GM Moves Forward on Proudction Plans for Fuel Cell Vehicle by 2015

GM Equinox FCV key handoff

In brief: General Motors, which has been testing a fleet of over 100 hydrogen fuel cell Equinox SUVs throughout the U.S., has handed over the keys to a next-generation unit which, they say, puts them one step closer to their planned 2015 rollout of production HCFVs.

Vehicle in the news

Make/Model: Equinox FCV
Manufacturer: General Motors

The word

Freese, White and new fuel cell Equinox

Since 2008, the Chevrolet Equinox fuel cell SUV has been rolling around the United States in six month short-term leases to test the vehicles with various drivers, fleets, and locations in North America.

Pictured above is biologist Stephanie White who received her six month lease on one of the latest-generation fuel cell Equinoxes as GM moves a step forward towards their 2015 production goal for hydrogen fuel cell passenger vehicles. Charles Freese, GM's Fuel Cell Activities executive director, handed White the keys at a press event in Los Angeles and new information on the latest run of fuel cells was released.

The new cells are about half the size of their predecessors, 220 pounds lighter, use about a third of the platinum in the catalyst, and are made to replace a smaller, 4-cylinder engine.

This puts GM closer to making fuel cells that will fit in passenger cars, which will boost both range and longevity on the cells.

The 30-month program began in 2008 is nearly complete, but GM has been battling with low service lives on the fuel cells (only about 50,000 miles) and hopes this latest rendition will break the 100k barrier.

This is not White's first FCV from GM. She has been part of Project Driveway, GM's fuel cell test program, since the beginning.

Not yet released to the public for use, GM has also been testing five-seat station wagons in-house. One can be seen in the video released by GM:

And so ...

Excellent work from GM. They are one of a handful of car companies so far who have promised a 2015 production date for hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.

Photo credits: General Motors

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