Media post: What to do in case of a Barn Find

Dodge Daytona Charger 2

One of the most exciting discoveries for a classic car enthusiast is a “Barn Find”. In case you are unfamiliar with the term, a barn find is a classic automobile that has been stored someplace for a long time, sometimes for decades, and left untouched. In some cases these cars are actually in old barns but more likely in a garage or some storage facility.

If you are lucky enough to be the new owner of a barn find, you may elect to get it towed back to your home or try and drive it there. In either case, you are going to attempt starting a car that hasn’t run in a long time and this is different from starting a car that has been recently running. With assistance from the service techs at Three Rivers in Pittsburgh, PA, a Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram dealer, we have put together a list of the things you should do to get your barn find up and running.

Drain the Fuel: Gas that has been sitting in a fuel tank for years should not be pumped into your engine. It will be gummy and may have a lot of condensation (water) in it. The best way to drain an old gas tank is to use a ball siphon hose. Spend some time and siphon out as much of the old gas as you can. When you are satisfied that you have virtually all the old gas out, pour in several gallons of fresh gas.

Replace the Battery: Batteries don’t last long in storage. Replace it with a fresh one.

Marvel Mystery Oil: Pull each of the plugs and squirt a little oil into each cylinder. Old timers like to use a product called “Marvel Mystery Oil” when doing this (you can get it at any auto parts store). The reason for the squirt of oil is to give just a little lubrication to the cylinder walls before you start the car.

Check the Air Filter: If the car has been stored for a long time, check the air filter. There is a high probably that mice have gotten into the filter enclose and have built a nest or two.

Replace the Tires: It’s likely the tires on an old vehicle will need to be inflated. The question is will they hold air? If the tires are really old, and you are driving the car home, it would be smartest to get new tires on the car.

Getting a barn find car or truck up and running takes some special techniques but there’s nothing like hearing an old car start up after sitting for a decade or so. In most cases, its best to have the car towed to its final destination but if its running and idling, and you don’t have to go far, take it easy but head home!

Media post: Euro 2016: On the road to France

Euro 2016 logo

With the Premier League done and dusted (g’wan the Foxes), now there’s only one thing football fans are thinking about: Euro 2016. And, thanks to Shane Long and Jonathan Walters, we’re there too. Even better, it’s in France, so no better excuse for an epic summer road trip. Lads, it’s time to start planning.

Group E games

Ireland v Sweden, Monday, June 13, Stade de France, Paris

Ireland v Belgium, Saturday, June 18, Stade de Bordeaux, Bordeaux

Ireland v Italy, Wednesday, June 22, Stade Pierre Mauroy, Lille

First up, tickets

Group stage tickets are gone. UEFA are running a ticket exchange enabling ticket buyers to sell-on unwanted tickets at face value. More information can be found here.

Getting there

Irish Ferries sail from Rosslare to Cherbourg and Roscoff twice a week and from Dublin to Cherbourg once a week.

Stena Line also sails from Rosslare to Cherbourg three times a week.

Brittany Ferries sail once a week from Cork to Roscoff.

You could also take your car or camper van on a ferry to the UK and through the Channel Tunnel.

Road tripping in France

Travelling in France is a breeze. All the cities are well connected, by good, fast, well-maintained roads. Most French autoroutes are toll motorways and remember, there will be thousands of others travelling in the same direction as you, so plan accordingly. If you have time, use the more interesting minor roads to discover the real France. You can get more information on non-motorway travel in France here.

Hiring a car?

Baffling rates, confusing fuel and insurance policies and costly penalties: hiring a car in Europe isn’t always straightforward. So if you’ve decided to fly to France and hire a car, here’s a useful guide to hiring a car in Europe, from Liberty Insurance.

