viewpoint and provide evidence to prove their case.

Dateline NBC is a respected and credible news agency. Chris Hansen is well regarded. He featured Mike Allen of Popular Mechanics, a long-time critic of this technology. Both Mike Allen and Popular Mechanics add credibility to this broadcast.

But to put aside reputation for a minute, let’s just talk about the logic of this argument. Notice that it is quite a leap in logic to say that one mechanic or one product represents the whole industry. This is like saying the guy at the corner shop is selling vacuum cleaners that don’t work as advertised so the whole industry must be a scam.

You can make up your own mind about the hydrogen fuel injection industry, the HAFC product and the mechanic who installed it for Dateline and draw your own conclusions as to whether there is a logical progression and connection. Just remember, Dateline tested one installation from one mechanic for one product.

They did not test multiple HAFC installations from different mechanics. They certainly did not install multiple hydrogen fuel injection products with multiple mechanics and test them at multiple EPA approved test facilities. The sample of their test was a sample of one. Like I said, though, draw your own conclusions.

About Hydro Kevin Kantola

Hydro Kevin Kantola
I'm a hydrogen auto blogger, editor and publisher interested in documenting the history and the progression of hydrogen autos, vehicles and infrastructure worldwide.

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  1. The Great Pretender

    Considering simple thermodynamics, the amount of energy required to ‘crack’ the water to browns gas exceeds the energy released on combustion. Not only is this inefficient, but this is considering theoretical numbers. In reality, more energy is required to ‘crack’ the water and the efficiency of combustion is not 100%.

    Time to stop perpetuating the HHO myth, with respect to ICEs

  2. I watched it too. Unfortunately, it might turn people off to using hydrogen in an
    internal combustion engine. It raises a good question though, how do you
    know a legitimate hydrogen on demand injection kit from a scam?

  3. admin

    Brute force cracking of water takes a lot of energy and that is why catalysts are usually used.

    In regard to knowing the legitimate hydrogen on demand systems from the scams, that is the million dollar question since both definitive testing and user feedback are lacking for most devices.

  4. I watched the story and I felt that the guy Dennis Lee and that mechanic where the scammers. The guy from Popular Mechanics said that, the device did not work, not that the hold idea was wrong. There are scammers out there and they give this technology a bad name. People want to believe and are ready but the people in power have not seem how they will benefit or get paid for their support.

    I happen to believe in the hydrogen technology. The main problem I see is that no one is addressing the fallout for this technology. How do you retool the country to use this technology? If I own a gas station then how can I stay in business if I can’t afford to make the switch? The amount of jobs that will be lost as this technology comes is very sautoy to those that can’t see it as a good thing. I know that a number of jobs will be created but how will the people using the old technology be trained or could they be trained.

    Sorry it’s the trainer in me.

    It’s very hard for people to change the way they think. People think that they will lose so much of what they have now, not thinking that this technology can give them so much more.

  5. Seriously, it really is a scam. The first person is correct, if it worked, it’d be put on new autos (please don’t insult our intelligence with any of your conspiracy theory rubbish).

  6. admin

    You obviously haven’t been following the field testing of Ronn Motors H2GO system which looks promising to Uhaul and other large corporate vendors and yes, even their own new Scorpion exotic auto will have one stock.

  7. You naysayers and anti conspiracy theorists who believe anything a corporations advertising and ruch limberger say need to have your selves examined. Dateline and NBC were owned at the time by -GE -Follow the money inchworms -Darwin was writing about you when he said those that cannot adapt are doomed to die. Pinheads -continue to disbelieve – you are the same people that claimed that God did not intend for us to fly or we would have wings. It is some type of chemical thing in the brain that makes people reactionary and regressive. Continue to vote against you rown interests morons

  8. maybe the naysayers should have some hands on experience before they spout off , thousands of these devices are in use with great success. even before we start talking about fuel savings, the reduction in tailpipe emissions is worth the cost. dateline NBC didnt prove anything , if I bring in a television and make a big deal about plugging it into the wall and then turn it on and all we get is static, did I just disprove the technology of television? Huge holes in their science same as those idiots on Mythbusters! Bad science does’t prove or disprove anything !

