Chevy Sequel Fuel-Cell Goes 300 Miles

May 15, 2007
General Motors claims to have the first electrically driven fuel-cell vehicle capable of going 300 miles on a single tank of hydrogen — on public roads.

Sequel’s 300-mile route acrossNew York State began at GM’s Fuel Cell Activity Center in Honeoye Falls, near Rochester, and finished in Tarrytown, just north of New York City, where a GM assembly facility was closed more than a decade ago.


GM said that the Sequel “is the first vehicle in the world to successfully integrate a hydrogen fuel cell propulsion system with a broad menu of advanced technologies such as steer-and brake-by-wire controls, wheel hub motors, lithium-ion batteries and a lightweight aluminum structure.”


In addition, GM boasted that the hydrogen used to fuel the Sequel was produced using energy from Niagara Falls hydropower and thus was “virtually CO2-free.”


The Sequel, which was first unveiled at the 2005 Detroit auto show, is a small, five-passenger crossover SUV that offers better acceleration than many comparable gasoline vehicles; its 125 kilowatts of power brings a zero-to-60 time of less than ten seconds. It also has all-wheel drive, with hub motors at each wheel. The automaker has previously announced that the Sequel prototype is street-legal and meets all federal crash standards.


“With this drive, General Motors has reached another important milestone toward the commercialization of our fuel cell vehicles, by achieving the range expected by today’s consumers,” said Larry Burns, GM VP, research & development and strategic planning, in a release.


Honda is GM’s closest rival in fuel cell vehicles, with its FCX, which has already been in fleet use for several years, and with several test ‘retail’ customers. Honda estimates a range of up to 270 miles for the upcoming version of its FCX, a sleek sedan equipped with Honda’s latest, third-generation proprietary fuel-cell stack, and up to 354 miles in a limited-power eco-mode. At this point, the next FCX is strictly a concept, but Honda does plan to make its first deliveries of a limited-production FCX to a select group beginning next year.

Recent advancements in fuel-cell stack packaging and reliability, as evidenced here, serve to show that the technology in fuel-cell vehicles is feasible, but engineers and executives frequently admit that there are still tremendous obstacles to overcome, including the steep cost of the technology itself and the lack of a hydrogen infrastructure.


Related Articles


2007 Chevrolet Volt Concept by TCC Team (1/7/2007)
GM gets charged up by electric propulsion.


2006 Chevrolet Sequel by Marty Padgett (11/27/2006)
A fuel-cell vehicle with real-world range, GM promises.



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