Per GM press release - General Motors Corp. is moving more than 500 fuel cell experts from advanced development laboratories to core engineering functions to prepare this technology for future production.
More than 400 fuel cell engineers will report to GM's Powertrain Group to begin production engineering of fuel cell systems. Another 100 will transfer to GM's Global Product Development organization to start integrating fuel cells into future company vehicles.
GM shared details about its fifth-generation fuel cell system technology when it unveiled the fuel cell-powered E-Flex version of the Chevorlot Volt at the Shanghai Auto Show in April. This latest system is half the size of its predecessor, yet provides the same power and performance.
The transition is aimed at expediting the company's efforts to produce vehicles that displace petroleum through energy diversity.
This realignment is yet another initiative in GM's commitment to displace petroleum usage in the auto industry through a range of propulsion alternatives, including:
• E85-capable biofuel vehicles - GM is a leading producer with more than 2 million on the road today
• GM's 2-mode hybrid system for large city buses
• GM's Hybrid System in the Saturn Vue Green Line and Saturn Aura Green Line
• Coming this fall, GM's 2-mode hybrid system in the Chevrolet Tahoe and GMC Yukon full-size SUVs, which provides a more than 25-percent improvement in fuel economy to what is already the industry's most fuel-efficient large SUVs, with no compromises in performance or towing capability
• Due next year, a front-wheel-drive 2-mode Saturn Vue Green Line that is expected to deliver up to a 45-percent improvement in combined city and highway fuel economy compared with the current non-hybrid Vue, based on current federal test procedures
• Plans to produce a plug-in version of the 2-mode hybrid Vue Green Line that has the potential to achieve double the fuel efficiency of any current SUV
Additionally, GM provides more vehicles that achieve 30 mpg on the highway than any other manufacturer in the U.S. market. GM is also the first automotive member to join the U.S. Climate Action Partnership (USCAP), a group of global companies and non-governmental organizations formed to support an economy-wide, market-driven approach to reducing carbon emissions.