1999 Toyota Tacoma 4x4
1998 Toyota Tacoma 4x4 similar to the 1999 model Tai Robison has converted to run on four different fuels including pure hydrogen.

Tai's H2 Toy

Interview with Tai Robinson, owner and developer of hydrogen-fueled truck

By Bill Moore

Tai Robinson [airtai@cs.com] isn't an automotive engineer or university researcher. He's blue collar kind of guy with a fascination for alternative fuels, especially hydrogen. In part, he comes by it through his father who began experimenting with running diesel engines with hydrogen back in the 1970's when Tai was an infant.

Now all grown up and running his own service business in Snow Mass, Utah, Tai has come up with a way to power his 1999 Toyota Tacoma 4x4 with any amazing variety of fuels from conventional gasoline to E85 ethanol to natural gas to pure hydrogen.

The young man from Utah recently lead the very first cross-country convoy of alternative fueled and hybrid-electric cars from Santa Monica to the Mall in Washington, D.C., proving that alternative fuels can meet the challenge to long-distance driving.

But what makes Tai's 1999 Toyota Tacoma 4x4 unique is that its multi-fuel system cost him less than $5,000 and two days of tinkering, though he admits getting all of the parts, some of them salvaged and others donated, took far longer.

Interestingly, he's discovered, for example, that just by adding 2% hydrogen to gasoline, he increased the efficiency of the Tacoma's V6 engine from 17 mpg on the highway to 23, while reducing emissions to less than that of natural gas, one of the cleanest fossil fuels available. He even claims that tests show the exhaust of his Tacoma is cleaner than the ambient air in Salt Lake City.

We thought our listeners would enjoy hearing what Tai has to say about his remarkable truck and its amazingly low-cost conversion system, which he some days hopes to market. To listen to the two-part, 30 minute interview you'll need the free RealPlayer.

Times Article Viewed: 12876
Published: 22-Jun-2003


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