Tips for driving in France

  • Budget: For parking, fuel and toll roads. Tolls – which you can pay by cash or card – are pricey and you should expect to play about 7-10 cent per kilometre. This goes up by 50% if you have a caravan. Fuel prices are not too much dearer than here. The average price – at the time of writing – for a litre of petrol is 1.28 cent per litre and 1.10 cent for a litre of diesel. You could find that your Irish credit cards are not always accepted at stores or petrol stations in other countries so check before you go.
  • Think right: It’s easy to forget to drive on the right, particularly after doing something familiar, such as leaving a petrol station or car park. If in doubt, put an arrow sticker pointing to the right side of the road you should stay on. Place it within your field of vision, but above your eyes.
  • Speed limits:
  • Built-up areas 50km/h; outside built-up areas 90km/h); 110km/h on urban motorways and dual carriageways separated by a central reservation barrier; 130km/h on motorways.
  • Minimum speed limit on motorways is 80km/h.
  • In wet weather and for motorists who have held a driving licence for less than three years, lower speed limits apply: 80km/h outside built-up areas, 100km/h on dual carriageways and 110km/h on motorways. French police apply speeding restrictions strictly and if you exceed speed limits you will face heavy on-the-spot fines.
  • Sat navs: If yours indicates the location of fixed speed cameras, you must have the ‘fixed speed camera points of interest’ function deactivated.
  • Drink driving: Blood alcohol content must not exceed 05% per 100mg. For drivers with less than three years’ experience, this drops to 0.02%. By law you are required to carry a self-test breathalyser when driving in France.
  • Must Haves: You must carry your valid full driving licence, your vehicle’s registration document, your motor insurance certificate, a warning triangle and a reflective jacket.
  • Headphones and headsets: It is illegal to use any device that is attached to the ear while driving.
  • Seat belts: Front and rear seat belts must be worn by occupants if fitted.
  • Passengers/children in cars: Children up to the age of 10 must travel in an approved child seat or restraint, adapted to their age and size. Children under the age of 10 are not allowed to travel on the front seat unless there is no rear seat in the vehicle, or the rear seat is already occupied with children under 10, or there are no seat belts.
  • Built-up areas: Where you see the sign “priorité a droite” give way to traffic coming from the right.
  • Roundabouts: Where you see a sign that reads ‘Vous n’avez pas la priorité’ or ‘Cédez le passage’, traffic on the roundabout has priority; where no such sign exists, traffic entering the roundabout has priority.
  • Use of the horn is prohibited in built-up areas, except in cases of immediate danger.
  • Security: Don’t leave wallets or expensive gadgets in view at any time, even when you are in the car.

Be aware that laws are strictly enforced. Break them and you could have your licence confiscated and your vehicle temporarily impounded if no alternative driver with a valid licence is available.

Where to stay

Unless you’re one of those “Sure, we’ll just sleep anywhere” fans, and you haven’t booked anywhere yet, try Kuoni, the official accommodation agency for the tournament. You should also check out AirBnB. Don’t rule out camping either, it is a popular pastime in France and you can find more information here.

What’s the security like in France at the moment?

You can find recent travel and security updates from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade website here, so check before you go.

Health insurance

Before travelling, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade strongly recommends that you obtain a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), available by contacting the Health Service Executive, and that you also obtain comprehensive travel insurance which will cover all overseas medical costs. You should check any exclusions and, in particular, that your policy covers you for the activities you want to undertake.

In case of emergency You can call 112 anywhere in the European Union in case of an accident, assault or any other distress situation. If you need consular assistance while in France, contact the Embassy of Ireland in Paris on 01441 76700 or by email.

Music A good road trip needs good tunes. Here’s a sing-a-long Spotify playlist to download before you go.

Party time There will be designated fan zones in each city with entertainment laid on for the travelling supporters. Expect a carnival atmosphere.

Car insurance If you’re taking your own car, before you go check with your insurance provider to make sure you have the minimum cover you need to drive in France. At Liberty Insurance, all their motor policies give you the minimum cover you need by law to use your car in any EU country, including France, for up to 93 days. Get a car insurance quote in minutes.

