Hydro Go in the Metro is a scam!

Hydro Go is just another “run your car on water” clone. It is a variation of a silly idea which has been kicking about since the 1970s. If it worked then it would have been installed into every car on the road decades ago.

But it was in the Metro?
Yes, idiots at Metro did run an advert for them. There was also a nonsense article in the Newark Advertiser (though it does appear to have been pulled from  the Newark Advertiser’s website, luckily I have a copy). And this article in Living Local which, in all fairness, tries to be sceptical.

Who are HydroGo?
Three friends, all 20 years old, have been backed by used car dealer Mick Dwane & Sons (68 Farndon Road, Newark NG24 4SE)  are, whether they know it or not, selling a product which cannot possibly work.

The product they are selling is actually made by de Verde Technologies, a company that are so legit that they don’t even publish an address on their website…[since writing this the de Verde website has pretty much been taken down, gone are all the crazy claims and lies, but an address has been added - Unit 1B, Western Business Park, Brixham Road, Paignton, Devon TQ4 7BR]

These three kids have bought a license from de Verde to sell the product on their behalf (to be their “agent”). This makes HydroGo victims of the scam and not scammers themselves, unfortunately what may begin as an honest error has a way of evolving from self-delusion to fraud.

Nice work de Verde, ripping of three 20 year old kids. Still, that is who con men target; vulnerable trusting people who don’t know what “due diligence” is. Big business has not invested or bought this technology in four-decades, this is because they do due diligence on the product and the people selling it.

So how does this scam work?
This is the usual way that these (in fact most) of this type of scam work. Company A hold the “technology”, they sell permission to companies B and C (and D and E…) for tens-of-thousands with the promise that they will make it all back very quickly.

Why don’t Company A sell the product themselves? Why do they need a network of distributors? Because they know it is a scam and the product does not work.

Look up Oil Drum on this website for an example of an identical scam and how this story will play out for the three kids at HydroGo.

When when customers start to notice that the product does not work they ask for their money back from Company B and Company C. They in turn ask for their money back from Company A… who will file for bankruptcy… Company B and Company C are left with angry customers, a product that does not work and tens-of-thousands lost. Company A walk away.

No proof, just testimonials
They claim to have scientific evidence that their product works, but they don’t. After all, where is it? Why are there only a few (made up?) testimonials on the web instead, why not the science? And bedsides, thesde testimonials are lifted directly from the de Verde website, even if they are comments from real people they were not made about HydroGo.

They also claim, in the newspaper article, that their product is not like all HHO scams that have gone before it. All HHO scams claim to be different to the ones that came before it when actually they are always exactly alike. Please guys, tell me in what way your product is different to other HHO products?

And while you explain how your HHO “technology” is different, let us know how you get around the first and second laws of thermodynamics?

Getting proof by testing
The kids are said to be having trouble convincing people that the product works. Thank goodness there are some skeptical people out there. Guys, you want to convince people that it works then get it properly tested. Not by you. Not by the con man that sold it to you. Not by your financial backer. Not by some guy at the MOT testing station. It is essential to get it tested in a real scientific lab by real scientists that know how to add controlls and get rid of bias, scientists who test products like this all the time. I suggest the UK Government’s testers at Millbroke.

People often ask me why I don’t try one for myself. Well there are many reasons why I won’t, but a big one is that I understand that I am human, I make mistakes, I have bias, I overlook things. This is the same reason why HydroGo need to get this tested properly and independently.

Billionaires overnight…
Once they have done that they will have all the evidence they need to sell the product to just about everyone in the world and every car maker too – they will be all billionaires overnight and I will eat my hat and shout their praises from the rooftops.

That is unless it fails the test, eh? And it will fail the test. What they going to do then? Go back to de Verde and ask for their money back? They won’t get it. He is a professional con man, after all. He will continue to use every trick in the con man book to keep them hooked in. He will claim that the controlled scientific test was wrong in some way, that he knows it works, that he has proof. The exact same crap that all these con men say when faced with proof that their product does not work.  And then, eventually, he will fold his company and blame mounting legal costs and bad publicity. I have see it all before, several times… it is a very sad story with a very unhappy ending.

