|GM’s Sequel fuel-cell concept is now drivable.|
In his remarks at the Center for Automotive Research Management Briefing Seminars in Traverse City, Michigan, GM Chairman and CEO Rick Wagoner announced that the company has developed a drivable version of its Sequel fuel-cell concept car.
GM introduced the Sequel concept at the North American International Auto Show in 2005. The Sequel combines a new fuel cell system, higher-pressure hydrogen storage, enhanced by-wire controls substituting for mechanical systems and new rear-wheel hub motors that accelerate the vehicle—slightly larger and heavier than the Cadillac SRX crossover—from 0-60 in less than 10 seconds and with a range of 300 miles. (Earlier post.)
GM will introduce the car to the media next month with a ride-and-drive event in Southern California.
|The Sequel skateboard chassis. Click to enlarge.|
The Sequel uses three traction motors—a single transverse-mounted motor in the front and two rear wheel hub motors—that deliver a total of 110 kW of power. The GM 73 kW fuel-cell power module delivers 25% more power than it predecessor in the Hy-Wire and is supplemented by a 65kW Li-Ion battery system.
Advances in high-pressure hydrogen storage support Sequel’s 300-mile range. Three lightweight, carbon composite tanks store hydrogen at 10,000 psi (700 bars) and carry 8 kg of hydrogen, more than double that of GM’s HydroGen3 fuel cell vehicle.
Wagoner also noted that the Saturn VUE Green Line hybrid (earlier post) has just entered production, and that there are more than 500 GM-equipped hybrid buses in operation, all precursors to a push on hybrid technology.
On the hybrid front, we’re standing right on the threshold of the ramp-up of our major assault...late next year, we’ll introduce, in our full-size SUVs, our technologically advanced two-mode hybrid system—co-developed with BMW and DaimlerChrysler, and based on a scaled-down version of the two-mode system already on the road in our hybrid transit buses.—Rick Wagoner
In separate remarks at the Traverse City event, Andreas Truckenbrodt, executive director of DaimlerChrysler’s hybrid program, said that the three companies will spend more than US$1 billion combined to develop the two-mode system. The cost of the jointly developed system includes at least $300 million for a transmission.
Wagoner also touched on GM’s use of cylinder deactivation and six-speed transmissions to deliver improvements in fuel economy, and on the importance to the company of its flex-fuel initiatives, both in terms of product and in terms of developing the infrastructure.
Wagoner also announced that GM will build a new version of the Camaro, introduced as a muscle concept at the North American International Auto Show in 2006.
Separately, the Wall Street Journal reported today that GM says it will slow production of its big SUVs, reflecting declining sales. According to Wagoner, GM holds 65% of the large and large-luxury SUV market.