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GM Set to Move Faster on Future Battery Cars

Will GM partner with Honda on plug-based models?

by on Jan.07, 2016

GM Chairman and CEO Mary Barra at the CES debut of the 2017 Chevrolet Bolt.

The launch of the new Chevrolet Bolt is likely to mark the start, rather than the end, of General Motors’ electrification efforts, a number of company officials tell

And though CEO Mary Barra was not ready to comment about future models during a media roundtable in Las Vegas, she stressed the speed with which GM will have gone from concept to customer with the 200-mile Bolt. It was first revealed in prototype form at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show, returning in production form at this week’s Consumer Electronics Show. The Chevy Bolt will be on sale later this year.

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“That speaks to the speed of this technology team,” said Barra, adding that, “We are committed to electrification. We see it as a very important part” of the GM portfolio.


Hyundai Set to Bring New Hydrogen Car to U.S. in Early 2014

Korean maker betting ultra-clean fuel cells can overcome limits of battery power.

by on Oct.23, 2013

Hyundai is already selling the iX35 hydrogen car in Europe and prepping the little crossover for the American market.

Hyundai is betting heavily on the world’s lightest gas – with U.S. sales of its new hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle set to begin in the U.S. early next year.

Sometimes described as “refillable batteries,” fuel cells produce nothing but water vapor in their exhaust and are one of only a handful of ways to meet the stringent zero-emission vehicle, or ZEV, requirements set for California and other parts of the world. But hydrogen power has its own drawbacks, including the lack of a refueling infrastructure that experts warn could take years – and cost billions of dollars – to overcome.

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“We are studying the market to see which will work better,” Moon-Sik Kwan, president of Hyundai Motor Group’s R&D Division, tells, noting that while Hyundai is focusing on hydrogen, its South Korean partner Kia is preparing a battery-electric version of its little Soul crossover.


GM, Army Team Up to Push Fuel Cell Development

Partnership could put hydrogen power on highways – and in war zones.

by on Oct.01, 2013

A hydrogen fuel cell prototype undergoing testing as part of a joint GM - Army program.

The U.S. Army and General Motors Co. have teamed up on the development of hydrogen-powered fuel cell vehicles.

What may seem like an odd couple alliance actually reveals a common need for clean, alternatively powered vehicles that not only can run on public highways but potentially serve at remote military applications where access to petroleum-based fuels might be severely limited.

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Fuel cells have often been referred to as “rechargeable batteries” because they provide a steady flow of current to drive electric motors. In contrast to conventional batteries which require long charging cycles, however, hydrogen tanks can be refueled in a matter of minutes.

“We believe hydrogen fuel cell technology holds tremendous potential to one day help reduce our dependence on petroleum and we are committed to building on our leadership through the continued development,” said Charlie Freese, executive director of GM’s global fuel cell engineering activities.


GM, Honda Launch Fuel Cell Partnership

Partners aiming for mass market-ready hydrogen cars by 2020.

by on Jul.02, 2013

GM is testing the viability of its hydrogen-powered Equinox prototype as part of a Hawaiian pilot program.

The following story has been updated with the latest developments.

General Motors and Honda plan to team up in an effort to bring zero-emission hydrogen fuel-cell technology to the mass market by the end of the decade, the makers formally announced Tuesday morning.

Both GM and Honda have already begun fielding small test fleets of hydrogen-powered vehicles – as have a number of competitors including Toyota and Mercedes-Benz – but the goal of the new effort is to help solve nagging technical obstacles while driving costs down to mass-market levels. The makers also hope that by making a serious commitment to fuel cell technology they will encourage the energy industry to expand the availability of hydrogen, something essential to encourage consumer acceptance.

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“The widespread use of future fuel cell vehicles requires a significant advance in cost reduction… and in the refueling infrastructure that will support them,” Tetsuo Iwamura, president of American Honda Motor Co., said during a joint news conference in New York City.  “Two companies can do more together than the simple sum of our individual efforts.”


GM Moving Fuel Cell Center Back to Michigan

One of several signs of reviving Detroit-area auto business.

by on Oct.08, 2012

Engineers are shown testing a fuel cell stack at GM's Honeoye operations.

General Motors Co. is moving its fuel-cell development headquarters from upstate New York to the company’s engine research and development center in Pontiac, Michigan which is responsible for integrating new technology into the automaker’s products.

GM has been one of many makers exploring applications of hydrogen-powered fuel cells which some believe could provide a true zero-emissions alternative to both conventional gasoline engines and limited-range electric vehicles

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GM spokeswoman Kimberly Carpenter confirmed GM plans to move 220 salaried engineers and other staff to Michigan by the end of the first quarter of 2013. Virtually all of the employees assigned to the GM fuel cell research center in Honeoye, N.Y. near Rochester, N.Y. are being offered jobs in Pontiac, she said.


GM Fuel Cell Program at Risk

Maker wants more government money - what else?

by on Jul.29, 2009

GM insists it is at the forefront of fuel cell development - but it insists it will have to drop its research work without some federal funding.

GM insists it is at the forefront of fuel cell development - but it claims it will have to drop its research work without some federal funding.

General Motors officials are hinting that their research work on what many experts believe will be the ultimate clean automotive technology could be at risk – unless, that is, the federal government kicks in with yet more money.

Insiders tell that GM has already spent over $1 billion to develop its fuel cell technology.  But despite the company’s belief that it has an edge on competitors like Toyota and Daimler AG, it warns it doesn’t have the cash on hand, after its recent bankruptcy, to keep up the necessary pace.

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“The program has not slowed down at all,” Larry Burns, GM’s retiring vice president of research, told USA Today, in a report on the fuel cell program. “The issue is, going forward, do we have sufficient money to operate at that rate?”