It Lives! GM Resurrects Hydrogen Hype

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago

You'd think GM would have enough greens on its proverbial plate, what with its lackluster hybrid sales, the prospect of more lackluster hybrid sales (anyone fancy a two-mode two-ton hybrid SUV?) and the problem of inventing batteries for a plug-in hybrid that's due on the showroom floor in three years. But no; the automaker was into hydrogen fuel cells when hydrogen fuel cells were hot (cold?). So here we are with a fleet of 100 hydrogen fuel cell-equipped Chevrolet Equinox. Might as well gets some PR for the things. And USA Today is happy to play along, 'cause you know it could be the next Next Big Thing. "GM is working as hard and fast as we can for competitive reasons, rather than as pure research on a promising technology." This according to Larry Burns, GM vice president in charge of research and development. Never mind the fact that there isn't a hydrogen infrastructure to support these vehicles (or enough vehicles to support the hydrogen infrastructure). The race is on! Meanwhile, maybe GM should try to do something with the gas-powered Equinox to make it more competitive. No? Alright then. Let's plan on fitting the new Volt with hydrogen fuel cells and leasing customers the expensive power pack, you know, eventually. Sounds like a plan to me!

Robert Farago
Robert Farago

More by Robert Farago

Join the conversation
4 of 17 comments
  • Cavendel Cavendel on Nov 06, 2007
    1996MEdition : November 6th, 2007 at 3:15 pm Water vapor is an already abundant greenhouse gas…..if you believe that sort of thing. If this thing ever takes off, I will be investing in an umbrella factory. Water vapor is the most active of the green house gases. I've read that it is responsible for 90 odd percent of the green house effect. Shares an absorption window with CO2 as well. We're screwed no matter what we put in the atmosphere. I think the only solution is cutting the world's population down to about 1 billion. We need a volunteer population reduction list.
  • Mark MacInnis Mark MacInnis on Nov 06, 2007

    *sigh* It must be sad to be a Luddite.... Some day, people in our industry will realize a salient, undeniable, immutable fact: We are running out of oil. Say it with me: "We are running out of oil." See, it didn't really hurt. That leaves two options: A. Wait, until the last drop has caused a war to invest in replacement technology. Or, B. start NOW investing in new technology, so that it can naturally evolve in the market before time and entropy force us into Option A. Yes, we know there are logical flaws, logistical concerns and economic and scientific barriers to be conquered before fuel cells are economically viable. Henry Ford and Mr. Daimler had those, too, many decades ago. What you Luddites fail to frickin' realize is that if we wait for the problems to be solved, it will never get done. What is needed is charisma, courage and some cojones. You namby-pamby whiney men who urge us to wait and stand still and do nothing while the world runs out of oil scare me. Also, I am quite certain that once the breakthroughs come that will make the HFC vehicles viable, you will say you were there with 'em all the time. If you don't have a better idea, shut up, and let the innovators in our industry try and do something to make the future viable. If you have a better idea, love to hear it. Otherwise, crawl back into your basements, play your 33-1/3 vinyl albums and 8-tracks under your black lights and STFU while the rest of us grownups try to create a sustainable future for our children. "Will everyone here, kindly step to the rear, and let the winners lead the way...."

  • Stephan Wilkinson Stephan Wilkinson on Nov 06, 2007

    You're absolutely right, of course, but I frankly think we're going to have to wait for a couple of generations, maybe three, to die off, so that we're finally rid of the morons who think 600 hp is cool and 700 is better, plus the people who insist on eight-seat trucks so they can carry everybody and everything that possibly might want to one day all get into their vehicle at the same time. The people who are now four and five years old, or maybe those who aren't quite born yet, will be the salvation. Meanwhile, it's hopeless.

  • Nopanegain Nopanegain on Nov 06, 2007

    Wilkinson, was it macabre day at your house? Between the poor kid dying in the car crash and the lack of faith in our generation, you might as well lock yourself in the garage with the Equinox and run fuel cell until you die of humidity. Oh wait- you can substitue that for Florida.