The Detroit Free Press, among many others, reported that
Today, GM is to announce that it will build the world's largest fleet of hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles in 2007 -- more than 100 Chevrolet Equinox crossover vehicles to be deployed in California, and the New York and Washington, D.C., areas. ... Vice Chairman Robert Lutz said GM may have affordable hydrogen-powered cars available in mass-production volumes by 2011.
The Auto Channel contributed the following:
The plan dubbed “Project Driveway is " Designed to gain comprehensive learnings on all aspects of the customer experience, Project Driveway constitutes the first meaningful market test of fuel cell vehicles anywhere. ... Larry Burns, GM vice president, research & development and strategic planning. said “The Equinox Fuel Cell is powered by GM’s most advanced fuel cell propulsion system to date, and demonstrates an important milestone on our pathway to automotive-competitive fuel cell propulsion technology development."
Enabled by GM’s fourth-generation fuel cell propulsion system, the Equinox Fuel Cell is a fully-functional crossover vehicle, engineered for 50,000 miles of life. Importantly, the Equinox Fuel Cell is able to start and operate in sub-freezing temperatures during its 50,000-mile life.
The Toronto Star added the flollowing:
The vehicles will be built by GM of Canada at the company's Regional Engineering Centre in Oshawa.
Peak power from the fuel cell is rated at 93 kW (124 hp) and the nickel-metal-hydride battery pack, located beneath the rear seat footwell, can provide up to 35 kW (47 hp). That is similar to the output from the conventional Equinox's four-cylinder gasoline engine.
Three cylindrical fuel tanks, pressurized to 700 bar (10,000 psi) are mounted beneath the rear seat and between the rear wheels. There is no sacrifice of interior cabin space to accommodate the fuel-cell system components, and the tanks can be fully refilled in five minutes.
Could this be the start of a battle between GM and Toyota to see whether the Fuel Cell or the Hybrid will be the dominant power source for cars in the future? Toyota is forecast to have greater sales than GM, on both a US and worldwide basis by 2010 or 2011. Is GM betting on the wrong technology again? I certainly hope that Toyota wins this one.