GM to place 100 fuel cell vehicles with customers

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Apparently GM is serious about fuel cells:
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SAN DIEGO (Sept. 17, 2006) — General Motors committed to building the world’s largest fuel cell vehicle fleet today by announcing its next-generation fuel cell vehicle – the Chevrolet Equinox Fuel Cell. Chevrolet will launch a fleet of more than 100 Chevy Equinox Fuel Cell vehicles in 2007. GM will build more than 100 Chevrolet Equinox Fuel Cell vehicles and will begin placing them with customers in the fall of 2007, as part of a comprehensive deployment plan dubbed “Project Driveway." Designed to gain comprehensive learnings on all aspects of the customer experience, Project Driveway constitutes the first meaningful market test of fuel cell vehicles anywhere. A variety of drivers – in differing driving environments – will operate these vehicles and refuel with hydrogen in three geographic areas: California, the New York metropolitan area and Washington D.C. “General Motors is demonstrating its commitment to hydrogen fuel cells as the answer for taking the automobile out of the environmental debate and reducing our dependence on petroleum," said Larry Burns, GM vice president, research & development and strategic planning. “The Equinox Fuel Cell is powered by GM’s most advanced fuel cell propulsion system to date, and demonstrates an important milestone on our pathway to automotive-competitive fuel cell propulsion technology development." Enabled by GM’s fourth-generation fuel cell propulsion system, the Equinox Fuel Cell is a fully-functional crossover vehicle, engineered for 50,000 miles of life. Importantly, the Equinox Fuel Cell is able to start and operate in sub-freezing temperatures during its 50,000-mile life. It is expected to meet all applicable 2007 U.S. Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards, and is equipped with a long list of standard safety features including driver and passenger frontal air bags and roof rail side-impact air bags; anti-lock braking system (ABS); StabiliTrak stability enhancement technology and OnStar, while providing all of the environmental benefits of hydrogen fuel cell technology. "The Equinox Fuel Cell is a real-world vehicle with real-world performance," said Ed Peper, Chevrolet general manager. “The fuel cell technology is seamlessly integrated into a uniquely styled crossover vehicle that is distinctively Chevrolet. The Equinox Fuel Cell joins Chevrolet’s family of advanced gas-saving and alternative fuel vehicles." The Project Driveway market test will provide comprehensive insight into all aspects of the customer experience, including reaction to the exciting, smooth and quiet performance of a fuel cell vehicle, and refueling with clean hydrogen gas. “These learnings will directly influence future fuel cell vehicle generations and ultimate market acceptance," Peper said. "With Chevrolet being GM’s global volume brand, it makes sense that Chevy will lead GM’s fuel cell vehicle commercialization charge."
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Matt_S

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Please tell me that the fuel cell vehicles being developed by Toyota and Honda are designed to last longer than 50K miles.
To my knowledge, they aren't even working on fuel cells. Besides, this is an experiment.
 
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I don't see the point in designing power sytems for a fuel that has no infrastructure. There is no motivation (profit) in building the infrastructure. Poor cost to benefit analysis.. Just like ethanol. We as a species are going to have to pay for our unnatural overpopulation do to the Haber-Bosch process sooner or later. So meeting sustainable energy needs of this bloated population is a moot point seeing how nature will fix the imbalance. .
 
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Let's invent cheap Hydrogen *before* inventing something that consumes it in large quantities.
Because nobody will bother if there isn't someone to sell it to? Both are being attempted at the same time and it will take several years to make it all happen. Consolidating more of our emissions to electric plants is easier to deal with than millions of cars so there is some sense to the idea of using hydrogen. If batteries would hold enough energy and charge fast enough they would accomplish the same thing. Only the course of time will tell us which new technologies will work out, all we know is that the current fuel usage patters won't last forever. I'm not against Ethanol either, we just can't get it from our current source (corn) to support all our needs. Better methods are being invented and will make it more economical. We'll see.
 
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