|Equinox Fuel Cell Vehicle|
General Motors announced its next-generation fuel-cell vehicle—the Chevrolet Equinox Fuel Cell—and said it will begin building the world’s largest fuel cell vehicle fleet.
The company will build more than 100 Chevrolet Equinox Fuel Cell vehicles and begin placing them with customers in the fall of 2007, as part of a comprehensive deployment plan dubbed “Project Driveway.” Project Driveway will place fuel cell vehicles with a variety of drivers in three geographic areas: California, the New York metropolitan area and Washington D.C. The project is designed to gain comprehensive data on all aspects of the customer experience.
uGeneral Motors is demonstrating its commitment to hydrogen fuel cells as the answer for taking the automobile out of the environmental debate and reducing our dependence on petroleum. 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.—Larry Burns, GM vice president, research & development and strategic planning
The Equinox Fuel Cell is powered by a fourth-generation, 93kW fuel-cell stack. The stack will operate in temperatures ranging from 13° F to +113° F (-25° C to +45° C).
Three carbon fiber fuel tanks store 4.2 kg (9.24 lb) of hydrogen at 700 bar (10,000 psi). A 35 kW NiMH battery pack supplements the fuel cell and captures energy from regenerative braking. The 3-phase asynchronous electric motor generates 73 kW of continuous power (94 kW maximum) and torque of 320 Nm (236 lb-ft).
The Equinox Fuel Cell accelerates from 0-60 mph in 12 seconds; has a top speed of 100 mph (160 kph); and has an operating range of 200 miles (320 km).
The Equinox is engineered for 50,000 miles of life, and is expected to meet all applicable 2007 US Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards. It also offers a number of standard safety features including driver and passenger frontal air bags and roof rail side-impact air bags; anti-lock braking system (ABS); StabiliTrak stability enhancement technology and OnStar.
The Equinox Fuel Cell is a real-world vehicle with real-world performance. The fuel cell technology is seamlessly integrated into a uniquely styled crossover vehicle that is distinctively Chevrolet. The Equinox Fuel Cell joins Chevrolet’s family of advanced gas-saving and alternative fuel vehicles.
These learnings [from Project Driveway] will directly influence future fuel cell vehicle generations and ultimate market acceptance. With Chevrolet being GM’s global volume brand, it makes sense that Chevy will lead GM’s fuel cell vehicle commercialization charge.—Ed Peper, Chevrolet general manager
Last week, GM announced it had developed a driveable version of its Sequel concept fuel-cell vehicle, which is now part of the Chevrolet brand.