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Old 09-25-2009, 09:19 AM   #1
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Default GM Fuel Cell System With Gen-5 Fuel Cell Stack Could be Commercialized in 2015

The second-generation hydrogen fuel cell system (pictured) in development by General Motors Co. is half the size, 220 pounds lighter and uses less than half the precious metal of the current generation in the Chevrolet Equinox Fuel Cell electric vehicle. And, the production-intent fuel cell powertrain can be packaged under the hood in about the same space as a four-cylinder engine, GM announced in a statement today. It contains GM's fifth-generation fuel cell stack, which the company said could be commercialized in 2015.

Hydrogen-powered fuel cells are a few years away from widespread commercial use because of the need for additional investment and partnership, along with expanded availability of hydrogen fueling stations.

In a statement, Charles Freese, executive director of GM's fuel-cell program, said GM has invested more than $1.5 billion in fuel-cell technology and is committed to continuing to invest, but "we no longer can go it alone... We will require government and industry partnerships to install a hydrogen infrastructure."

Through Project Driveway, a demonstration fleet of more than 100 hydrogen-powered fuel cell electric Chevrolet Equinox crossovers has amassed more than 1 million miles of every-day driving by ordinary citizens, celebrities and others since late 2007.

In recent weeks, a consortium of the German government and leading industrial companies has announced plans to build up to 1,000 hydrogen fueling stations by 2015, about the time several automakers expect to have hydrogen fuel cell vehicles for sale. Earlier, a group of 13 oil and gas companies in Japan announced similar plans.

"Failure to act will insure the U.S. cannot meet its long-term fuel efficiency and greenhouse gas reduction objectives," Freese said. "We know what needs to be done. Now is the time to get started.
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