Fuel cells. Remember them?
It wasn’t all that long ago that the headlines were filled with talk about hydrogen-based technology as the answer to the auto industry’s environmental problems. Over the last year or so, there’s been a shift to battery-powered drivetrain systems. But a numerous of technical improvements could put the fuel cell back in the running as the powertrain of choice for tomorrow’s automobile.
With Daimler AG promising to put the hydrogen-powered F-Cell into production, in the coming months, General Motors is hinting it could commercialize its own fuel cell technology as early as 2015. That’s a bit later than the troubled automaker once promised, but the news runs counter to those who expected GM to abandon its hydrogen program entirely in order to focus on battery-based vehicles, such as the Chevrolet Volt.
A release from General Motors hints at some of the reasons for its optimism – though TheDetroitBureau.com recently had a chance to see the new, 5th-generation GM fuel cell technology up close, where some additional details were disclosed.