Hand-built on a shoestring budget by a Central physics teacher and a team of students, the truck is one of a kind, a demonstration of how future transportation can be self-sustaining and pollution-free.

The truck is hydrogen-powered and creates its own fuel from solar energy and water, a technical feat that rivals the advanced technology being researched by major auto companies and universities. The four-cylinder engine is tuned to run on hydrogen, which is produced by a hand-built electrolysis system mounted in the bed.



Teacher Cory Waxman and his students took four years to build the experiment, believed to be the only self-sustaining hydrogen vehicle that uses a conventional internal-combustion engine.



“Nobody has ever made a car that runs on sunlight and water,” Waxman said. “There are other cars that run on hydrogen, but they don’t make their own fuel.”



Built for less than $10,000, the project has caught the attention of experts in alternative-fuel research.



“Over the past three years of research in hydrogen, I’ve been more impressed with what they did than anything else I’ve seen around the world,” said Scottsdale inventor Bryan Beaulieu, who is building a hydrogen-powered house in north Scottsdale. “With practically no resources, they are doing something everybody says it’s going to take 20 years to do.”



Although the truck performs as planned, it’s more of a demonstration project than a practical vehicle. The four solar panels and hydrogen-generating system create only enough fuel per day to travel a few miles.



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