Finally, getting to the all important group E games and what to do when you get there:

Ireland v Sweden, Monday, June 13, Stade de France, Paris

Ireland v Belgium, Saturday, June 18, Stade de Bordeaux, Bordeaux

Ireland v Italy, Wednesday, June 22, Stade Pierre Mauroy, Lille

Media post: Euro 2016: Republic of Ireland v Sweden

Paris sign

Ireland v Sweden: Monday 13 June, Stade de France, Paris

Paris. Always great craic, even better in June. June 13th to be exact. Here’s what you need to know about Ireland’s first match against Sweden and how to get there.

At a glance

Eiffel Tower, The Louvre, Arc de Triomphe… there isn’t enough room here to detail all the sights and attractions that make Paris one of the most visited cities in the world. Usually a city for lovers, on Monday June 13th it will turn into a sea of green (ok, and maybe a bit of yellow).

Getting there

Irish Ferries sail from Rosslare to Cherbourg and Roscoff twice a week and from Dublin to Cherbourg once a week.

Stena Line also sails from Rosslare to Cherbourg three times a week.

Brittany Ferries sail once a week from Cork to Roscoff.

From Cherbourg to Paris it’s a 356km drive via A13 and N13. It should take around three hours and 46 minutes.

From Roscoff to Paris it’s a 561km drive via N13 and A11. It should take around five hours and 46 minutes.

Hiring a car?

Baffling rates, confusing fuel and insurance policies and costly penalties: hiring a car in Europe isn’t always straightforward. So if you’ve decided to fly to France and hire a car, here’s a useful guide to hiring a car in Europe, from Liberty Insurance.

Getting around

The 81,000-seater Stade de France is in the rather unglamorous northern suburb of Saint-Denis but getting to it from the city centre is easy. As parking is limited, it’s best to use public transport to get to the stadium. The suburban rail network in Paris (known as the RER) has two lines serving the Stade de France – Saint-Denis station: RER B and RER D, and is the quickest way to get to the grounds. Both lines depart from the Gare du Nord (5 minutes journey time), Châtelet-Les Halles (10 minutes) and Gare de Lyon (15 minutes) in the city centre, and run regularly before and after matches.

The Saint-Denis branch of Line 13 on the Paris Metro also serves the Saint-Denis-Porte de Paris station close to the stadium and runs to Gare Saint-Lazare (15 minutes), Invalides (20 minutes) and Gare Montparnasse (25 minutes). You can see a map of both the RER and Metro network here.

Note: When the stadium is busy, you may have to queue for up to an hour to get a train back into the city centre. Your best bet is to make a run for it as soon as the match ends or hang back a while and enjoy a drink while you wait for the crowds to die down.

More public transport information here.

Eating and drinking

Saint-Denis isn’t the most exciting part of Paris, so it is probably best to eat in the city centre before and after the game. Paris is full of bars, restaurants and street vendors and food is relatively cheap in comparison to alcohol. The area around Châtelet-les-Halles station has plenty of options.

Drinks don’t come cheap in Paris but here are a few suggestions to budget for. Kitty O’Sheas, near Métro station Opéra is centrally located and has a good atmosphere on match weekends. As does the Eden Park Pub on Rue Princesse, which is within walking distance of Mabillon, St Sulpice and St Germain des pres Métro stations.

Where to stay

Paris provides every kind of accommodation you could imagine, from Airbnb and hostels to luxury hotels. If you want to stay near to the stadium here are some options:

Check Kuoni, the official accommodation agency for the tournament.

Fun fact to impress the lads with

Because the traffic system in Paris is mainly based on giving way to those coming from the right, there is only one stop sign in the whole of Paris; in the wealthy 16th arrondissement.

Car Insurance

If you’re taking your own car, before you go check with your insurance provider to make sure you have the minimum cover you need to drive in France.

At Liberty Insurance, all their motor policies give you the minimum cover you need by law to use your car in any EU country, including France, for up to 93 days.Get a car insurance quote in minutes. And if you missed it, check out their comprehensive guide to driving to the Euros here, covering everything you need to know about driving in France.

