Considering the many hurdles that electrification faces, it’s got the auto industry seeking other avenues to achieve a future that’s compliant with all of these zero-emission mandates heading our way by 2030. One of those leaders paving an alternative fuel path is Mike Copeland, owner of Arrington Performance. At the 2022 SEMA Show, his company showed off a Coyote-V8-powered Ford Falcon that ran entirely on hydrogen combustion and water. Yes, water. But before that, there was “Zero,” a hydrogen-combustion LS3-powered 1948 Chevrolet pickup truck. And for those who are skeptical, a recent video demonstrates that this approach compromises none of the sound and drama that’s inherent of mechanical, engine-powered propulsion.
Copeland mentions very early on in the video, published by Holley, that using hydrogen in lieu of electricity is the best way to “save hot rodding.” Copeland also mentions that the only real emissions byproduct from the pickup truck is water and that the hydrogen-powered Chevy can produce a healthy 400 horsepower with the expectation of surpassing 500 horsepower after some tweaks to the injectors. As for feeding the engine, you can either use hydrogen in a liquid state or a gaseous state for fuel and for this Chevy pickup truck, he opted to use the gas form and stored it in a large tank positioned in the bed of the truck.
Mike partnered with Bosch Engineering to make the 1948 hydrogen powered Chevy pickup truck possible and the vehicle made its big debut last year at SEMA along with another hydrogen powered classic, the Ford Falcon dubbed “Freebird.” We’ve seen other classic vehicles turned into emission friendly “classics” before at SEMA, though the Ford F-150 Emulator for example, but nothing comes as close to the real thing as hydrogen. The biggest difference of course, the hydrogen powered Chevy pickup still sounds like a muscle truck. With development already underway for hydrogen powered Le Mans race cars, there may be something hydrogen can offer the auto world that all-electric simply can’t.