28 Comments

  1. Hydrogo:

    Jon,
    -Is that your real name or your assumed name to which you hide behind?
    -You do not understand nor have the facts to support this article.
    -You have been offered by de verde direct to be flown over and test the product. Why not take that up?
    -You have broken the laws regarding protection of our image.
    -Your statements are a clear defamation of product and character.
    -You have no knowledge of what independent testing has been carried out, of which there are several.
    -Either remove, retract all your statements or be prepared for legal action.
    We await your reply
    HydroGo

  2. Jon:

    Dear HydroGo,

    You are not the first peddlers of nonsense to threaten me with legal action. You, like everyone before you, won’t follow through since that would involve demonstrating that what I say is not true – specifically, that your product does save fuel and that you have robust evidence to back this up.

    Nowhere in my article do I say anything which could be considered defamation of your characters. I have removed the offending image from my page. Jon Starbuck is not a pseudonym.

    De Verde’s offer is bogus. There is no point in me being flown anywhere to test anything. This is a red herring and it is typical of con men. I am not a substitute for a controlled environment, I am not a vehicle testing station. I am just a fallible human capable of self deception and bias and, in this respect, I’m just like you. Rather than offer to fly me to the UK to perform unreliable tests myself de Verde should just show me the scientific tests they claim to have performed.

    Lets not get dragged off the point by red herrings. The point is that you should share with the world the evidence that you have that backs up your claim of a 30% increase in MPG, or indeed any statistical significant increase in MPG, as a result of using the de Verde HHO product.

    They say that an extraordinary claim requires extraordinary proof. Your claim is certainly is extraordinary and yet you offer no proof.

    The reason that I am so confident that you don’t have proof is because the concept is so implausible (if it were true then you would have violated the first and second laws of thermodynamics) and because I have seen this exact same story play out so many times that I actually can’t count them.

    I eagerly await your solicitor’s letter along with the proof that I am asking to see.

  3. Kenneth R Moore:

    I think the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) would be extremely interested to know about this company.

    It seems strange that the product is being sold for several hundred pounds on the basis of only anecdotal evidence alone -

    Courtney admits to being a press-on driver who used to get a paltry 33mpg in her 2002 Ford Ka 1.3, but since having the device installed she claims to average between 68 and 86mpg, with much cleaner emissions to boot.

    If the device really can almost halve fuel consumption, why can’t a simple and relatively inexpensive test be done.

    1. Place a Ford KA on a chassis dynamometer
    2. Attach a fuel flow gauge between tank and fuel injection system
    3. Measure fuel flow (litres/sec) at constant speeds/load throughout the engine’s operating range.
    4. Plot a graph of brake specific fuel consumption versus power at each load point.
    5. Repeat 1- 4 with the miracle device turned 1) on and 2)off.

    The second test should demonstrate an astonishing increase in engine efficiency with the device turned on. If (like i suspect) the test proves the device has no effect.. I think Jon has nothing to fear!

  4. Kenneth R Moore:

    “Courtney admits to being a press-on driver who used to get a paltry 33mpg in her 2002 Ford Ka 1.3, but since having the device installed she claims to average between 68 and 86mpg, with much cleaner emissions to boot”

    If this was really possible all the major motor manufacturers using expensive common rail diesel systems , stop start, 3 cylinder downsized turbocharged engines etc.(to achieve comparable economy) would be feeling a bit silly!.

    Sorry Hydrogo, it’s not fair to provide anecdotal evidence only to support a product your charging hundreds of pounds for. If i buy a fridge or a car i can check the fuel and energy consumption to see exactly what i’m getting for my money.Why do you think your device is any different ?.

    How did the Ford KA average 86 MPG. Over how many miles ?. Or was it one trip driving at a steady 50 MPH from a hilltop down to sea level. Without this data this claim is utter tosh.

    What is the justification for claiming the device has been approved by VOSA ?.

  5. Jon:

    Dear HydroGo,
    Enjoy your visit from the ASA.

  6. Hydrogo:

    Jon,
    -As we confirmed your name is Jon Starbuck
    -You do not understand nor have the facts to support this article.
    -You have been offered by de verde direct to be flown over and test the product. Why not take that up?
    -You have broken the laws regarding protection of our image as you have not removed all the images.
    -Your statements are a clear defamation of product and character.
    -You have no knowledge of what independent testing has been carried out, of which there are several.
    -Either remove, retract all your statements or be prepared for legal action.
    We await your reply
    HydroGo

  7. Jon:

    Yea, I heard you the first two times you said this, why say it a third time? I think you should maybe have a good careful read of what I have written, because I don’t think you have done that.