Ready for the next match?

Ireland v Sweden, Monday, June 13, Stade de France, Paris

Ireland v Belgium, Saturday, June 18, Stade de Bordeaux, Bordeaux

Ireland v Italy, Wednesday, June 22, Stade Pierre Mauroy, Lille

Media post: Euro 2016: Republic of Ireland v Belgium

Bordeaux

Beautiful Bordeaux; a sophisticated South-Western French city famed for its wine, and site of one of the greatest Irish victories of all time (well, if we beat Belgium on June 18th that is). Here’s what you need to know about getting there and what to do when you get there.

At a glance

If you are driving from Paris, you have some drive ahead of you. But when you get there you won’t be disappointed, especially if you’re fond of a glass or two of wine. As well as producing 800m bottles a year, it’s a classy city renowned for its architecture – so win, lose or draw, there is plenty to see and do after the match. 

Getting there

Driving from Paris: It’s a 585KM drive via the A10, which should take around five and a half hours.

Ferry: Rosslare Europort to Cherbourg with Stena Line then onto Bordeaux by car via the A10. It’s a 694KM drive, which should take around six hours and 40 minutes.

Alternatively, Cork to Roscoff with Brittany Ferries and then onto Bordeaux by car via the N12 and A10. It’s a 670KM drive that should take around six and a half hours.

Hiring a car?

Baffling rates, confusing fuel and insurance policies and costly penalties: hiring a car in Europe isn’t always straightforward. So if you’ve decided to fly to France and hire a car, here’s a useful guide to hiring a car in Europe, from Liberty Insurance.

Getting around

The 42,115 capacity stadium is located north of the city, roughly 8KM from the centre. If you’re driving, take exit 4 / 4a / 4b from the A630 towards Parc des Expositions/Bx Lac. There is plenty of parking near the stadium. The stadium is also accessible by tram route C. The city is served by three tram lines and 65 bus routes, and visitors can also use BatCub boats as a shuttle service on the river Garonne, and the VCub hire bike scheme. More information on public transport in Bordeaux here.

Eating and drinking

Bordeaux nightlife is great craic. There are a few roadside fast-food restaurants near the stadium, but overall there’s not much to do around the stadium. Eating and drinking is therefore best done in the city centre before or after the game. There you will find casual bistros, fine dining and excellent café-bars.

Where to stay

There are a number of hotels near the stadium. The ibis budget Le Lac and Campanile Bordeaux Nord are good options for those on a budget, while the Novotel Bordeaux Lac, Mercure Bordeaux Lac, and Pullman Bordeaux Lac are good options if you have a bit more to spend. You will find a wide range of hotels in Bordeaux’ city centre, including Phillipe Stark’s trendy budget hotel, Mama Shelter. Check Kuoni, the official accommodation agency for the tournament.

Fun fact to impress the lads with

French ambassador Jean Pierre Thébault has described Bordeaux as the “most Irish city in France” particularly in the era of the ‘wild geese’ emigrants who fled Ireland for France at the end of the 17th century.

Car insurance

If you’re taking your own car, before you go check with your insurance provider to make sure you have the minimum cover you need to drive in France. At Liberty Insurance, all their motor policies give you the minimum cover you need by law to use your car in any EU country, including France, for up to 93 days.Get a car insurance quote in minutes. And if you missed it, check out their comprehensive guide to driving to the Euros here, covering everything you need to know about driving in France.

Ready for the next match?

Ireland v Italy, Wednesday, June 22, Stade Pierre Mauroy, Lille

Media post: Euro 2016: Republic of Ireland v Italy

Lille

Lille is a splendid Northern French city with Flemish roots. But on June 22nd it will temporarily turn Irish and Italian, when the two teams battle it out in their last group E game. If you’re lucky enough to be supporting our boys in France, here’s how to get there and what to do when you arrive.

