Glickenhaus Pickup: Hydrogen Power/1000-Mile Range Smokes Tesla Cybertruck-Maybe?

Are hydrogen-powered fuel vehicles “mind-bogglingly stupid?” That’s what Elon Musk says about them. Especially since James Glickenhaus put out a challenge to Tesla to join him at the Baja 1000. Glickenhaus already has a Baja 1000 win under his belt with the Baja Boot, a modern take on the original Baja Boot. That Boot was driven by Steve McQueen back in 1968. If nothing else Glickenhaus has an advantage over Tesla from winning the Baja 1000 race

Now Glickenhaus is building a hydrogen-powered Boot pickup

Glickenhaus hydrogen-powered Boot pickup |  Glickenhaus Boot pickup
Glickenhaus hydrogen-powered Boot pickup | Glickenhaus

So now Glickenhaus is building a hydrogen-powered Boot pickup to see how big Musk’s confidence really is. Already on social media Glickenhaus has shown plenty of info about what he has in mind. Glickenhaus says the hydrogen Boot will have a “very nice range” of 1,000 miles. He also says that refueling takes five minutes. Musk has accepted the challenge. While it looks like a shoo-in for the Boot there are built-in problems with what Glickenhaus has in mind. 

The hydrogen Boot will be an improvement from the previous Boot in many ways. The first Glickenhaus Boot had a 6.2-liter LT4 V8 pumping out 650 hp. This new Boot, called SCG 010 Zero, besides its hydrogen power, will feature a longer wheelbase. Better for spanning gullies and ruts. 

This hydrogen-powered beast will weigh 12,000 gross

Glickenhaus hydrogen-powered Boot pickup |  Glickenhaus Boot pickup overhead view
Glickenhaus hydrogen-powered Boot pickup | Glickenhaus

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There are downsides, however. This hydrogen-powered beast will weigh 12,000 gross. That will take some stout power to move. Not to mention a suspension that can soften the force of 12,000 pounds coming down after getting airborne. Folks, that’s a lot of weight that puts stress and added stresses to anything being flung through the rough desert terrain.

The plan is to have this hydrogen beast ready for the 2023 Baja 1000. Glickenhaus says it won’t need to stop for refueling as it has that range of over 1,000-miles. Musk says he’ll meet the challenge. In spite of the Cybertruck’s range of 500-miles, it doesn’t have to lug 12,000 lbs doing it. We don’t know whether the rules allow for a complete changeout of the batteries or whether the batteries it started with have to finish the race? 

Here’s the bottom line

Glickenhaus Boot at 2020 Baja 1000
Glickenhaus Boot at 2020 Baja 1000 | Glickenhaus

If the Cybertruck can figure out a quick and clean way of swapping out batteries then the downtime for the Cybertruck will be minimum. The Boot won’t have a significant advantage. If, on the other hand, the Cybertruck has to sit idle while charging up then the Boot will be closer to finishing with every second that goes by. 

This is one of those classic challenges that pits two different vehicles with different compromises that are incalculable to handicap. We wouldn’t know where to put our money on right now. After seeing both vehicles and how they are equipped for the brutal exercise of blasting through the California and Mexico desert, maybe we’ll feel more comfortable placing bets. Until then 2023 can’t come soon enough to see how this classic competition drama finishes out.