General Motors Corporation (GM) recently made history as its Chevy Sequel became the first electrically driven fuel cell vehicle to complete a three hundred-mile drive on one tank of hydrogen through the State of New York. The Sequel is the first vehicle to successfully integrate a hydrogen fuel cell propulsion system with a wide array of advanced technologies such as wheel hub motors, lithium-ion batteries, steer-and-brake-by-wire controls, and a lightweight aluminum structure. The drive also marks the first fuel cell vehicle to actualize real-world range.
“With this drive, General Motors has reached another important milestone toward the commercialization of our fuel cell vehicles by achieving the range expected by today’s consumers,” said Larry Burns, GM vice president, research and development and strategic planning. “And we did it while producing zero emissions, as a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle only emits water. In addition, the hydrogen produced at Niagara Falls, used to fuel the Sequel, was derived from hydropower, a clean, renewable resource. This means that the entire process, from the creation of the hydrogen to the use of the fuel in the vehicle, was virtually carbon dioxide free.”
GM has also recently reiterated its dedication to the environment and has promised to bring a part of its next fleet of more than one hundred Chevrolet Equinox fuel cell vehicles to the New York metropolitan area as part of the company’s “Project Driveway” demonstration program.
“General Motors is proving that advanced technology can remove the automobile from the environmental debate and reduce our dependence on petroleum,” Burns said. “Chevy Sequel clearly shows that our vision for the future of the automobile is real and sustainable.”
Honda has recently promised a hydrogen fuel cell production model sedan, the Honda FCX, to hit the market next year in limited numbers. The company reports that the new 2008 FCXs will achieve a top speed of 100 mph with the gasoline equivalent of 68 mpg.
The fuel cell vehicle will feature a smaller fuel cell stack that will take up less space. Instead of taking up the entire floor space of the sedan, the fuel cell will be mounted along the center tunnel, under the armrest between the driver and passenger. The lithium-ion battery pack will be located directly behind the rear seat, taking up a limited amount of trunk space.