At a glance

At the other end of the country, Lille is some drive from Bordeaux. Near the Belgium border, Lille is a cosmopolitan city with a strong Flemish flavour. The largest city in the North, it has suffered many sieges through the centuries. If you have time before or after the match, the picturesque Grand Place, reminiscent of Brussels or Amsterdam, and the art museum are two must-sees.

Getting there

Driving from Bordeaux: It’s an 800km drive via the A10, which should take around seven hours and forty minutes.

By ferry: Rosslare to Cherbourg with Stena Line then onto Lille by car via the A29. It’s a 510km drive, which should take around five hours.

Cork to Roscoff with Brittany Ferries and then onto Lille by car via the A29. It’s a 729km drive, which should take around seven hours.

Hiring a car? Baffling rates, confusing fuel and insurance policies and costly penalties: hiring a car in Europe isn’t always straightforward. So if you’ve decided to fly to France and hire a car, here’s a useful guide to hiring a car in Europe, from Liberty Insurance.

Getting around The 50,000 capacity Stade Pierre-Mauroy is 7km from the city centre, accessible via Metro line 1 (stops Cité Scientifique and 4 Cantons), or line 2, (station Les Près) and then a free shuttle bus to the stadium. Lille has an automated Metro system, two tram lines and an extensive bus system. More on Lille’s public transport here.

Eating and drinking You won’t be stuck for a good feed or a few drinks. Lille is famed for its bars and bistros, referred to locally as ‘estaminets’. Head to rues Barre, Bouchers, Basse and Royale.

 Where to stay

Lille is small so wherever you stay you won’t be too far away from the action. B&B Lille Grand Stade and the Park Inn Lille Grand Stade are right next to the stadium and get good reviews. The Inter Hotel Ascotel is another decent option only slightly further away. Finally, Stars Hotel Villeneuve d’Ascq and Premiere Class Lille Est are two budget options. Check Kuoni, the official accommodation agency for the tournament.

Fun fact to impress the lads with

The city only became French when Louis XIV captured it from Spanish rule in 1667.

Car insurance

If you’re taking your own car, before you go check with your insurance provider to make sure you have the minimum cover you need to drive in France. At Liberty Insurance, all their motor policies give you the minimum cover you need by law to use your car in any EU country, including France, for up to 93 days.Get a car insurance quote in minutes. And if you missed it, check out their comprehensive guide to driving to the Euros here, covering everything you need to know about driving in France.

Media post: Why so few Diesels?

Today’s diesel powered cars are a far cry from the noisy, smoke-belching vehicles of years ago. Today’s diesels are cleaner, quieter and offer superior fuel mileage. So why are there so few in the US? In Europe, some 50% of the passenger cars on the road are diesel, in the US, about 4%. That’s right, just 4%, why? Polls reveal that Americans just aren’t as comfortable with diesel-engined passenger cars and some say it has to do with Oldsmobile. Here’s the story:

In order to meet new American emissions regulations in the mid-1970s, executives at General Motor’s Oldsmobile Division decided to engineer a new diesel engine for passenger car use. The reason was simple, diesels were not subject to the same Federal emissions requirements as gasoline engines and this helped them meet the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFÉ) requirements of the time. The rush to build a V8-based diesel was on within GM.

The first Olds diesel vehicles hit the dealer’s lots in 1978 and immediately there were problems – the engines ran poorly and failed quickly. Ask any car buff and they will tell you that the problem was that GM engineers “used GM’s standard 350 block engine with few modifications”. Historians say this isn’t true. The service techs at Car City West Used Cars know the story well and tell us the trouble came from the cylinder heads alone.

Diesel engines have higher compression ratios than gasoline engines do and this puts higher stresses on engine head bolts. This usually means engineers use more head bolts and stronger ones. But, in order to keep the tooling simple, the engineers at Oldsmobile maintained the same 10-bolt pattern and head bolts as the older gasoline engines.  This proved to be a disaster.

Even though improvements were eventually made in the headbolts and head design, it was too late and this caused a massive class-action lawsuit against Oldsmobile. In fact, the Oldsmobile diesel debacle was so bad that it spurred lawmakers in many states to draft early lemon laws.

