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GM's Bob Lutz and the Chevy Sequel - images courtesy AutoblogGreen
GM readies its first fuel cell for regular production

GM is accelerating its plans to bring production-level fuel cell vehicles to consumers. The company announced that a production version of the Chevy Sequel concept car introduced in 2005 will be put into service in 2010.

The Sequel uses GM's third generation fuel cell technology and makes uses of regenerative braking and a rear-mounted lithium-ion battery pack. Forward propulsion is provided by a hub motor in each rear wheel and an electric motor for the front wheels. The electric motor is the same one used in the all-electric Chevy Volt concept introduced in Detroit.

GM expects that the Sequel will have a range of 300 miles and can go from 0-60 in 10 seconds -- or about the same as a 2007 Honda CR-V crossover. Top speed for the vehicle is pegged at 90MPH.

GM has already built two Sequel prototypes and expects to get even more real-world experience with fuel cell technology with a test fleet of 100 Chevy Equinox crossovers. Each Equinox, which normally is powered by a 3.4 liter V6 engine, is powered by a hydrogen fuel cell instead.

GM's cross-town rival, Ford, is also working on hydrogen fuel cell technology. The company recently showed off a prototype Edge crossover with a fuel cell hybrid electric powertrain and plug-in capabilities.



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Nice. Still need to work on performance though.
By vdig on 2/13/2007 3:37:46 PM , Rating: 2
Kudos to General Motors for attempting to push such a mainstream release for 2010. Environmentally friendly options are always cool in my book. Further, anything that reduces the overall influence of traditional fuel is refreshing, and long overdue. I may not see traditional gasoline getting reduced to nothing, but options are wonderful for (almost) all concerned.

A few caveats still remain. That top speed - if this vehicle can only go that fast, I really hope the mileage is better than good. If not, a hybrid for the upper ranges would be ideal, for those who want that instead of lower gas consumption.

The other problem is getting these hydrogen cells out en masse for general consumption - no, not eating. A hydrogen refueling station would need to be established for easy access by all motorists, and should refueling take too long, simply swapping empty cells for filled ones would be the proper method. The empty cells can then be charged at the station until full, without hindering drivers by recharge time. If not, refueling will be a PITA.

Here's hoping the future is friendly in regards to fuel cell powered vehicles!




By FITCamaro on 2/13/2007 4:04:25 PM , Rating: 4
It doesn't use gas at all. So yes gas mileage will be good. Infinite in fact.

And 90 is plenty fast for even highway travel considering the fastest legal speed limit I know of is 75. At least in the US.


By GhandiInstinct on 2/13/2007 4:08:33 PM , Rating: 3
What if you're on an empty stretch being chased by a huge gorilla going 100mph? Wish you had that extra HP huh?


By Oregonian2 on 2/13/2007 6:50:18 PM , Rating: 1
What if the gorilla was doing 250 mph!


By Captain Orgazmo on 2/14/2007 1:34:46 AM , Rating: 1
If the gorilla was going 250 MPH, I'd just drop the spoiler on my Bugatti Veyron, and hit the gas. No problemo.


By Samus on 2/13/2007 10:54:45 PM , Rating: 2
Most modern 4-cylinders still struggle to go 100MPH, so I don't see the big deal here, especially considering it's practically SUV height and girth, raising its ground clearance, center of gravity and drag coefficient.


By jtesoro on 2/14/2007 12:33:15 AM , Rating: 2
Maybe they can bundle in some bananas with the car. Use the entire fruit for the gorilla. Anything else, toss out the banana peel and aim for the feet.


By smitty3268 on 2/13/2007 4:35:18 PM , Rating: 2
It is good enough for most people, although it makes me wonder - will it feel powerful enough to pass cars going 70?

There did use to be some highways in Montana that didn't have any speed limit, but I think they might have set them to 80 recently.


By PrezWeezy on 2/13/2007 5:58:26 PM , Rating: 2
Well when you are in a gas powered vehicle, getting from 60-70 doesn't take as much horse power as it takes torque. So in order to start going faster you need an engine that produces a good amount of torque, and since gas engines can only do that by accelerating thier RPM's, you can feel a low powered car. However, electric motors have 100% of their torque from 0-90 in this case. You never have to build it up by downshifting. So chances are even though the top speed is somewhat low, it wont feel gutless


By ralith on 2/14/2007 10:19:28 AM , Rating: 2
"Well when you are in a gas powered vehicle, getting from 60-70 doesn't take as much horse power as it takes torque. So in order to start going faster you need an engine that produces a good amount of torque"

If power is by definition the time rate of change that energy can be dumped into the system how can it be unimportant to this situation? If you can't change the energy going into the system in a reasonable amount of time you will not change state very fast.


