GM Continues Fuel Cell Test Program
The system is a new development, being 50 percent more compact, 220 pounds lighter and using around a third of the platinum of the company’s previous system. The latter is used in the company’s Project Driveway, the world’s largest market test and demonstration fleet of fuel cell electric vehicles. This started in 2007, uses Chevrolet Equinox Fuel Cell electric vehicles and has totaled almost 1.3 miles of real-world driving around the globe.
“Our learning from Project Driveway has been tremendous and these vehicles have been very important to our program.The 30 months we committed to the demonstration are winding down, but we will keep upgrades of these vehicles running and will continue learning from them while we focus efforts on the production-intent program for 2015,” said Charles Freese, executive director of GM's Global Fuel Cell Activities.
”Some of the 119 fuel cell electric vehicles in Project Driveway will receive hardware and software upgrades and will become part of a technology demonstration program with the U.S. Department of Energy. Others will be driven by businesses and a few will be used to continue showing that, with proper fueling infrastructure, hydrogen fuel cells are a viable alternative to gasoline-powered vehicles,” Freese added.
The first person to long-term use an upgraded Chevy fuel cell vehicle will be Stephanie White, a fuel cell advocate and one of the first participants in the initial project. Frees has already handed White the keys to the car.