Fuel Cell Car of the Future Remains Just That

Sun columnist Jay Hancock takes the wheel of a Chevrolet Equinox that runs on electricity from a hydrogen fuel cell and is surprised by the car's zip and quietness.

Published: 17-Jan-2008

Journalists frothed over General Motors' fuel-cell car. Hydrogen fuel! NASA technology!

The future seemed very close when GM showed off Electrovan - in 1966, only to permanently garage it because nobody could afford it.

Is it any closer now?
I gunned GM's fuel-cell version of the Chevrolet Equinox onto the Jones Falls Expressway. The retrofitted sport utility vehicle is as powerful as you could wish and, lacking pistons, a transmission or even a combustion chamber, quiet as a baby buggy.


The system operates from the Calor Gas, liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) or propane that is already on board for cooking. The system will fit comfortably in an aft locker, normally used for a conventional generator.

The Cadillac Provoq fuel cell concept uses GM's E-Flex propulsion system, combining the new fifth-generation fuel cell system and a lithium-ion battery to produce an electrically driven vehicle that uses no petroleum and has no emission other than water.

Powered by a 100 kW electric engine and fuel cell stack, the i-Blue is capable of running more than 370 miles per refueling and achieves a maximum speed of more than 100 miles per hour.


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