By mindless1 on 2/14/2007 5:51:18 AM , Rating: 1
This is why our cars pollute so much, people that keep thinking it needs to go REAL FAST, be the all mighty powerful rocket ship phallic symbol GT Turbo.

Problem is, no matter how fast it would be, someone out there wants to feel special by having something a little faster, and faster, and here we are today. Right now we could save as much gas just making lighter weight cars with smaller engines, none of this multi-hybrid stuff would be necessary to take a first step of recognizing excessive qualities.

You don't need to pass cars going 70! If you are in that much of a hurry, take a plane. On a shorter trip the time savings isn't significant.


By masher2 (blog) on 2/14/2007 9:51:26 AM , Rating: 2
> "This is why our cars pollute so much, people that keep thinking it needs to go REAL FAST..."

No, our cars pollute so much because we drive so many miles in them. Every year, the average American lives further and further from where they work and shop.


RE: Nice. Still need to work on performance though.
By Jeeves on 2/13/2007 4:37:14 PM , Rating: 2
I believe you're missing the main caveat: hydrogen is not an energy source but merely a means of transporting energy - and it's neither efficient nor enviromentally sound! Right now, most hydrogen is produced from Methane, which could be burned directly with a much higher efficiency.

So, unless you use only renewable energy to produce hydrogen through electrolysis, you wont do the enviroment a favor - otherwise you're better off with traditional gasoline. A possibility to reduce CO2 emissions would be using nuclear energy for power generation and thus electrolysis, but at least here in Germany that's politically impossible - unfortunately. So let's hope for fusion ...


RE: Nice. Still need to work on performance though.
By Grast on 2/13/2007 6:19:34 PM , Rating: 2
Jeeves,

I was about to flame you but your use of fusion as a viable solution for generating power for electrlysis is a good solution that solves the whole CO2 and fossil fuel argument.

However if GM can get the drive train and manufacturing issues resolved in an economical way, a solution to the hydrogen issue is available. Until someway to generate cheap and non-fossil fuel burining energy is invented, we have an energy source that can be used for the interume.

The anwser is ethanol or methanol fuel cells. Neither fuel is perfect due to the energy or land use associated with the generation of the fuel, but it is an alternative. The bonus is that transportation and refueling issues are resolved. This method would get the U.S. away from diesal and gasoline vehicles until fusion is available for an hydrogen economy.

later....


RE: Nice. Still need to work on performance though.
By Samus on 2/13/2007 10:58:09 PM , Rating: 2
Hydrogen is only going to be 'more' successful than other, BETTER alternatives because Hydrogen is a good alternative to gasoline because of its similar delivery mechanism.

I just wish we could have fuel cell 'cells' much like we have propane tanks we exchange at gas stations, so there were no pumping necessary.

Just drop a new 50lb tank in and your ready to go another 300 miles. If you can't lift 50lbs. then you can't drive. Makes perfect sense. I should be presidente'


By Trippytiger on 2/14/2007 12:02:50 AM , Rating: 2
Similar delivery mechanism? Not so much. There is almost no existing distribution infrastructure that can be used for hydrogen delivery. You can't just stick hydrogen into the tanks at a gas station, since neither they nor the pumps are designed to be able to deal with a gas. Massive investment would be required to put up new 'hydrogen stations' for people to be able refuel their vehicles.

However, there is a well established infrastructure for delivering (uncompressed) liquid fuels to vehicles in the form of those gas stations. They could easily be retrofitted to deliver methanol or ethanol, to be either burned directly in a conventional ICE or used in things like methanol reformer fuel cells. Unfortunately, ethanol is rather energy-deficient compared to gasoline, and methanol reformer fuels cells are not as efficient at hydrogen fuel cells.

But, we're in luck! There also exists infrastructure to deliver electricity in the form of the electrical grid. Battery (and/or ultracapacitor) technology is still a little bit wanting for this to be viable on a wide scale, but if it can be improved to bring its energy-to-weight (and cost) ratio in line with fuel cell vehicles, or even conventional vehicles, then we're all set.


RE: Nice. Still need to work on performance though.
By Slaimus on 2/14/2007 3:27:14 PM , Rating: 2
Burning methane causes a lot of waste in heat, whereas electron transfer hooked up to an efficient electric motor would be very efficient since there is no reaction loss.

The main problem is that producing hydrogen releases CO2 as well, so it does not help greenhouse emissions. We need a cheaper and less polluting way of making hydrogen.