Today we may be seeing the result of this: an American consumer who is suspicious of “American-built Diesels” and perhaps diesels in general. This, of course, is a shame because there are quite a few excellent diesels on the market, in particular the Cummins diesels that have been installed in Chrysler products for quite a few years now.

Media post: Why Don’t Americans Like Diesel Cars?

GM_Olds'_Diesel_logo_on_a_Buick

Today’s diesel powered cars are a far cry from the noisy, smoke-belching vehicles of years ago. Today’s diesels are cleaner and quieter; so why are there so few in the US? In Europe, some 50% of the passenger cars on the road are diesel, in the US, about 4%. Polls reveal that Americans just aren’t comfortable with diesel engines and some say it has to do with a diesel engine made by Oldsmobile in the 1970s. Here’s the story:

In the mid-1970s, the US federal government issued a set of very restrictive emission regulations. In order to meet these new regs, executives at General Motors decided to engineer a new diesel engine for passenger car use. The reason was simple, diesels were not subject to the same federal emissions requirements. The job was handed over to the Oldsmobile division and the rush to build a V8-based diesel was on.

The first Olds diesel cars hit the dealer’s lots in 1978 and immediately there were problems – the engines failed quickly. Ask any automotive enthusiast and they will tell you that the problem was that GM engineers “used GM’s standard 350 block designed for gasoline cars.” However, this isn’t true. The service techs at CDJR Mopar Parts know the story well and tell us the trouble came from the cylinder heads alone. Here’s what happened:

Diesel engines have higher compression ratios than gasoline engines do and this puts higher stresses on cylinder heads and engine head bolts. This usually means engineers usually use more head bolts and stronger ones than they do on gasoline engines. But, in order to keep the tooling simple, the engineers at Oldsmobile maintained the same 10-bolt pattern and head bolts as the older 350 gasoline engines.  This proved to be a disaster because the bolts and heads failed during use.

Even though improvements were eventually made in the headbolts and head design, it was too late and this caused a massive class-action lawsuit against Oldsmobile. In fact, as the story goes, the Oldsmobile diesel debacle was so bad that it spurred lawmakers in many states to draft the first “lemon laws.”

So, today we may be seeing the result of this: an American consumer who is suspicious of “American-built Diesels” and perhaps diesels in general. This, of course, is a shame because there are quite a few excellent diesels on the market, in particular the Cummins diesels that have been installed in Chrysler products for quite a few years now.

Media post: Powered by hydrogen

Toyota Mirai USA October 2015. Picture courtesy motortrend.comToyota Mirai 

In late 2015, Toyota began selling its hydrogen-powered Mirais cars in California. This marks the first time that hydrogen-powered vehicles were sold in the US. And others are on the way. Chrysler recently announced its hydrogen-powered ecoVoyager four door sedan. The ecoVoyager uses a 45 kw fuel cell stack and 268 hp (200 kw) electric motor to deliver the vehicle 300 miles before refueling.

Most people think that hydrogen cars burn hydrogen in an internal combustion engine. That is incorrect. Miracle Dodge Chrysler Jeep explained to us that the best way to think of hydrogen-powered vehicle is that it is an electric vehicle (EV) that is capable of making its own electricity. So, like an EV, the propulsion is provided by an electric motor. The main difference is that a battery powers the engine in a traditional EV, whereas a device called a “fuel cell” generates the electricity to power the motor in a hydrogen vehicle.

The way fuel cells generate electricity is by fusing pressurized hydrogen stored in ultra-beefy on-board tanks with oxygen from the outside air. During this process, the fuel cell creates electricity that is used to power the motor. Water vapor is also created and is released as a waste product.

Hydrogen powered cars do have battery packs, like hybrids and EVs do, but the batteries are much smaller because they are only used when the motor demands extra current such as when passing. Interestingly, the primary way the battery pack is refueled is by regenerative braking, which means the battery is charged by the electricity created when the brakes are applied.

