General Motors’ fleet of fuel cell vehicles recently passed 3 million miles (4.8 million km) of hydrogen-powered, real-world driving. Some individual vehicles have accumulated more than 120,000 miles (193,000 km). By GM’s estimate, using hydrogen to power these vehicles, the fleet has avoided 157,894 gallons of gasoline consumption.
This specially equipped fleet of Chevrolet Equinox Fuel Cell vehicles are part of GM’s 119-vehicle Project Driveway program, which launched in 2007. Since then, more than 5,000 drivers have provided feedback on the functionality and drivability of fuel cell technology.
These vehicles have operated through seven full winters and a wide range of environmental conditions, proving that fuel cells can meet the demands of real-world drivers.—Charlie Freese, executive director of GM’s global fuel cell engineering activities
Last year, GM announced two fuel cell-related collaborations. In July, 2013, GM and Honda announced a long-term collaboration to co-develop next-generation fuel cell and hydrogen storage systems, aiming for potential commercialization in the 2020 time frame. In addition, GM and Honda are working together with stakeholders to further advance refueling infrastructure, which is critical for the long-term viability and consumer acceptance of fuel cell vehicles. (Earlier post, earlier post.)
Also last year GM opened a new state-of-the-art Fuel Cell Development Laboratory at GM Powertrain World Headquarters in Pontiac, Mich. In September, 2013 GM and the US Army Tank Automotive Research, Development & Engineering Center (TARDEC) jointly announced an expansion of their relationship for testing automotive fuel cell technology. (Earlier post.)
According to The Clean Energy Patent Growth Index, GM ranked No. 1 in total fuel cell patents granted in 2013, and continues to lead all companies in total fuel cell patents granted since 2002.