By masher2 (blog) on 2/14/2007 3:52:36 PM , Rating: 2
> "The main problem is that producing hydrogen releases CO2 as well, so it does not help greenhouse emissions..."

Producing hydrogen from electrolysis produces no CO2 emissions. Producing it through steam methane reformation of waste methane actually results in negative emissions, as the methane that would have otherwise been vented is a much stronger greenhouse gas than CO2.

Producing it from non-waste sources results in mild emissions. Still, saying it "does not help" is quite incorrect, as the reaction generates a single CO2 molecule for four H2 molecules. That's a far better ratio than the 6 carbon atoms released from oxidation of one hexane chain (the most common constituent of gasoline).



By FredEx on 2/14/2007 2:11:04 AM , Rating: 2
I think you will find that the top speed is electronically limited to 90 mph, it isn't the limit of the capabilities of the system. To answer the ones wondering about passing at speed, as some have said the electric motors should have the same torque throughout their operating range and will most likely accelerate rather well at cruising speeds.


Why hydrogen?
By Marlowe on 2/13/2007 4:36:35 PM , Rating: 2
Isn't the production of the hydrogen fuel for these vehicles very energy costly and not so efficient? The hydrogen is converted back to electricity in the car right? Why go this route via hydrogen?

Can you store so much more energy than a battery? When the Tesla can go 250 miles today I'm sure we will have batteries that can go 300 miles in 2010..?

Is it because it's faster to refuel? But I recently saw this new Subaru R1E or something in Japan that could recharge 80 % of its battery charge in just 15 minutes! Here it is: http://www.worldcarfans.com/news.cfm/country/jcf/n...

I don't understand that hydrogen thing that's all.. Someone care to explain? Isn't purely electric better?




RE: Why hydrogen?
By FITCamaro on 2/13/2007 5:16:37 PM , Rating: 3
Don't compare a two seater, $100,000 sports car that 1% of the population can afford to a most likely affordable car that seats 5 and can actually carry things other than people.


RE: Why hydrogen?
By Oregonian2 on 2/13/2007 7:12:00 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, and they are making cars in that "direction" too. However, batteries still have to be fueled (electricity made from oil, gas, coal, ...etc), and there also is the matter of cost. Note that the Tesla car has over a thousand batteries in it, and that the car isn't exactly cheap (or quite have the grocery and people room like a mini-van). The fuel cells basically *ARE* batteries of sorts. The other cars are mostly using Lithium batteries, but there's been a report that there's not enough Lithium around for it to be used en masse as would be needed if all cars went that way.

I understand Hydrogen is currently made by the oil companies, but I also understood that it was a byproduct of some process they'd be doing "anyway" even if it didn't produce hydrogen. If hydrogen were a "real" objective to be made en masse, other ways would likely be had to make it. Possibly "locally" to "gas" stations where water is split (I can just see the green protesting about the excess Oxygen being released at those stations, polluting the environment).


RE: Why hydrogen?
By Marlowe on 2/13/2007 9:09:49 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah mates I know the Tesla is an expensive one, but I was merely refering to the technology it used. Then again it's a sports car wich does 0-60 mph in about 4 seconds with ca 200 kW engine. Sports cars in general aren't known for having especially good fuel economy are they? So I was thinking if the same batteries were used in a car that did 0-60 in like 10 seconds like a "normal" car with a more regular engine, wouldn't the milage be better you think?

And yeah sure it's expensive but what if they made 100 000 and not hand make only a measly one houndred of them like Tesla does and with "normal" car specs in addition, don't you think the cars could be more affordable?

But yeah I agree the Lithium batteries aren't the most optimal.. but you have the upcoming aluminium based ones or poly something that there have been papers on and they supposedly can carry multiple times more energy in a smaller volumes and safer.. Just looks more promising to me? I can't really see how they can improve the amount of energy in a hydrogen car like that without just increasing pressure or having big ass tanks? If there is not other technologies it's depended upon that is. I must admit I haven't read too much about the specifics on the hydrogen system. :)

I understand that you Americans produce much of your electricity with gas, oil and coal and the like, and that way I really understands the arguments that electricity pollutes and such.. But I believe alternative ways of producing the energy is absolutely possible. For example here in Norway we produce most of our electricity with water falls. No pollution there. =)

I think the future of cars is electric =)
And in the meantime you can drive around in these; http://www.worldcarfans.com/rsslink.cfm/article/20...
Hehe ;)


RE: Why hydrogen?
By Grast on 2/14/2007 7:02:28 PM , Rating: 2
Marlowe,

I am very glad your county used hydro-electric power for majority of your electrical generation.