    - I have all the facts I need to write what I have written. I do understand the subject all too well, unfortunately for you I understand it way better than you do.
    - I have said, twice, why I don’t take up de Verde on their pointless red herring of an offer.
    - The image on my site is from a newspaper, in the public domain and is fair use.
    - As I have said, there is no defamation of your character.
    - There has been no robust testing carried out on the product since you would show it to me if there had been. Your use of the word “independent” with regard to these secret tests, while leaving out words like “fair” and “repeatable” and “scientific” and “controlled” speaks volumes in itself.
    - You would be very foolish to sue someone on the other side of the world who has no real money, especially since you will have to demonstrate that I am wrong and you can’t do that. I’m not even slightly scared by your idle threats and red herrings.

    Stop hiding behind this lame “I’m going to sue you if you don’t stop saying things that I don’t like” bullshit and just show the world that you really can substantiate the claims on your website (30% increased MPG, more torque, lower emissions, smoother gear changes (!), less noise…). It is all complete nonsense, and I bet you know it. As I say above, what may begin as an honest error has a way of evolving from self-delusion to fraud, and you appear to be going that way very fast.

    Stop having a tantrum because someone stood up to you and called you out on the horse-shit that you are spouting, that is the tactics of a bully with something to hide. Instead simply substantiate your claims or shut up.

  8. Brian:

    @ HydroGo
    I am very concerned that innocent people will be fooled into shelling out their hard earned cash for this bogus Hydro Go device which will not save them any money whatsoever.

    Where does the extra energy come from to make the hydrogen? oh from the battery… where does the energy in the battery come from? oh from the engine… so how is any energy being saved? oh it isn’t…. Oh well thats the law of conservation of energy for you.
    So the car manufacturers aren;t so stupid after all, otherwise one of them would have fitted this device years ago to get competitive advantage right?

    Threatening anyone who questions your technology with legal action only makes you look more dodgy. If you weren’t dodgy you’d be responding with hard technical evidence which you aren’t.

    This seems to be a typical approach of con artists – to agressivley threaten anyoe who questions their technology with legal action.

  9. Kenneth R Moore:

    The evidence I have seen from the MOT emissions tests is just risible. Anyone familiar with a 3 way catalyst set up would know that emissions of HC and CO are already very low and often almost undetectable by your average garage set up . To claim that this is due to the hydrogen injection is just nonsense.

    As for the dyno results… from the information presented… the tests aren’t controlled enough to demonstate anything reliably. Any car doing a series of power runs particularly where gear changes are involved is going to produce a set of slightly different results.
    It would be easy to pick 2 sets of favourable results to show whatever you wanted. Anything from air temperature, the heat of the tyres, operator error, gearbox temp etc. can have an effect.

    The warranty offered will only pay out if the customer can claim that a)there is no increase in MPG, OR b) reduction in emissions. This is ridiculous as how is the average driver going to measure a 0.1% reduction of CO or NOX!.

  10. Jon:

    Dear Hydrogo,
    I’m still waiting for your response. Either evidence that what you say is true or a letter from your solicitor, or both.
    Have you had a visit from the ASA yet? I’m looking forward to hear what they have to say, they always send me a follow up email and I’ll publish it here when they do.

  11. Richard:

    I recieved a flyer about this last year and initially I was very interested, but after looking into the technology and the complete lack of any testing data or proof on the website I have not proceeded, I have only just found this site and I am totally in agreement with Jon, unless Hydrogo can produce some proper data which can be verified on this system’s claimed performance I wouldn’t touch it with a bargepole !

  12. Jon:

    Hi Richard,
    Is there any way you can get a copy of the flyer to me? I’ll email you privately. I’d like to send it to the ASA who are currently investigating them.
    Thanks, Jon

  13. Kenneth R Moore:

    Jon, is De Verde technologies also being investigated by the ASA ?

  14. Jon:

    Yes Kenneth, I think so. This my guess why all the goofy claims have disappeared off the de Verde website.

  15. Jon:

    The ASA have decided that so long as HydroGo remove all the lies from their website they will not pursue them any further. HygroGo have altered their website massively and taken all the nonsense claims of improved mileage and emissions down from their website.

