General Motors’ Project Driveway, which involves 120 Chevrolet Equinox Fuel Cell electric vehicles, was set up to see how hydrogen fuel-cell powered vehicles adapt to the real world and if customers will be able to use them as daily drivers.
One of the more impressive aspects of the Project Driveway project was to see if these fuel-cell electric vehicles hold up to accidents. According to Charlie Freese, who is in charge of GM’s fuel-cell program, five of GM’s hydrogen fuel-cell powered Equinox units have been involved in accidents and none have resulted in a catastrophic hydrogen explosion.
Freese says that all models are designed to withhold accidents so the tanks will leak in a jet of flame if ruptured and ignited – meaning the vehicle won’t explode.
GM announced yesterday that it is testing a “production-intent” hydrogen fuel-cell system that can fit in the space of a 4-cylinder engine and be ready for commercial production by 2015.
– By: Kap Shah