Fueling cars with water could help save money and the environment. Fueling cars with water could help save money and the environment. Fueling cars with water could help save money and the environment. (Photo: Pawel Kazmierczak / Shutterstock)

Cars fueled (mostly) by water unveiled

A new startup is just the latest Israeli firm attempting to reinvent the auto industry.

What if instead of filling up at the pump, you could fill up at the hose?

For decades, we've been searching for an alternative to gasoline-powered cars. While electric vehicles have made progress by leaps and bounds entering the mainstream market, a new company is offering up yet another option: cars fueled by ... water?!?

Yep. Electriq~Global, an Australian-Israeli startup, announced that they've created a new system that uses fuel made of 60% water. They claim it will have zero emissions and will have twice the range at half the cost of traditional electric vehicles. The energy density is up to 15 times that of electric batteries currently in use by the likes of Tesla. The company just presented its new technology at the EcoMotion 2018 Smart Mobility Summit in the Mediterranean metropolis of Tel Aviv.

Guy N. Michrowski, an Israeli entrepreneur, is the company's CEO. "Our technology brings dramatic news of improvement in driving range, refueling time, and cost of fuel and changes the rules of the game in many fields – including transportation and energy storage," he explained.

While Electriq-Global is ironing out its water-powered car system, another Israeli team from Ben-Gurion University and the Technion Institute has discovered a chemical process that could lead to hydrogen-fueled cars. “This discovery could have a significant impact on efforts to replace carbon-based fuels with more environmentally friendly hydrogen fuels,” according to the scientists.

In recent years, Israel has become known as the epicenter of high-tech car innovations with Hyundai, Toyota, BMW, Mercedes, Ford and GM all working on projects there.

A Singapore firm is testing self-driving buses in Israel and, just this week, Volkswagen and Intel announced they'll launch a driverless car service there next year.

And it's not just the big car companies that are making advancements. A group of Israeli college students has invented a portable robot chauffeur that can easily be installed into any car – perfect for those late nights when they're too tired to drive themselves home.

And another startup, made up mostly of alumni from Ben-Gurion University, has invented a car that folds up while you're driving it to better weave through traffic and fit into smaller parking spots.

“The interdisciplinary nature of the Israeli high-tech industry places Israel in an ideal position to be a major player in the new automotive industry,” said investment analysts Emanuel Timor and Liran Hason. “Our research has identified close to 150 automotive startups and research groups that are active in Israel, a 2x increase compared to the number of active startups in 2013."

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Cars fueled (mostly) by water unveiled
A new startup called Electriq~Global is just the latest Israeli firm attempting to reinvent the auto industry.