Hesla Is the World's First Fuel Cell Powered Tesla Model S

Hesla 1 photo
Photo: Holthausen Group
Tesla - and particularly the Model S - is the current BEV poster boy. Its place might be taken by the Model 3 during the upcoming year or by who knows what other model from a traditional manufacturer after 2019, but for the moment it is the battery-powered electric vehicle of reference.
That's because it offers two things: the longest range and the best performance. A 100D Model S has an EPA-rated range of 335 miles (539.1 km), which is slightly greater than what Tesla advertises. As for its top performance, we'll have to go to the P100D version which can reach 60 mph (97 km/h) from a standstill in under 2.3 seconds.

Its powertrain (battery, motor(s), controller) is so well put together that you'll see it used in numerous conversions of cars that used to have internal combustion engines - at least whenever range or performance - or both - are a priority.

Well, it looks like somebody decided to turn the table and convert a Tesla Model S instead. Don't worry, though, they didn't fit a V8 engine in the frunk - though that would have been kind of cool. Making the S an ICE would require a lot of work, or simply sticking its body on a different chassis.

No, according to RTVNOORD, the Model S became a fuel cell car by having its battery pack removed and replaced with hydrogen fuel tanks and the fuel cell generator. Elon Musk's stance on fuel cell technology is well known to be less than favorable, so this could be considered equally sacrilegious as putting an electric powertrain inside a Lancia Stratos, for example.

The people behind the conversion are the owners of a Dutch gas company called Holthausen Group. They say they have doubled the vehicle's range which now sits at 1,000 km, though they don't say exactly what type of Model S they used.

This wasn't just a personal project as they intend to sell the conversion kit for roughly €50,000 ($57,800), and they even claim to have "a lot of requests" from Holland as well as abroad. Considering the company deals with liquid hydrogen as well, we'd take that with a pinch of salt and wash it down with a mouthful of seawater as it might be a bit biased and inclined to exaggerate things.

Europe doesn't have such an excellent Supercharger coverage, but it's still better than liquid hydrogen stations, so why would anyone want to pay over $50,000 for the privilege of sitting on top of a pressurized bomb is beyond us. Then again, we don't deal with liquid hydrogen.
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About the author: Vlad Mitrache
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"Boy meets car, boy loves car, boy gets journalism degree and starts job writing and editing at a car magazine" - 5/5. (Vlad Mitrache if he was a movie)
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