GM Inside News Forum banner

1 - 8 of 8 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,500 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
LISBON, Portugal - General Motors Corp. set a new world distance record for fuel cell technology today with a run of 6,059 miles through 14 countries when the GM fuel cell powered minivan arrived in Cabo da Roca near Lisbon.

Nearly doubling the previous distance record for fuel cell cars set by DaimlerChrysler in 2002 (3,281 miles from San Francisco to Washington D.C.), the GM fuel cell prototype withstood extreme temperatures and road conditions during its long-distance journey. The marathon began in Hammerfest, the northern tip of Norway on May 13, and finished in Cabo da Roca, the most westerly point of the European continent.

Over the 38 day run, the hydrogen powered car proved that GM is making important progress in its fuel cell technology. With 25 international journalists taking turns at the wheel, the vehicle performed without a single report of an unscheduled stop for repair as it was subjected to high speeds, steep mountain passes and temperature differences of more than 32 degrees Fahrenheit.

"The reliability and overall performance attained by our fuel cell propulsion system in this Marathon drive verifies that we are progressing toward our goal of having this technology commercially viable by 2010," said Larry Burns, vice president of Research Development and Planning. "We have gained some valuable findings from the tough day-to-day marathon schedule."

A software update at the beginning of the tour, the replacement of five temperature sensors and the exchange (twice) of the mechanical parking mechanism were the only necessary repairs. In addition, as part of the inspection performed at the halfway stage (near Darmstadt, Germany, where the GM Marathon vehicle traveled 3,419 miles breaking the record by DaimlerChrysler), the fuel cell stack was changed so that the other journalists who would be driving the car could enjoy optimum performance from the system.

A 60 kW/82 hp electric motor, which is supplied with electric energy from the hydrogen fuel cell stack, supplied the fuel cell with electrical energy and kept the hydrogen-powered vehicle in step with other vehicles on the roadways and highways of Europe. The front-wheel drive vehicle accelerated to 160 kilometers/hour or roughly 100 mph and averaged about 300 miles per day.

Because the hydrogen infrastructure is not available to refuel the vehicle along the route, a mobile fueling station provided by Linde was used to replenish the hydrogen during the long haul. On average, refueling took about four minutes - a time that can certainly be compared with current gasoline refueling procedures.

For more information on the "Opel Fuel Cell Marathon - powered by GM" visit www.gmeurope.com/marathon.

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,853 Posts
"The reliability and overall performance attained by our fuel cell propulsion system in this Marathon drive verifies that we are progressing toward our goal of having this technology commercially viable by 2010," said Larry Burns, vice president of Research Development and Planning. "We have gained some valuable findings from the tough day-to-day marathon schedule."

While I think this achievement provides a great marketing opportunity, the skeptical side of me thinks that this 2010 deadline is way ambitious.

Yesterday, I read an article containing some rather grim announcements by Lee Raymond, head of ExxonMobil. To paraphrase, he indicated that all this talk of alternative fuels is essentially pointless; petroleum-based energy is here for a long while. Of course, as head of the largest petroleum refining company in the world, you might expect him to say something like that. But I cannot help but think that in order for hydrogen to become a reality (if it's set to become a reality) that the oil companies will actually have to play a huge role. After all, they have an established distribution system with literally tens of thousands of gas stations around the globe, deep pockets to fund energy research, and they may have the most to lose if hydrogen becomes a reality. And not surprisingly, some of the companies that provide alternative energy sources like solar panels are controlled by the big oil companies. If big oil is not on board, I'm not sure how a replacement for oil will come about.

I say all this at the risk that the higher echelon of GM knows something that most people don't about pending breakthroughs in hydrogen power and its distribution. It's certainly possible, but I doubt it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,258 Posts
Originally posted by tgagneguam@Jun 10 2004, 08:22 AM
"The reliability and overall performance attained by our fuel cell propulsion system in this Marathon drive verifies that we are progressing toward our goal of having this technology commercially viable by 2010," said Larry Burns, vice president of Research Development and Planning. "We have gained some valuable findings from the tough day-to-day marathon schedule."

While I think this achievement provides a great marketing opportunity, the skeptical side of me thinks that this 2010 deadline is way ambitious.

Yesterday, I read an article containing some rather grim announcements by Lee Raymond, head of ExxonMobil. To paraphrase, he indicated that all this talk of alternative fuels is essentially pointless; petroleum-based energy is here for a long while. Of course, as head of the largest petroleum refining company in the world, you might expect him to say something like that. But I cannot help but think that in order for hydrogen to become a reality (if it's set to become a reality) that the oil companies will actually have to play a huge role. After all, they have an established distribution system with literally tens of thousands of gas stations around the globe, deep pockets to fund energy research, and they may have the most to lose if hydrogen becomes a reality. And not surprisingly, some of the companies that provide alternative energy sources like solar panels are controlled by the big oil companies. If big oil is not on board, I'm not sure how a replacement for oil will come about.

I say all this at the risk that the higher echelon of GM knows something that most people don't about pending breakthroughs in hydrogen power and its distribution. It's certainly possible, but I doubt it.
Fact: Oil is a limited resource.

Oil refining companies know it as well as the rest of the world does. If they were smart, they would begin to invest in hydrogen fueling systems and prepare to build the infrastructure at their gas stations. This way, they could continue to turn a profit after we exhaust the oil supply. But I guess maybe some of these companies don't want to accept the fact stated above...
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
23,621 Posts
Originally posted by Smaart Aas Saabr@Jun 10 2004, 08:45 PM
6,000 miles in 38 days?

I drove 3,500 miles in two days (actually 43 hrs)!

38*24=912 hours.

6050/912=6.6377MPH!!!

Sure, maybe they slept, and refueled, etc, but it still doesn't seem very impressive.
probably stopped for some extended photo-ops! looks like there' some room for improvement though...


In addition, as part of the inspection performed at the halfway stage (near Darmstadt, Germany, where the GM Marathon vehicle traveled 3,419 miles breaking the record by DaimlerChrysler), the fuel cell stack was changed so that the other journalists who would be driving the car could enjoy optimum performance from the system.

optimum performance was compromised after 3419 miles? does anyone who actually knows about this stuff understand why this would be the case?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,377 Posts
I think the oil companies have the most to gain by investing in hydrogen fuel cells. It couldent possibly cost that much to install one hydrogen refueling station at each gas station, ones in major markets to begin with.

If everything goes according to GM's plan, and they have a 2010 Fuel cell vehichle, what brand do you think it will be? Chevy? or just GM, like the EV1.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
459 Posts
GM has already stated that the first Fuel Cells they will produce will almost certainly not be in the US. As for the cost, if I recall correctly it would cost 200,000 dollars a station to equip them for hydrogen. Also the duration, I suspect was long as the fact that this was a publicity event, and likely resulted in numerous stops and likely was only a couple of hours of driving between stops. If GM wanted a speed record, I’m sure they would have used a stock Vette instead of using a vehicle that likely cost GM several million to build and then putting it thru the stress of 14 countries in 38 days.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,355 Posts
Originally posted by awalbert88@Jun 10 2004, 08:39 AM
Fact: Oil is a limited resource.
Fact: Many "experts" thought in the 1970's that we would run out of oil by 1990.

Exploration has shown that there's plenty of oil to be had around the world, it's just that some of it is harder and more expensive to get to. New technology is making getting this oil eaier and cheaper. If gas prices remain at the levels they are today, alternative sources of oil will become viable and production alternatives to OPEC will emerge. This happened in the 1980's when areas like the North Sea, Alaska, Mexico, etc became viable new sources of oil.

Mark
 
1 - 8 of 8 Posts
Top