  9. HHO_booster's_R_A_SCAM

    2 litre engine spinning 1000 RPM pulls in around 1000 litres of air per minute. HHO generator makes 1 litre per minute. Do the math! There aint a flee farts worth of Hydrogen to do anything with.

    Unless you subsribe to the idea that almost every scientist is on the Oilmans dole there is no chemical reaction that explains this even as a catalyst to improved mileage. I am sorry success associated with these things can be attributed only to SCAM.

    find me a U-Haul document that states they are happy with the product and perhaps I would take it seriously but I see no comment by U-Haul so if we are just going to drop names. I say God told me this does not work. 🙂

    logically it is a scam .05 grams of hydrogen per minute introduced into an engine will not make any difference, mythbusters indicates scam, popular mechanics, A chemistry professor I have spoken with and reality simply state this is a BS tech. (oh yeah and the fact that there is not one on every auto in my neighborhood would be an indicator). You imply that the test was poorly conducted because the mechanic might have been a scammer and or defective. But Popular mechanics cites that dozens of these devices have been tested and not shown any improvement. If you produce .05 grams of hho it does not significantly change the burning characteristics of an engine.

    I even have a friend who manufactured the devices for dennis, who is a believer but could not get more than 20% improvement… but even that was not tested under reasonable conditions like same road same speed. btw he was scammed out of his money for building the devices and even with the 20% improvement in performance he believe he got. he for some strange reason has not got one on his auto right now. (answer he wants it two work but reality is a bitter pill so it quietly was shelved and he no longer messes with it.) Adding hho to you engine at sufficient quantities will replace fuel theoretically but only at about 1000 times the current volume generate by these devices for anything resembling an improvement in mileage. (if you can get your alternator to generate 15,000 amps with no horsepower decrease then I will say this works) I will wait for your link to a U-Haul website or document that states they are buying these things whosale. I am sure U-haul would rush to implement this tech and sing it’s praises when they become greener and add 20% improvment to their fleet mileage. Millions of dollars reclaimed into their profits will be shared with stockholders. BTW I don’t expect you will respond with said document because this is a scam. for some strange reason every “real respectable organization” who is cited by these scams seem to fade away with out ever implementing the devices or pursuing them. BTW why does dennis never send these things out for independent testing. his money back guarantee is great but ultimately it results in placating a few and most people by human nature just fade away because they are too embarrased to say they were suckered in. leaving dennis “the snake oil salesman” millions of dollars.

  10. HHO_booster's_R_A_SCAM

    By the way I am a support of hydrogen as a vehicle for storing energy. Hydrogen is a valueable clean source potential fuel that should be explored but HHO boosting is a scam.

  11. I am a believer in the uses of HHO as a fuel additive. In fact I have a friend who has one in his vehicle and raised the gas millage by 10mpg. The fact is that your engine produces a substantial amount of excess energy from the alternator. This usable energy can then be put towards things such as extra lights soundsystems ect. This is how all vehicles are designed. HHO generators in turn use this energy along with a catalyst to break apart the molecular bonds of water. This produces a highly combustible gas. When middle with air from the intake this helps gas burn more efficiently and completely lowering emmisions and increasing MPG and power. The engine also runs cleaner due to the lack of excessive gas that is normally not burned. With better emissions regulations autos have electronic emission controls ei. O2 sensors and Ecu controls it is necessary for these readings to be adjusted to see results or your computer will see a cleaner burn as not enough fuel being added to the mixture and will dump more fuel to compensate.
    I apologize for any typos.

  12. HHO Rocker, Ah…. what are you on about? An alternator does not run on any fuel at all. Its ran on a belt that is hooked to the engine. So, it is ran by the rpms of its pulley….thats it! So, its doesn’t make more power that it already does. Cars are not made to handle larger power needs. How do I know, you ask? I’ve installed 3 12s, 4 amps, 1 extra battery,1 10 farad cap for looks in my truck. So, I like to think I know a thing or 2 about power.
    Yes I want things that makes our lives better, use less fuel, less smog…..lets stop fooling people that something is working….but somehow they are not being installed correctly is the answer why it doesn’t work.
    Yes I know all things have baby steps…..but why are all the people trying to sale babies!<—-bad joke. If it works a little you can improve upon it. If it does work much or you have to sneak up on it on the 3rd Tuesday of the month………move on take your know how to make something else work or work better

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