2009 Chevrolet Equinox LSEnlarge Photo
The Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) and General Motors are teaming up to present a press conference about development of the fuel cell at the Detroit Auto Show Wednesday. The presentation will be a part of the show's Education Day this Wednesday, January 21, and will kick off at 10:00 a.m. at the GM exhibit in Cobo hall.
The aim of the conference is to present SAE International's 'A World in Motion,' which is a K-12 program designed to foster "the fundamental skills necessary for a future career in science, technology and engineering." The program is targeted towards middle school students across the U.S.
On hand will be an example of fuel cell technology in the form of a Chevrolet Equinox fuel cell vehicle, which converts hydrogen into electric energy to power the vehicle's electric motors. With zero emissions (apart from water vapor) from its electric propulsion system, an Equinox fuel cell vehicle will be on hand for test drives at the Ride-And-Drive Park inside Michigan Hall.
While hydrogen-powered vehicles like the 7-series, Mazda RX-8, and Honda FCX Clarity do offer zero emissions, they face huge hurdles due to nascent infrastructure for hydrogen refueling. If you really want in on the hydrogen experiment, you better live in California; currently there are six stations in Northern California and a surprising 20 in Southern California. Not to mention, hydrogen gas is quite volatile, making storage and transfer a relatively hazardous affair. Whether or not this clean technology succeeds remains to be seen, but any advancement in the realm of zero-emissions vehicles is a laudable mark of progress for clean transportation.
photo credit: Nick Humphries.Enlarge Photo