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GM is hoping to release a hydrogen fuel cell-powered vehicle by 2012


Following General Motors’ announcements about its future product plans is news of one of the General’s future powertrain plans. GM’s executive director of research and development said the automaker still plans on producing a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle.

Currently, GM and Honda have hydrogen fuel cell vehicles running around in select areas as test and low-volume production vehicles. GM is hoping to change that by 2012 by releasing a hydrogen fuel cell-powered vehicle.

“Technology leadership is one of the pillars of the company,” said Alan Taub, GM’s executive director of research and development. “That is going to remain, and it will probably be emphasized as part of the brand of GM.”

GM has already made improvements with the technology and has reduced both the size and cost of its fuel cell stack. However, the company still has a ways to go to make the fuel cell stack cost competitive as Taub said it costs about 30 percent more than the upcoming Volt’s powertrain right now.

Taub confirmed GM is working on a production fuel cell vehicle, but said nothing about what vehicle the fuel cell would be put in or any other specifications on it. He’s striving to have the vehicle in production by 2012.

While hydrogen fuel cells have been praised for producing no harmful emissions, they face an uncertain future as there is no infrastructure set up to handle hydrogen refilling. Also, unlike the last administration, President Obama has little interest in hydrogen fuel cells.

Source: Automotive News

August 13, 2009 - 11:16 AM