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GM's first generation fuel cell system has been extensively tested by a fleet of 100 retrofitted Chevy Equinox fuel cell vehicles.  (Source: Car and Driver)

GM's second generation fuel cells are 220 lb lighter, use half the precious metals, and take up half the space of the previous generation system.  (Source: AutoBlog Green)
Despite a strong push for electric, GM isn't skimping on hydrogen, another popular "green" vehicle technology

Hydrogen is an attractive alternative fuel for the auto industry in some respects.  The technology to produce it with electricity already exists, and it would provide an ideal way to store energy from alternative energy sources such as clean nuclear fission, wind, solar, and (eventually) nuclear fusion. 

However, many obstacles remain to its commercial deployment.  One challenge is developing a production, delivery, and fueling station network capable of sustaining commercial numbers of hydrogen vehicles.  Thanks largely to Toyota and Honda, the roots of such a network have been planted in America's largest urban centers: Los Angeles, California and New York, New York. 

Now one of the American automakers is preparing to step up its efforts to solve the other key challenge -- designing vehicles capable of using hydrogen efficiently.  GM has announced plans to bring vehicles powered by the universe's most abundant gas to the market in only six years.  GM is targeting the 2016 model year for a commercial deployment of its fifth generation fuel cell system.  By the time the fifth generation lands, GM believes the system's size, cost, reliability, and capabilities will be ready for viable mass produced vehicles.

Currently, GM is wrapping up testing its second generation fuel cells.  These cells feature impressive advances over GM's first generation cells.  In total, GM's second generation fuel cell system is 220 pounds lighter than the previous generation, half the size, and uses half the precious metals, while delivering comparable power.

States Charles Freese, executive director of GM Fuel Cell Activities, "The improvements the team has been able to achieve are remarkable.  Hardware mechanization has been dramatically simplified, which will help reduce cost, simplify manufacturing and improve durability."

GM says that it has spent $1.5B USD of its own money on fuel cell vehicles, but it warns it won't be able to deploy the vehicle's commercially without government and industry-wide support.  Mr. Freese adds, "GM has invested more than $1.5 billion in fuel cell technology and we are committed to continuing to invest, but we no longer can go it alone.  As we approach a costly part of the program, we will require government and industry partnerships to install a hydrogen infrastructure and help create a customer pull for the products."

To drum up interest in fuel cell vehicles, GM has deployed 100 hydrogen-powered fuel cell electric Chevrolet Equinox midsize crossovers powered by its first generation cells.  The vehicles have been driven over 1 million miles by ordinary citizens and celebrities, since 2007.  Two DailyTech staffers drove one of these vehicles at the Consumer Electronics Show in early 2008, and came away with favorable impressions.

GM and its competitors Toyota and Honda are hoping that fuel distributors and the U.S. government support a greater U.S. deployment over the next several years.  The German government just announced plans to build 1,000 hydrogen fueling stations by 2015.  In Japan, 13 oil and gas companies have announced similar plans.  That leaves the U.S., which only has 73 existing and 44 planned stations, far behind these foreign competitors [Source].  GM has high hopes, though, that the U.S. deployment will pick up and it will catch up before 2015.

GM is also aggressively pursuing commercial electric vehicle deployment – next year it will deliver the 2011 Chevy Volt EV.



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Hydrogen here, hydrogen now!
By texbrazos on 9/27/2009 12:10:34 AM , Rating: 2
Here is a good link on hydrogen and the myths associated with it
http://www.rmi.org/images/PDFs/Energy/E03-05_20Hyd...

You can also look up some cool videos on youtube. it is fairly easy to make. I have made a little with a small solar panel. Hell, kids are making it.

According to the rmi link above, most major cities already have a hydrogen facility nearby. It can also be made at the station itself. As for the water exhaust, it can be stored in a tank on the vehicle and be pumped out where ever. Maybe on your yard, at the station itself for credit. There are numerous solutions.

There are several smart individuals that are already using hydrogen to power their entire homes without scarifice. They have pools and hot tubs etc.
The problem is the oil and gas companies have such a grip on things that they are holding us back. That is the main hurdle hydrogen is facing. The oil and gas industry don't want to see their record profits go away. It seems, if they were smart they would jump at the chance to get this moving and develop the facilities so they will profit from it. It is going to happen. The first oil and gas company to step up to the plate will look like a hero.
I don't know about you guys, but I am sick of all the air and water pollution. How many of you like the brown clouds hovering over the cities and the smell of exhaust in the air? Not to mention all the chemicals they use to drill the oil and gas wells, that get into peoples well water. I know for a fact that there have been livestock killed by the drilling chemicals here in Texas. No telling what it is doing to humans. Probably lot's of misdiagnosed illness and deaths. Thanks XTO and Chesapeake!!!




"Google fired a shot heard 'round the world, and now a second American company has answered the call to defend the rights of the Chinese people." -- Rep. Christopher H. Smith (R-N.J.)














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