Zero to fuel efficient in 6 seconds … Fuel Cell cars have arrived
Well, more like 40 years, as scientists (as well as astronauts) have been working to perfect this promising, yet problematic, technology as an alternate form of energy. Now, it may be coming to the masses in the form of transportation. Chevrolet is launching it’s new line of fuel efficient automobiles that use fuel cells, instead of gasoline or hybrid electrical/gas engines to power the vehicle. Dubbed “Project Driveway,” the launching is more test marketing, as Chevy puts 100 motorists behind the wheels of the fuel cell automobile in order to focus group public reaction to the cutting edge technology.
The tests will be taking place in Los Angeles, New York and Washington, D.C and will focus on three major groups – average consumer, business owners, policy makers, who will test drive SUVs fueled by hydrogen fuel cells that will power the car’s electric motor. Additional energy will be captured and stored by the nickel-metal hydride battery pack which will give the car a burst capacity when needed for passing and high speed acceleration. Range of the hydrogen fuel cell is rated at 150 miles before a replenishment of the hydrogen is required.
But don’t look for fuel cells to show up in your Camaro or Vette anytime soon. While the test represents a significant step forward towards bringing fuel cell technology to the market place, there is the problem of few hydrogen “filling stations,” which prompted focusing on L.A.,New York, and DC for the test – all three having stations built in the area. Investment to build stations elsewhere for the volatile gas will run into the billions. Which means that though cutting edge and good for the environment, the market will remain experimental, and limited, for the time being.
Source: CNet News