    Unfortunately the made up testimonials are still there, they still link to the “news” articles that parrot the same old lies, and they now claim that if yoou install their bullshit fuel saving gizmo that you will qualify for reduced road tax because your vehicle will be dual fuel (note, that the gizmo is both a fuel saver and duel fuel at the same time… eh?) and I know that this is not true because I have a letter here from the DVLA stating that they don’t classify these HHO systems as either a fuel saver or duel fuel.

    So back the the ASA I go…

  16. john:

    a very interesting read. some of rhe claims seem a little outlandish-i.e lowering fuel consumption from 33mpg to 68-86mpg is fantastic,would this device if fitted to my scenic 1.9dti improve my fuel consumption to over 100mpg? i currently average 45-48mpg.if so, i would like one straight away please.if this technology really was this good,surely a major motor manufacturer or petrol company would have bought (or at least attempted to) the patent? i am sceptical by nature of any too good to be true offer having been a victim of good faith before. i hope the three youngsters from the newark are havent invested too much money or time and sincerely hope that if the item they are marketing is as good as they have been led to believe and they themselves describe,that they get very rich, very quickly.

  17. phil:

    Hi all i can confirm the truth John’s expensive lunch boxes produce very little hydrogen and after five thousand miles of testing believe me they do not work period. I trained as a fitter and spent in excess of £4000 setting up to fit these but after fitting one to my own vehicle i had no gains, not like John promised so i tried them on five different vehicles and no gains it took me a while to come to terms with the fact that this is a scam and i will be now looking at taking John to the cleaners.Avoid these people at all costs John is very convincing and i hope he can see this email because im going to bring hell to his door. So again just to confirm de-verde offers nothing but a hole in your wallet dont make the mistake i did!

  18. Kenneth R Moore:

    Jon: Is it the correct that the DVLA will offer reduced road tax because a car fitted with a ‘Hydrogo’ device is classed as an ‘alternative fuel vehicle ?.

  19. Jon:

    In short, no it is not true.
    I asked the DVLA this very question and I have a letter from them that says they do not class HHO as an alternative or duel-fuel vehicle. It goes on to say, and I paraphrase, that they would never approve this because it clearly does not meet the criteria for duel-fuel because it is not duel-fuel, there is obviously only one source of energy here, the petrol/diesel.
    However, it may be true that HydroGo have managed to slip one under the DVLA’s radar somehow, who knows…

  20. Kenneth R Moore:

    Jon, thanks for your reply – It almost looks like the company is using a £10 reduction in VED as a sort of endorsement from no less an authority than the DVLA..hmm.

    It would be interesting to know why the name of the MP Patrick Mercer is mentioned on the website.

    Despite the company being investigated by the ASA, the website still claims substantial MPG benefits with only anecdotal evidence presented. How much power do the ASA have ?

  21. Jon:

    Well, if you get five minutes…

    The DVLA can be contacted here – http://www.dft.gov.uk/dvla/contactus.aspx
    Patrick Mercer can be contacted here – http://www.parliament.uk/biographies/patrick-mercer/25506
    The ASA can be contacted here – http://www.asa.org.uk/complaints/how-to-complain.aspx (my complaint about HydroGo is ASA ref: A12-182972, ask for David Humber).

    I have contacted Stephanie Bilton of Living Local as she appears to be endorsing the product too.

    It looks like HydroGo are ramping up their bullshit again after the initial visit from the ASA. You can now get a quote by email which will tell you how much fuel you will “save” rather than explicitly advertising it on their website, probably a tip from Mr. Bullshit himself John Hickman. The testimonials are clearly made up and are stolen off the De Verde website.

    Six months have passed since HydroGo threatened legal action…. I am still waiting for the letter…

  22. anon:

    I was filling up in Newark today and saw a Land Rover with the HydroGo decals on the doors so I googled them out of curiosity. What struck me was:
    1) Their promo vehicle doesn’t really promote the ‘product’
    2) Their website doesn’t state what their ‘product’ is
    3) Referring to de Verde’s ‘product’, a quick check confirmed it isn’t patented (which you’d expect if it was proprietary technology)
    4) There is no record of type approval, CE certification or Certificatation of Conformity to any BS or EN standard, making the commercial sale of the product illegal.