California was the first state to openly embrace the possibility of hydrogen-powered transportation and started building infrastructure (filling stations) several years ago. So far, there are 51 hydrogen stations throughout California that are either already open or are slated to open soon. Other states that are building refueling stations, in addition, are New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Vermont. You can find hydrogen filling stations by consulting a map supplied by the US Department of Energy.

Just for reference, there are 12,131 electric EV charging stations in the United States today so the hydrogen community has a little catching up to do in terms of infrastructure.  The sales of hydrogen-powered cars like the Mirais and ecoVoyager are a classic “chicken or egg” paradigm. People will be unlikely to buy the cars if hydrogen filling stations aren’t nearby. So the push for filling infrastructure is a key factor in adoption. As you might imagine, the car manufacturers are actively involved in the creation of the filling station infrastructure.

At the present time, the Toyota Mirais retails for $57,500 and each one comes with 3 years of complementary fuel. However, there’s good news for potential buyers – there are many sales incentives currently available for buyers. At the time of this writing, the State of California is offering a $5000 rebate incentive on all hydrogen fuel cell vehicles and there is an $8000 federal tax credit for qualified buyers, in addition.   To calculate the total “Net” cost of a hydrogen car would involve factoring the 3 years of complementary fuel into the equation.

Media post: Chrysler’s ecoVoyager Hydrogen Car

Chrysler ecoVoyager

In 2008 Chrysler announced its hydrogen-powered ecoVoyager four door sedan. The ecoVoyager uses a 45 kw fuel cell stack and 268 hp electric motor to deliver the vehicle 300 miles before refueling. According to Chrysler, the ecoVoyager is able to travel the first 40 miles on purely electric power via it’s 16 kw lithium-ion battery pack before needing an assist from the fuel cell stack and hydrogen tanks.

Most people think that hydrogen cars burn hydrogen in an internal combustion engine. It doesn’t work that way. Susquehanna Dodge Chrysler Jeep of Wrightsville, PA explained to us that the best way to think of hydrogen-powered vehicle is that it is an electric vehicle (EV) that is capable of making its own electricity. So, like an EV, the propulsion is provided by an electric motor. The main difference is that a device called a “fuel cell” generates the electricity to power the motor in a hydrogen vehicle.

The way fuel cells generate electricity is by fusing pressurized hydrogen stored in ultra-beefy on-board tanks with oxygen from the outside air. During this process, the fuel cell chemically creates the current that is used to power the propulsion motor. And as for emissions, water vapor is created and is released into the air as a waste product.

It is important to note that most hydrogen powered cars do have battery packs, like hybrids and EVs do. However, the batteries are much smaller because they are only used when the motor demands extra current such as during times of acceleration. Interestingly, this “booster” battery pack is refueled is purely by regenerative braking, which means the battery is charged by the electricity created when the vehicles brakes are applied.

California was the first state to openly embrace the possibility of hydrogen-powered transportation and started building infrastructure (filling stations) several years ago. So far, there are a hundred or so hydrogen stations throughout California that are either already open or are opening soon. Other states that are building refueling stations, too. You can find hydrogen filling station list by consulting a map supplied by the US Department of Energy.

Just for reference, there are 12,312 electric EV charging stations in the United States today so the hydrogen community has a little catching up to do in terms of infrastructure.  The sales of hydrogen-powered cars like the ecoVoyager are a classic “chicken or egg” paradigm. People will be unlikely to buy the cars if hydrogen filling stations aren’t nearby. So the push for filling infrastructure is a key factor in adoption. As you might imagine, the car manufacturers are actively involved in the creation of the filling station infrastructure.

At the present time, there isn’t a price established for the ecoVoyager but when they do go on sale, there will likely be a large number of incentives. For example, at the time of this writing, the State of California is offering a $5000 rebate incentive on all hydrogen fuel cell vehicles and there is an $8000 federal tax credit for qualified buyers, in addition.