Government officials in Nanyang, a city in central Henan province, publicly addressed on Sunday controversy about a local company which said it had built a water-fueled vehicle with a 500 kilometer range, saying it “is not ready for volume production,” reported Beijing Youth Daily.

A Chinese car company named Youngman Automobile Group (Qingnian Automobile in Chinese) reportedly first announced in December it had produced the world’s first water-sourced hydrogen-powered vehicle. Featuring an engine that converts water to hydrogen in real-time, the vehicle has the capability to travel more than 500 kilometers (around 310 miles) before refueling, according to Pang Qingnian, president of the company.

Founded in 2001 by Pang, a 61-year-old Chinese entrepreneur that had been a tractor driver in his early years, Youngman Automobile Group was censured by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology in 2017 for fraudulently using government subsidies along with six other companies. The Chinese automaker has amassed 30 legal notations for failing to repay financial obligations including contracts and loans, according to court records gathered by Qichacha, and was blacklisted 13 times to enforce repayment.

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Jill Shen

Jill Shen is Shanghai-based technology reporter. She covers Chinese mobility, autonomous vehicles, and electric cars. Connect with her via e-mail: jill.shen@technode.com or Twitter: @yushan_shen