With that unique fascia, this Ford Ranger doesn’t look like a Ranger. And inside it definitely isn’t like a Ford Ranger. That’s because hydrogen is what powers this Ranger. H2X Global manufacturers this pickup Down Under. H2X calls it the “Warrego.”
A hydrogen-power Ranger called the “Warrego”
Warrego is the name of a river in Queensland, in case you were wondering. This pickup was never meant to go into production according to autoblog.NL. It was just an engineering exercise. Once customers showed interest in a hydrogen-powered Ranger, it reconsidered.
Now orders are pouring in. H2X says it has orders from the Netherlands and other European countries, besides from its home base in Australia and Malaysia. Because the Ranger comes in a single-, extended-, and double-cab the Warrego will too. And there will be different variations of the hydrogen systems available.
Payload capacity is nearly double that of a factory Ranger at 3,307 lbs. Power, however, is only 94 hp. But don’t forget, it is emissions-free. H2X is working on new hydrogen systems so that number will increase.
Warrego production will begin next month
Right now H2X is forecasting production will begin in September and demonstrations will start in November. Sales will begin in the first half of 2022. Beyond that, there is little information currently available for the Warrego.
Some people are critical of hydrogen. That’s because it takes a lot of energy to make hydrogen, whereas electric vehicles store the energy in batteries. It makes batteries a much more efficient use of the energy produced.
The upside is hydrogen can be produced cleanly. Somewhere along the production chain electricity is causing emissions. Throughout its processing hydrogen production can be accomplished cleanly. Then there is the strategic threat from using batteries which require rare earth dependence.
Hydrogen-power could be an alternative to batteries which the US considers a strategic threat
The US government says that batteries pose a strategic threat because of their dependence on China-controlled manufacturing. Hydrogen can mitigate these problems to an extent. At least where EVs are not available or situations favor hydrogen and not electricity.
Right now there are big hurdles to hydrogen use in the US. Hydrogen’s lower efficiency, system complexity, high costs, and too few charging stations are all contributing to hydrogen power not being more popular. Currently, Toyota makes the Mirai, Hyundai produces the NEXO, and Honda has the Clarity.
Besides these cars powered by fuel cells in production, most of the other automakers in the world have tested hybrid conversions. Manufacturers understand hydrogen power. Hydrogen could see increased use in the US by minimizing the hurdles mentioned and, of course, arise in demand.