Do Research Before Buying Products That Claim to Increase Gas Mileage

  
     
August 14, 2008

The Better Business Bureau is receiving an increasing number of inquiries about Hydrogen Fuel Cell bolt-on kits, also called "an onboard hydrogen generator and injection system.” People want to know if these devices work. The short answer is, probably not. There is plenty of reason for skepticism.

Marketers of the devices claim that the kits will use electricity generated by your car’s generator to convert water into hydrogen and oxygen. The hydrogen is injected into the gasoline intake stream to replace some of the gasoline. Marketers of the device claim you can reduce gasoline consumption as well as carbon emissions from your car.

The BBB contacted the U. S. Department of Energy Clean Cities Technical Response Service to ask what is known about the legitimacy of these devices. This agency provided the BBB a lot of helpful information, but no conclusive answer.

The Department of Energy says, “T
o our knowledge, the use of such devices has not been approved by original equipment manufacturers (OEM) and therefore voided warranties may be an issue.

While not a scientific information source, an article posted on AutoBlogGreen.com discusses this technology and offers information you might want to consider before you buy one of these devices. The article is online at http://www.autobloggreen.com/2008/08/04/why-on-board-hydrogen-generators-wont-boost-your-mileage/

The Environmental Protection Agency has a program to evaluate aftermarket retrofit devices that are claimed to improve vehicle fuel economy and/or reduce exhaust emissions. The BBB understands that these EPA evaluations are conducted after the manufacturer of such a device submits an application and independent test data. Based upon information provided to the BBB, the EPA has not evaluated any of these water/hydrogen devices that claim to improve fuel economy and will not comment on the merits, or lack thereof, of any device without a formal application.

To learn how to increase fuel economy, the BBB recommends that you visit www.fueleconomy.gov, a website operated jointly the U. S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). This site provides good information rather than expensive products that don’t work.