HOWEVER, your total county population is 4,610,820. The U.S. has 12 cities with double that amount of people, New York, L.A., San Diego, Chicago, etc..... So your solution just does not hold up the scale that is applied to the U.S.

Additionally, we do use hydro-electric in places where it is available. However in a country of 300 million, your solution just does not work. Nice try though......

Hydro-electric also has very bad econlogical issues. A dam will prevent fish and animal species from normal migritory patterns. The samon fish is a very good example.

Later....



RE: Why hydrogen?
By Marlowe on 2/14/2007 8:25:47 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah Grast it was just meant as an example how someone else has done it. And yeah I understand it's much more difficult for you ppl, but you should take advantage of the resources you have.. Norway is more or less just mountains all over, so there were thousands of waterfalls to take advantage of. I hear you have huge and very warm deserts over there. What about solar power plants or earth warmth or something. Hey I'm no expert okey.. all I'm saying is that I think you Americans should try harder if I may say so hehe ;P Peace.


RE: Why hydrogen?
By JumpingJack on 2/13/2007 11:36:12 PM , Rating: 2
There are several reasons..

One, it is a matter of energy store and transportability. There are several advantages to H2 as fuel source, first it is light and transportable, it is easily produced through eletrolysis, catalytic conversion, or other decomposition mechansism.

Another is H2/Fuel Cells are more efficient, the energy store in H2 is about 30% efficient in converting energy to usable energy (electrical) or about 2-3x more efficient than gasoline/internal combustion engines -- from what I recall, I could find the reference -- ahh here is a simple one http://www.hydrogenassociation.org/general/faqs.as... .

Finally, the by-product is environmentally friendly, and because hydrogen is the most abundant element on earth, we can produce it all right here in the good ol' U.S. of A. No more foreign depedence on oil. Everybody wins.... no more foriegn oil, no more CO2 emissions (green house gases), a new industry develops (jobs) --- yes, everyone wins except OPEC.

The actual production of H2 is quite easy and very efficient.
quote:
For commercial electrolysis systems that operate at about 1 A/cm2, a voltage of 1.75 V is required. This translates into about 46.8 kW-hr/kg, which corresponds to an energy efficiency of 70%.

(same link as above)... converting Coal fossil fuels to electricity is only about 50% efficient -- http://www.newton.dep.anl.gov/askasci/eng99/eng991... to give it some scale. Nuclear power is only about 50% efficient converting to usable energy, and solar/wind are even less. Though it takes electricity to create hydrogen, this can be done in a variety of ways --- at hydroelectric dams, etc.

The point is... it is both efficient to produce and efficient to use, adding to that no harmful byproducts, and reducing foreign dependency on oil and the benefits are actually quite attractive.


RE: Why hydrogen?
By Marlowe on 2/14/2007 10:21:10 AM , Rating: 2
Thank you those were great links! Especially the http://www.hydrogenassociation.org/general/faqs.as... site was nice :)

I think it's kinda funny how they compare it only to gas/diesel vehicles and not electrical hehe :)

Did you know hydrogen vehicles produce NOx when they run? Didn't say how much tho.. interesting anyways :)


RE: Why hydrogen?
By masher2 (blog) on 2/14/2007 10:13:54 AM , Rating: 1
> "Isn't the production of the hydrogen fuel for these vehicles very energy costly and not so efficient? "

True, but you forget that distributing electricity isn't via a national power grid isn't very efficient either. In general, direct electric transmission is more efficient...but the margin isn't as large as you think.

> "Is it because it's faster to refuel? But I recently saw this new Subaru R1E or something in Japan that could recharge 80 % of its battery charge in just 15 minutes!"

There's two problems with fast charging. The first is the batteries themselves; the second is the enormous current required to feed them. The R1E is a tiny car, a fraction of the weight of this GM Sequel. It also has a third the range. So it would require around a fifth to a tenth the total energy to charge. Even still, a 15 minute charge would require a truly prodigous current flow-- and that only gets you an 80% charge. A full charge probably requires twice that time...and who wants to wait 30 minutes at the filling station?

For a vehicle like the Sequel, a fast charge would require a current rating far above what any residential location could provide. Commercial recharging stations would have to be built or retrofitted into existing gas stations, a process easily as difficult as retrofitting for hydrogen filling.

As long as electric cars have long recharge times, they're going to be a niche market, bought by people who also have another, gas-powered car, and use them strictly on a limited basis. Hydrogen, though, has the potential to replace gasoline entirely.


