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GM to announce European marathon for fuel-cell-powered vehicle
Publication date: 28-April-2004
Source:AFP

United States (AFP) - General Motors Corp. plans to announce that it will run one of its fuel-cell-powered vehicles through a 6,200-mile European marathon starting.

The long-distance journey -- featuring a HydroGen 3 fuel-cell prototype inside an Opel Zafira minivan -- will cover 14 countries beginning in Hammerfest, at the northern tip of Norway, and ending June 11 in the Portuguese capital of Lisbon.

The project is part publicity stunt, part trial. "We are talking about driving this vehicle over 6,000 miles across temperature and elevation extremes," said Julie Beamer, GM's director of fuel-cell commercialization.

The route will expose the Zafira to extremes of temperatures in the Alps, testing its reliability in cold weather.

The move follows Tuesday's announcement that the federal government is to give a 350 million-dollar shot in the arm to hydrogen-powered fuel cell vehicles in the form of research grants.

The private sector is expected to ante up another 225 million dollars over the next five years, bringing the total amount to 575 million dollars.

"The 575 million is just a down payment on new energy initiatives," said US Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham (news - web sites) at a press conference in Detroiit. "This is to show that hydrogen is not something that is just abstract, but something that is real."

Ford Motor Co. and DaimlerChrysler AG both used the event to announce new initiatives to put at least 67 fuel-cell cars on US roads by the end of the year. DaimlerChrysler said it wants to add 37 fuel-cell cars to US fleets as soon as this summer.

The federal funds represent nearly one-third of 1.2 billion dollars that US President George W. Bush (news - web sites) pledged for hydrogen research during his 2002 State of the Union address.

During the address, Bush said he wanted to use hydrogen fuel to reverse America's growing dependence on foreign oil by developing the technology for commercially viable hydrogen-powered fuel cells to power cars, trucks, homes and businesses with no pollution or greenhouse gases.

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Now if GM can just get a few MORE hybrids in the market to squash Toyota and Honda!! :D
 

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Originally posted by killerrd2@Apr 28 2004, 02:01 PM
Now if GM can just get a few MORE hybrids in the market to squash Toyota and Honda!!  :D
with the sierra and silverado trucks getting the hybrid treatment (and the vue too isnt it?) obviously GM is showing no commitment to the hybrid movement and selling out to the fuel cell idea. I don't think there is any excuse for not offering the GM small cars (Vibe, ION, maybe even a Malibu) w/ a hybrid option. With out those type of cars with the hybrid treatment GM has no chance of beating toyota or honda in that department. Its a real shame to because the federal gov is offering their incentives for them too (there is a steadily decressing fed tax rebate on these kind of cars right now)!!
 

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GM's position is that a hybrid powertrain in a small car makes no sense and they are right. Small cars already have good gas milage and part of that good milage comes from low weight. What's the point of adding weight in terms of batteries and and electric motors. Much larger gains can be made if hybrids are used in the larger SUV's
 

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Originally posted by agman25@Apr 29 2004, 05:03 AM
GM's position is that a hybrid powertrain in a small car makes no sense and they are right. Small cars already have good gas milage and part of that good milage comes from low weight. What's the point of adding weight in terms of batteries and and electric motors. Much larger gains can be made if hybrids are used in the larger SUV's
i believe they should take as many steps to improve fuel economy rather it makes sense at the time or not. it also helps the environment sounds good to me
 
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