Category: GM News
Posted: 12.11.2009 00:20, Edited: 11.11.2009 08:20
Also on the topic of future fuel vehicles, hydrogen, on the surface, still stands as one of the most potentially friendly methods of propulsion in our eyes. That's so long as the source of the electricity required to create the hydrogen is of a renewable source.
Apparently GM is making good headway with this technology.
According to a recent post on GM's Fastlane blog page by Charles Freese, Executive Director, Fuel Cell Activities, GM's progress has seen his team's testing advance from their workshop into the normal GM pre-production cycle.
"With quantifiable learnings from the Equinox fuel cell fleet and a strong technology development effort, the fuel cell program left R&D about a year ago and became part of Powertrain, where it is treated like any pre-production program when it comes to seeking efficiency, cost reduction, design for manufacturability, and other elements of a production program. It is still expensive, but the costs are coming down dramatically. Our next-generation fuel cell architecture is 220 pounds lighter, uses about half the parts and roughly a third of the precious metals, compared to the still-impressive Equinox demonstration vehicles."
They're not out of the woods and ready to start preparing the sales brochures yet, however.
"For today, we must help people understand that the fuel cell vehicles they can drive now would still be out of reach for most buyers. Fuel cells must cross the same “valley of death,” that every new technology must endure. GM is developing advanced hydrogen fuel cell designs that are clearly on a path toward affordable hydrogen-powered vehicles. As we move from petroleum to other energy sources we must consider the true technology costs and stay the course to achieve our long-term objectives."
The graphic below represents the reduction in compexity and size of GM's current fuel cell prototype powertrains.