RE: Why hydrogen?
By Marlowe on 2/14/2007 10:47:31 AM , Rating: 2
Yes very true. The current is going to be very very high! So you will need a charging station that works like a giant capacitor, getting slowly charged up from the grid and then quickly offloading its charge to the vehicles. So yeah that would have to be built, true enough.

But then again what you won't need is thousands of trucks driving around the contry supplying these stations. A lot of pollution only there! As long as you have a power grid, you have a source for fuel for you car. This must be a great advantage, especially for hard to reach places and small cities I reckon. Don't you agree?

So yeah, the charging time in addition to the range is the two important factors I guess. But I can't understand anything else than that this will just get better and better during just a few years. The techonology is really evolving fast in this area and there is still much room for improvement before any particular physical laws are met. Like I don't directly now very fast see how the hydrogen system can be improved very much in the near future..?

That's why I'm not so impressed with this hydrogen solution and still think a purely electric solution is the best :)


RE: Why hydrogen?
By masher2 (blog) on 2/14/2007 11:22:04 AM , Rating: 1
>"The current is going to be very very high! So you will need a charging station that works like a giant capacitor..."

Except that 'giant capacitors' leak, which causes energy loss. Worse still is that charging (especially fast-charging) of lithium batteries causes a sizeable loss as well. The last figures I saw were in the 30% loss range...which is roughly as efficient as a good fuel cell.

> "But then again what you won't need is thousands of trucks driving around the contry supplying these stations.."

If you can cheaply and efficiently supply those stations with vast amounts of electricity, then you can produce hydrogen on-site, which means no delivery trucks again. In any case, the amount of pollution produced from those trucks is negigible today compared to our hundreds of millions of cars...and if those trucks were hydrogen-fueled as well, they'd produce no pollution at all.

> "Like I don't directly now very fast see how the hydrogen system can be improved very much in the near future"

Hydrogen technology is fast-evolving as well. More efficient fuel cells, more efficient production, higher storage densities, etc, etc.


RE: Why hydrogen?
By Marlowe on 2/14/2007 2:19:26 PM , Rating: 2
Hehe I must admit you're a challenging discussion partner, masher :) 3000 posts and all hehe ;) Forgive me for trying even so =)

Yeah capacitors leak a little, but it really sounds like a minor issue in a newly developed charging station like this.. wich will probably not use any classic capacitors for the energy storage at all, as I'm sure there are better, more advanced solutions. =)

Can't argue with you about the Lithium based batteries' reaction to fast charging, but don't you think that "The Tokyo Electric Power Company, Incorporated (TEPCO)" would have possibly solved this somehow with their new high-speed charger as you saw in the link I posted about the R1E? Anyways as previously posted and as I'm sure you know also, battery technology is really on it's way up. I just found this, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NanoSafe and it's just one example of several techs like it coming just around the corner. Don't you think if the automotive industry with their big powers put their backing behind this that we would see even more viable solutions even faster?

"If you can cheaply and efficiently supply those stations with vast amounts of electricity, then you can produce hydrogen on-site," I don't understand why you would do this if you could just insert the same electricity directly into the cars? Then you won't lose anything in the process. Yes I've seen that there are alternative ways of making the hydrogen as well, but so are there for making electricity! Just put solar panel roof on your house and contribute :)

And I must argue, the transportation of fossile fuels are not negible. Remember all the huge tankers going around the oceans of the world and the running of the all drilling platforms. I'm too lazy to find sites and all but I'm sure there are a lot of pollution and money possible to save if all that was gone! Even better replaced by unmanned tidal wave based powerplants or something :P

Not to mention all the big pipes that is put up and as we've seen in Africa leaks and once in a while torches a couple of houndred people :P


RE: Why hydrogen?
By masher2 (blog) on 2/14/2007 3:04:19 PM , Rating: 1
> "Yeah capacitors leak a little..."

More than a little; their self-discharge rate is far higher than that of batteries...which is one of the two reasons we don't power electric cars with supercapacitors. And you're still skirting the main point, which is that your all-electric solution isn't really more efficient than a good fuel cell.

> "Can't argue with you about the Lithium based batteries' reaction to fast charging, but don't you think that [TEPCO] would have possibly solved this somehow..."

No I don't. If you have facts to the contrary, I'd be happy to look at them.

> "battery technology is really on it's way up..."

So are hydrogen fuel cells. In fact, they're evolving much faster, as they're a newer technology.

> "I don't understand why you would do this if you could just insert the same electricity directly into the cars?"

Because you can't "just insert" the same amount of electricity directly into cars. Batteries only hold a small fraction of the energy of a hydrogen tank. Furthermore, it takes a long time to put that energy in, unlike a fuel cell which can be recharged instantly.