    Then I read this webpage and it all became clear. This is a potenially dangerous item for sale to the general public that has clearly been made in someone’s garage by people with a only basic understanding of engieering and product design/manufacturing. Are people really crazy enough to fit something to their car that has been knocked together by a company or individual with no credentials or regard to due process for bringing a product to market? I sincerley hope not. I think that Trading Standards should be informed about this, along with HMRC and VOSA. If ASA have failed to act (which seems to be the case), then it’s no wonder that scams like this take so many people for a ride before they are exposed on BBC’s Watchdog or in the national press.

  23. jagnut:

    I was about to purchase this product for my 1967 Jaguar s type at a cost of around 699+vat. Thank Christ I stumbled onto this blog or I would have made a very expensive mistake.

    Thanks to Jon for taking on the bullshitters for us naive punters who are just trying to save some cash in these tough times.

  24. Kenneth R Moore:

    It’s all just indicative of falling standards of basic scientific understanding and reasoning . The ASA seem pretty toothless and as for the DVLA..words fail me.

    I wonder if Trading standards could do something under the misrepresentation of goods act ?

  25. Kaiz:

    awesome site… thanks a ton jon for opening everybody’s eyes and spreading the truth since such a long time through your diligent efforts… nevertheless, i want to ask you something and i am myself a victim to this HHO kit.

    The common rebuttals i have come accross by them is as follows. Please help me to exactly understand how HHO kits dont or can’t work from all the angles and not just from the point of view of the law of thermodynamics.

    1) This breaks the laws of thermodynamics. It should not work!

    Argument – “A common fallacy is that it takes more energy to produce the HHO than the energy it releases. This is true in part when we see only the electrolysis process but when the HHO gas is mixed with your usual fuel inside the engine it allows the fuel molecules to burn better and more efficiently thus releasing much more energy than before. This is why it works” – Taken from the website http://www.HHO-Plus.com

    how is it possible for the engine to allow the fuel molecules to burn better? can they really release more energy by this? and does this energy translate directly in fuel savings? kindly elaborate… thanks!

    Best,
    Kaiz

  26. Jon:

    Hi Kaiz,
    They are talking nonsense, it makes exactly zero sense. The engine either burs all the fuel or it does not. Since your engine is burning something like 99.9% of its fuel and therefore releasing 99.9% of the energy in it (that is what burning is, releasing the energy) then there is no more energy to be released.

  27. Kay:

    Jon,

    I purchased one of these cells from de Verde 13 months ago, and have had no issues whatsoever with it! I have achieved better performance and lower emissions, as well as an extra 18 mpg! All of this has been tested extensively.

    Could you please tell me why you will not take up the offer to try one of these cells? You say ‘There is no point in me being flown anywhere to test anything.’ Why? Because you are worried that it might just be true? That de Verde have manufactured a hydrogen fuel cell that really does work? Surely, you spend enough of your time trying to cause ‘trouble’ for this company, if you were to test it, you would have the ‘proof’ you seem to think you ‘just know’?

    Also, I’ve taken this from the de Verde website..

    ‘We have had our systems third party tested for emission reductions and fuel efficiciency, with proven results, resulting in large orders, especially for the overseas market in some countries.

    A “Green” magazine, tested our system and achieved a 30% fuel saving, with very low emissions! (copies available from our office by request)’

    .. Would you care to share your views?

    I’d also like to know your views on their investigation from Trading Standards?

    I look froward to hearing from you.

  28. Jon:

    Dear Kay,

    Honestly or otherwise you are mistaken, the cells you purchased have made you have a decrease in fuel economy not an increase… if you are right then you have broken the first and second laws of thermodynamics. Take your vehicle to a real testing station run by scientists and you will find this out. You have been conned, HHO is a scam. If you feel that you have had an improvement in your milage then it is for another reason, HHO is not it, you have been tricked by a conman.

    There is no point in me testing HHO for two reasons;
    - firstly I am no substitute for a real test in a lab with controls and bias removed or accounted for, I am as fallible as any other human (such as yourself, see above);
    - secondly I cannot show that HHO does not work, all I would be able to do is fail to show that it does work (not the same thing). Proponents of HHO have also never shown HHO to work under controlled conditions.

    All of the rest of your questions are answered here http://www.eco-scams.com/archives/839 The ASA (funny how both you and de Verde call the ASA “Trading Standards”. Coincedence, I am sure…) upheald all of my complaints and as a result de Verde removed some of them from their website, the ASA are now proceding get all the misleading information removed from the website and Facebook so that de Verde comply with the ASA’s ruling.

    Regards,
    Jon.

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