In late 2017, the Holthausen Group, a Dutch gas supplier based in Hoogezand, east of Groningen, unveiled a Tesla car running on hydrogen instead of battery power. More specifically, the company had replaced the battery in a Tesla Model S, owned by 18-year-old Max Holthausen, with a fuel cell and a hydrogen tank. The upgrade more than doubled the range of the vehicle and drastically cut refueling times. It made sense that the company’s CEO and founder, Stefan Holthausen, who is also the father of the car’s driver, would call it H2esla.
The conversion was not that simple, but Stefan Holthausen said that a family member had reprogrammed the car’s computer to make it compatible with the new fuel system. What helped the family-owned corporation in their endeavor was an abundance of experience from delivering other hydrogen-powered vehicles, through Holthausen Clean Technology. Max Holthausen, who has since been awarded the title of Green Tech Pioneer by VPRO, a Dutch TV channel, told H2-international that a Tesla car was an option, but not one typically offered by his father’s enterprise. He said that the business specialized in garbage trucks, street sweepers, transit buses and vans.
Almost instantly after news about the blue-color H2esla made the rounds online, Holthausen received multiple requests for more information. Time will tell whether these requests can be turned into orders. An initial estimate put the cost of conversion at EUR 50,000.