RE: Why hydrogen?
By Marlowe on 2/14/2007 4:15:09 PM , Rating: 2
Now you're easier to answer, masher.. your arguments are drawing thin :)

I already said that normal capacitors would probably not be used, even so you're blowing this leaking thing out of proportion. With proper construction this would be a very minor problem for a charging station. Also it wouldn't need to hold on to such a charge for any long, as it discharges whenever a customer comes by.. Any leftovers could easily be given back to the grid :)

"Isn't more efficient.." Now you see masher my man that is not an argument it's a statement. Of course direct handling of electricity is more effecient when what you want is to power an electric motor. It's logical that when you use electricity to make hydrogen and then extract the electricity back from it again you lose a bunch of energy on the way.

"If you have facts.." As I said, TEPCO got it to work and they use it with their Lithium batteries.. more importantly what I said next is that it doesn't really matter if they completely solved the problem or not, as better alternatives than Lithium batteries are coming very soon. Damn you are harsh :)

Then you say "Batteries only hold a small fraction of the energy of a hydrogen tank." Is that so? So I can say then that you were blown away by this 2010 GM hydrogen vehicle with 300 mile range and 90 mph top speed? Hehe.. yeah that's really something :D

And the stuff about recharge times and new battery technology I really don't care repeating one more time :P We have 15 minutes for 80% charge today, let's see what we have in 2010 shall we.

You only see problems and not solutions, masher :)


RE: Why hydrogen?
By masher2 (blog) on 2/14/2007 5:54:30 PM , Rating: 1
> "I already said that normal capacitors would probably not be used..."

Yes, you did...but you didn't provide any alternative. Just some postulating about "superior solutions" you were "sure" existed....though you couldn't name any.

>"It wouldn't need to hold on to such a charge for any long, as it discharges whenever a customer comes by..."

Err, no. The capacitors (or equivalent) would need to be kept charged. You can't simply charge them as a customer pulls up...if that was possible, you wouldn't need them in the first place. You'd simply charge the vehicle directly.

> "It's logical that when you use electricity to make hydrogen and then extract the electricity back from it again you lose a bunch of energy on the way..."

It's also logical that when you have to transport electricity over hundreds of miles of lossy power lines, converting voltages a few times (each with its own loss), then power a charging station to fast-charge batteries, incurring even more losses, that you've lost much of the efficiency you saved with the all-electric source. Distribution losses are very real; you cannot blithely brush them aside.

> "As I said, TEPCO got it to work ..."

TEPCO did not "get it to work", not when the "it" is a high coulometric efficiency during fast-charging. The company doesn't even claim to have done this...why are you inventing tales?

> "Then you say "Batteries only hold a small fraction of the energy of a hydrogen tank." Is that so? "

Yes, that's so. Which is why you don't see any all-electric SUVs that offer instant-charging and 300 mile ranges.

> "You only see problems and not solutions, masher :) "

The solution I see is hydrogen fuel cells. For someone who sees "only problems" with this particular technology, I find your accusation rather ironic.


RE: Why hydrogen?
By Marlowe on 2/14/2007 8:14:22 PM , Rating: 2
You are so grumpy that this is the last time I care answering, and it's gonna be short.

I don't care what the bloody charger is made of. Leakage is a minor problem. Also it was just a charging solution I just came up with, someone smart will probably come up with something better.

The imagined capacitor would DIScharge when a costumer came. Giving the vehicle its energy fast. Then slowly recharge.

The electrical losses in the powergrid is negible in comparison to the enourmous energy used by trucks, oil tankers and drilling platforms.

I didn't say "TEPCO" got anything other than a high-speed charger to work. The quick charging is "IT" for christs sake.

And you won't from a hydrogen car either until 2010. If we knew the KWh equivalent for hydrogen tank in the Sequel we could talk about fractions. You don't have a clue now. I don't care about bloody now. I care about what's worth investing time and money in.

I like hydrogen by that the vehicles don't pollute. That's super great. What I don't like is that their fuel is atm made by "Big Oil" and that these alternative production methods don't look like they could take over Big Oils job in decades yet. I don't like hydrogen car in that it's just a obviously inferior solution come up with by Big Oil to give them an environmentally good image and still give them profit. I don't like it in the way that it destracts focus away from the purely electric car and its developement and industrial support.

Became long anyway. Bah. I can't help it. Goodnight. Not to you masher2, you're too grumpy :P


RE: Why hydrogen?
By masher2 (blog) on 2/14/2007 10:52:03 PM , Rating: 1
> "it was just a charging solution I just came up with, someone smart will probably come up with something better."

