Dr. Mitch Haeri, a professor of physics and astronomy, was recently selected to drive a hydrogen fuel cell car as part of a pilot program by Mercedes-Benz. The program is part of an effort to get more clean energy cars on the road and bring awareness to the public about the zero emission vehicles that produce water as exhaust. The perks of the program include free automobile insurance and fuel, which Dr. Haeri, who said he is “Mr. Green” because of his eco-friendly way of life, gets at local hydrogen filling stations.
Fuel cell cars generate electricity that feed an electric motor and are fueled only with hyrdrogen. With a horsepower of 135, driving one feels no different from driving a regular car (Dr. Haeri was kind enough to let the author take his new wheels for a spin). All car manufacturers produce hydrogen fuel cell cars, but as of now only Mercedez-Benz and Honda have them available in small numbers for the public to drive.
Dr. Haeri was one of the few selected for the program after submitting an essay to the auto manufacturer. This is the third eco-friendly car he has driven, being the owner of two Toyota Priuses (including the first model that was released) before being selected to lease his new hydrogen-powered automobile.