May 22, 2007 This is significant. General Motors made history last week when its Chevy Sequel became the first electrically-driven fuel cell vehicle to achieve 300 miles on one tank of hydrogen. GM’s claim that the Sequel is the world’s most technologically advanced automobile seems a little presumptious given it’s just one measurement of one aspect of an automobile, but it is nonetheless a significant achievement because it was achieved in traffic on public roads. So it can be done! Now it’s just a matter of how quickly the technology can be made affordable.

“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 vice president, research & development and strategic planning. ”And we did it while producing zero emissions, as a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle only emits water. In addition, the hydrogen produced at Niagara Falls , used to fuel Sequel, was derived from hydropower – a clean, renewable resource. This means that the entire process – from the creation of the hydrogen to the use of the fuel in the vehicle -- was virtually carbon dioxide (CO2) free.”

Sequel was introduced in 2005 at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit and the first drivable version appeared last fall. It 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. It uses clean, renewable hydrogen as a fuel and emits only water vapor. Now it is the first fuel cell vehicle to achieve real-world range.

“General Motors is proving that advanced technology can remove the automobile from the environmental debate and reduce our dependence on petroleum," Burns said. “Chevy Sequel clearly shows that our vision for the future of the automobile is real and sustainable.”

The 300-mile drive through the state of New York began at General Motors’ Fuel Cell Activity Center in Honeoye Falls , where the engineers whom have developed the company’s fuel cell technology, officially sent the Sequel off into the history books. “It is our fuel cell teams’ tremendous record of success and absolute dedication to this tremendously important cause,” Burns said, “which will ultimately enable our country, and our world, to diversify our energy sources and displace large amounts of petroleum.”

The Sequel achieved the 300-mile mark and crossed the finish line in Tarrytown as General Motors reiterated its commitment to bringing part of its next fleet of over 100 Chevrolet Equinox fuel cell vehicles under the “Project Driveway” demonstration program to the greater NY metropolitan area this fall.

View gallery - 37 images