But as of today, no one has. Quite probably they will one day.. However by then hydrogen cells will have improved as well. That's why we compare current tech to current tech...we don't get a free pass by imagining how great things will be at some point in the future.

> "The electrical losses in the powergrid is negible in comparison to the enourmous energy used by trucks, oil tankers and drilling platforms"

On the contrary, grid losses consume well over 7% of all power generated in the US. In comparison, distribution costs for petroleum account for less than 2% of all usage.

And I don't know you keep mentioning oil tankers anyway. We're comparing the distribution costs of electricity to a hydrogen economy. We won't be shipping hydrogen all the way from Saudi Arabia...it will be produced here in the US, at a plant most likely within a few hundred miles of where it is consumed.

> "I didn't say "TEPCO" got anything other than a high-speed charger to work... "

I mentioned the losses due to charging, you reply "don't you think TEPCO would have solved that problem?" then followed up with "well they got it to work". If you're speaking English, then you're implying they increased charging efficiency.

> "The imagined capacitor would DIScharge when a costumer came. Giving the vehicle its energy fast. Then slowly recharge..."

And when it was charged, it would have to wait for the next customer. While doing so, it would be leaking energy continously. Even while charging (or discharging) its still leaking current. Capacitors have, compared to batteries, enormous self-discharge rates.





Chevy Sequel?
By Quiksel on 2/13/2007 3:32:18 PM , Rating: 5
I imagine the sequel to the Sequel will be the Prequel, with Anakin Skywalker doing all the commercials to market the next next-gen hybrid, right?

or would that be the next previous-gen? I'm confused... but the Prequel would be an awesome sequel to the Sequel!




RE: Chevy Sequel?
By jskirwin on 2/13/2007 3:36:59 PM , Rating: 5
Well at least it's not the SQL - a car that takes you where you want to go most of the time, but every once in a while drives around in circles or slams into trees.


RE: Chevy Sequel?
By FITCamaro on 2/13/2007 4:02:18 PM , Rating: 3
Thanks for that. Was great.


RE: Chevy Sequel?
By lukasbradley on 2/13/2007 3:57:15 PM , Rating: 2
Thank you for writing this.


Sweet but where do you buy fuel?
By MrBungle123 on 2/13/2007 3:34:28 PM , Rating: 2
There is still no gas stations that I know of that sell hydrogen.




By microAmp on 2/13/2007 4:37:28 PM , Rating: 3
Now you can find out. :)

http://gasprices.mapquest.com

Use the drop down menu on the left to select type of fuel and zip code.


By JumpingJack on 2/13/2007 11:39:35 PM , Rating: 3
Hummmm, I wonder what owners of a steam engine thought about the internal comubustion engine when it was first proposed....

'Hey, zeke, heard of that new motor car --- runs on foul smellin' stuff.'
'Yeah, what's that zed'...
'It is called Gas-O-Line'...
'Will never fly Zed, where the hell can you get it...'


yum
By fxnick on 2/13/2007 10:44:42 PM , Rating: 2
none of this is really interesting seeing that hydrogen is made by burning gas/oil(and electrolysis is to expensive, and on top of that the power comes from... Power Plants!) , which we already do in our engines.

the only thing i can see being environmentally friendly and cheap is a car that run on water(and makes fruit punch as exhaust ;).




RE: yum
By SLI on 2/14/2007 7:59:00 AM , Rating: 2
The thing I think is really cool is look at each of the four corners of the frame. See the mounts? This is where they mount the body on. Notice how flat the whole drivetrain is? This means they can create a COMMON drivetrain and simply bolt on any body configuration they want. SUV, Sedan, Wagon, whatever they need. Very flexible.

Not the main focus of the vehicle design obviously, but a nice side benefit.


RE: yum
By masher2 (blog) on 2/14/2007 9:53:34 AM , Rating: 2
> "none of this is really interesting seeing that hydrogen is made by burning gas/oil..."

Most of that hydrogen will come from burning coal, actually. A large percentage will come from zero-emission sources such as nuclear and hydro. Furthermore, a large commercial power plant produces far less emissions per unit energy than does a tiny gas-burning automobile engine.


Impressive, but what is the cost?
By Lord 666 on 2/13/2007 3:35:15 PM , Rating: 2
Looks very similar to Subaru Tribeca(GM partner), overall decent looking vehicle.

The true questions are the anticipated cost and the fuel delivery supply-chain network.




By Trippytiger on 2/14/2007 12:12:28 AM , Rating: 2
Not any more. General Motors sold its 20% share in Fuji Heavy Industries, the parent company of Subaru, to Toyota a while ago now.

