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Posts Tagged ‘Chevrolet Equinox fuel cell’

Hawaii, Hydrogen, and General Motors Fuel Cells

New collaboration on Oahu for refueling fuel cell vehicles.

by on May.11, 2010

The state of Hawaii wants to reduce petroleum use by 70% within a generation.

General Motors and The Gas Company (TGC), Hawaii’s major gas energy provider, announced today a hydrogen infrastructure project that will use an estimated five to 50 of GM’s fuel cell vehicles as part of the program.

Hawaii could benefit from hydrogen-powered fuel cell transportation because it depends on imported petroleum for 90% percent of its energy use.  Gasoline prices are among the highest and electricity prices are the highest in the U.S.

However, fuel cells continue to face many challenges, including extremely high costs for both the energy and the fuel cell vehicle, as well as limited range.  One solution to overcome range anxiety is under development at GM, but it requires large, high-pressure  hydrogen tanks (700 bar, 128 Kg), which can take up much of the usable space of a car, to allow for 300 miles between  refills.

TGC already produces hydrogen along with synthetic natural gas and delivers it in its utility gas stream, with more than 5% hydrogen content today. Through a proprietary separation process, TGC plans to tap into its 1,000-mile utility pipeline system at several locations and separate the hydrogen for use by local fueling stations, estimated at 21, for fuel cell vehicles.

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GM Fuel Cell Production Ready by 2015?

Latest generation fuel cell shrinks in size, weight, and cost.

by on Apr.09, 2010

The latest fuel cell system is 220 pounds lighter and about half the size of the one used in the Chevrolet Equinox Fuel Cell electric vehicle.

General Motors Company is testing a “production-intent” hydrogen fuel cell system that can be packaged in the space of a traditional four-cylinder engine and be ready for commercial use in 2015.

No cost or performance information has been released by GM.

The second-generation system is half the size, 220 pounds lighter and uses about a third of the platinum of the fuel cell in the Chevrolet Equinox electric vehicles used in Project Driveway. (See One Million Miles of Fuel Cell Testing at Chevrolet )

The electric Equinox runs on electricity created by an on-board fuel cell stack similar to ones used the space program and almost as expensive. The U.S. Department of Energy estimated in 2008 that in volume production electricity would be made at $73 a kilowatt. A kilowatt hour (KWh) of electricity in Michigan for residential customers costs 15 cents or less.

In spite of the enormous technical challenge, the attraction of a fuel cell is that the only emissions created are water vapor — if you do not take into account how the hydrogen fuel is created that the Chevrolet fuel cell uses.

GM has the world’s largest market test and demonstration fleet of fuel cell electric vehicles in use, and since 2007 and it has tallied nearly 1.3 million miles of driving in cities around the world.

“Our learning from Project Driveway has been tremendous and these vehicles have been very important to our program,” Charles Freese, executive director of GM’s Global Fuel Cell Activities told reporters Tuesday at a news briefing on GM’s fuel cell progress.   (more…)

Nissan Leases First Fuel Cell SUV in North America

X-Trail prototype goes to Sacramento Coca-Cola.

by on Nov.24, 2009

Moon shot  technology at about the same cost thus far.

Moon shot technology and "zero emissions" at about the same cost thus far.

Nissan North America today announced the lease of an X-Trail fuel cell vehicle to Sacramento Coca-Cola Bottling Company.

This is Nissan’s first commercial FCV lease in North America, and it’s for one year, with an option for two additional years at an undisclosed rate.

The vehicle is based on the X-Trail sport utility, which is available in Mexico, Japan and Europe. It has a Nissan-developed fuel cell stack, lithium-ion batteries and a high-pressure hydrogen storage cylinder.

Performance is said to be close to that of a similarly sized internal combustion engine-based vehicle. Versions of this generation are capable of speeds in excess of 95 miles per hour, with a cruising range of up to 300 miles, according to Nissan.

Nissan has previously used FCVs in demonstration fleets in Japan and in California through the California Fuel Cell Partnership (CaFCP).

No Money Down!!

No Money Down!

“Sacramento already has the beginning of a hydrogen infrastructure in place, and Sacramento Coca-Cola has a track record of utilizing low emissions cars, so the two companies share a green philosophy as well as a common love of things ‘zero’,” said Eric Nozier, vice president, Corporate Planning, NNA.

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One Million Miles of Fuel Cell Testing at Chevrolet

Burning cubic money eliminates gasoline and tailpipe emissions.

by on Sep.11, 2009

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The cost of electricity from a fuel cell is $73 a kilowatt. A typical homeowner pays 10 cents.

General Motors says that Chevrolet Equinox fuel-cell electric vehicles today passed one million miles of testing. The company estimates that more than 50,000 gallons of gasoline have been saved so far in fuel cell equipped Equinox models. There are currently more than 100 of the electric vehicles on the road, which GM claims is the largest consumer fuel cell demonstration fleet in the world.

The fuel cell electric Equinox runs on electricity created by an on-board fuel cell stack similar to ones used the space program and almost as expensive. The U.S. Department of Energy estimated last year that in volume production electricity will be made at $73 a kilowatt;  a kilowatt of electricity in Michigan for residential customers costs 15 cents or less.

In spite of the enormous technical challenge, the attraction of a fuel cell is that the only emissions created are water vapor — if you don’t take into account how the hydrogen fuel is created that the Chevrolet fuel cell uses.

The Equinox fuel cell is part of Chevrolet’s electrification of the automobile, which continues next year with commercial production of the Volt extended-range electric vehicle. Feedback and learning from the Equinox fuel cell is being shared with the Volt development team. Both cars are not commercially viable at this time given extremely high development costs production costs. Automakers are pushing for massive taxpayer financed subsidies to help them sell electric vehicles to the public.

About 5,000 people have driven the fuel cell Equinox models in short test drives. More than 80,000 people in New York, Washington, D.C., and Greater Los Angeles, volunteered to drive the vehicles as part of Project Driveway, which began in November 2007.

The Fuel Cell Equinox carries about 4.2 kilograms of compressed hydrogen on board, enough for about 168 miles before a five-to-seven minute refill is required. Regenerative braking helps to send electricity back to the battery pack, which extends the driving range somewhat. Drivers refill at hydrogen stations in New York, Washington, and South California.

Minimal kilowatts used!

Minimal Kilowatts Required!

“It has never been our focus to get a million miles, but it’s given us an incredible learning experience,” said Mark Vann, who manages Project Driveway for Chevrolet. “This says a lot about the viability of fuel cell vehicles – that they are not one or two decades away but are doable today.”

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