YOU can't miss it on the road. The very first Bahamian-made hybrid demonstration vehicle is clearly marked "water powered car" - and means what it says.
This vehicle uses water to greatly increase fuel economy - preliminary tests suggest up to 30 per cent - while dramatically reducing harmful exhaust emissions. It was built on the island in less than two months using locally available materials.
The car is the brainchild of 19-year-old James Tuchel, son of Laurie and Charles Tuchel who have been residents of Grand Bahama since 2002.
James grew up on Grand Bahama and after graduating with an International Baccalaureate from Lucaya International School, he was accepted into the Mechanical Engineering's masters degree programme at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland.
James will be returning to the UK shortly for an internship with the Renault Formula 1 racing team before continuing his third year of studies in Scotland.
This summer, James returned to Grand Bahama, not to relax in the sun, but to put his learning to hard work, and with a purpose.
He began a two-month summer apprenticeship with McGibbons Auto under the mentoring of Avelaino McGibbon, a licensed professional automotive mechanical engineer and president of the company.
Many years ago, Mr McGibbon left Grand Bahama to study automotive engineering in Detroit and graduated from the General Motors Institute (now called Kettering University).
While in the US, he engineered several automobiles for GM, Ford, Chrysler and other auto manufactures, as well as amusement rides for Walt Disney and Universal studios.
Among his accomplishments was the Super Sport Roadster truck for Chevrolet (2003 -2007).
Mr McGibbon is now back on Grand Bahama and is known for sharing his mechanical engineering experience and passion with the community.
He also mentors potential automotive industry students like James; assisting them with interesting and worthwhile projects.
Mr McGibbon encouraged James to select from a few future projects that McGibbons Auto plans to debut in the future. James chose the hybrid project, knowing that accomplishing it would require planning, hands-on work, and an understanding of mechanical and electrical engineering, thermodynamics and fluid flow.
James' car uses the 12volt electrical energy in the vehicle battery to separate drinking water into hydrogen and oxygen - which in turn are used to boost the internal combustion process.
The pair believe that they will one day be able to make the car run solely on water.
Mr McGibbon congratulated James for his "enthusiasm, drive and commitment" and wished him well in his future endeavors.
"With such experience behind him, we see the possibility of a rock-solid engineer who is destined to make a future impact," he said.
Mr McGibbon said he will continue to develop energy efficient, clean vehicles specifically for local use.