You're right, though. The first thing I thought when I saw the picture was "Tribeca look-a-like" too. I think it's an overall better-looking vehicle, though.


The COST!
By Mitch101 on 2/13/2007 4:14:47 PM , Rating: 2
I need a new car and what keeps me from driving a hybrid or any other earth friendly or high gas milage alternative is the price of the vehicle. It doesnt matter to me if they can produce the vehicle in 2010 but if it costs $4000 more than the gas equiped version then its useless to me.

New technology is not always an incentive by companies to charge a premium for it.

If GM wants to survive and get me to buy one of thier vehicles then it needs to be price competitive. But Im sure it will also be GM quality which also bothers me and is the main reason I need to buy another car.




RE: The COST!
By jtesoro on 2/14/2007 12:45:19 AM , Rating: 2
Join Google. I heard they give a $5000 subsidy for a hybrid car. :)


Fossil Fuels
By SilverBack on 2/14/2007 8:59:46 AM , Rating: 2
I don't think of myself as an alarmist, but more of a realist.
Fossil fuels can't last forever.

China's economy is set to explode in the next 20 years making it the number 1 industrialized nation on earth. ( yeah the US to take second)
When the consumption of gasoline and other fuels REALLY hits stride as China's populace needs the fuel we'll see the prices and availability change dramatically.

We need to find alternatives now.
We don't have the luxury of waiting any longer.

Honda last year published their idea's for a home fuel cell station.

Here is a link to a pdf that explains alot of what they are
proposing: http://www.ieahia.org/pdfs/honda.pdf

Perfect? No
A good head start? Definately

We have to get over the mentality that refuses change.....




RE: Fossil Fuels
By AxemanFU on 2/14/2007 10:31:26 AM , Rating: 2
Don't let yourself be too fooled about our fossil fuel future. We still need oil for all sorts of things from myriad plastic and rubber products, lubricants, hydrocarbon components of all sorts of more complex chemicals, fertilizer components, etc. We can sythesize a lot of this stuff, but generally, that is much more costly to do. The ironic part is once you have processed oil for all of these other products, you have tar, and fuel grade hydrocarbons left over in many cases...what to do with those if you don't use them in combustion engines? This problem is a lot tougher than batter powered cars and nuclear power plants.


By scottcolo on 2/13/2007 5:06:08 PM , Rating: 3
I work for the US Department of Energy in support of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Colorado. Every day I see our government working towards enhancing existing renewable energy technology (solar, wind, biomass, etc), and conducting research into new energy sources that will help us reduce our dependence on petroleum based energy.

There is a very large, concerted effort to restructure our fuel distribution infrastructure so that it will soon be able to support vehicles that do not run on gasoline. While it is true that our country is not yet ready to put up a hydrogen station in every spot that now houses a gasoline station, it IS working towards making hydrogen available enough for it to be a viable replacement to gasoline. Research suggests that the presence of approximately 5,000 stations, properly distributed around the country, will be enough to give hydrogen-fueled vehicles a place in our society, and things will only improve from there.

See the following link for a look at what the future holds...

http://www1.eere.energy.gov/vehiclesandfuels/





By Ytsejamer1 on 2/14/2007 10:48:45 AM , Rating: 2
We're always a few years away...I will almost guarandamntee that gas will not be "a thing of the past" in three years with these cars.

I'm all about cleaner alternatives, but there's a few things missing from the Hydrogen puzzle:
1) Infrastructure to support it...we don't have it.
2) Hydrogen fuel costs are quite a bit higher than anything we have now...
3) Energy required to MAKE hydrogen is fairly high...economically and environmentally
4) Energy output of hydrogen fuel cells is quite a bit lower at this point in time (but could and likely will improve over time)
5) don't forget...it's still possible for gas efficiency to be greatly improved over this the same time period.

Personally the only other resource we have a dedicated infrastructure for is electricity. I realize that 60% of electricity is produced by coal plants, but they have ways to filter the output of those plants so they're not as toxic as hundreds of millions of gas-guzzling SUVs.

I find it interesting that the oil industry and american automaker's stupidity has taken almost every form of electric transportation off the road...trolley systems in the past, 100% electric cars during the early to mid-90s, etc.

I recommend watching "Who Killed The Electric Car" documentary film. It's really interesting to see what we've missed out on all these years...at the cost of providing around $50 billion profit per year to the oil companies and exacting an environmental toll on the planet that could have been minimized.




"Nowadays, security guys break the Mac every single day. Every single day, they come out with a total exploit, your machine can be taken over totally. I dare anybody to do that once a month on the Windows machine." -- Bill Gates

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