Brian Hess (Hessgen founder/inventor) decided to tackle the Baja 500, a tortuous race by any means, in a partly hydrogen powered truck. The Hessgen Hydrogen Trophy Truck #88 is a 700 HP beast that completed the 500 mile journey in 22 hours.
The Hessgen Trophy Truck is a dual fuel vehicle partly powered by race fuel and partly powered by a hydrogen tank that sits on top of the vehicle. The rough ride also resulted in a crash.
According to Hessgen, “The Baja race course proved to be nastier than expected, by race mile 5 Hess had flipped the truck over and the entire plan lay on its back in a ditch. With enormous help from the Mexican people watching the race and a quick ‘hotwire of a forklift’ by Hess, trophy truck #88 was back in business and back on course in less than 90 minutes.
“The hydrogen system located on the top rear section of the truck had survived the crash and was still working flawlessly! This alone proved that the Hessgen System is safe in an impact-rollover crash and tough enough to meet the demands of everyday over the road driving.”
Now, I’ve talked about hydrogen race cars on the main website and I’ve talked about the H2 race cars on the blog as well. But, out of the group of vehicles, the roughest most bone jarring ride has to be that of the Hessgen Hydrogen Trophy Truck.
This venue not only shows off the power of hydrogen but the safety of the tanks and systems as well. In March 2010, I had talked about the Chevy Equinox Fuel Cell that was totaled in an accident by one of its Project Driveway drivers where no one was hurt and nothing caught fire.
People are slowly coming around to the idea that hydrogen cars and vehicles are as safe as the fossil fuel cars they drive now. The rough and tumble Baja 500 is one more step in proving this to the public at large.