Dan Akerson Talks Down Hydrogen, Reveals Natural Gas Plans In Extended Interview
In an extended interview with Fareed Zakaria this weekend, GM CEO Dan Akerson repudiated a lot of GM’s previous optimism about hydrogen fuel cell cars, saying
We’re looking at hydrogen fuel cells, which have no carbon emissions, zero. They’re very expensive now, but we’ve, just in the last two years, reduced the price of that technology by $100,000. The car is still too expensive and probably won’t be practical until the 2020-plus period, I don’t know. And then there’s the issue of infrastructure
The DetN points out that GM had previously said that it would have anywhere from 1,000 to “hundreds of thousands” of fuel cell cars on the road by 2010, and most recently said (in 2009) that the technology would be “commercialized” by 2015 and “cost-competitive” by 2020. So, if hydrogen is moving to the back burner, what’s moving up? Akerson revealed that
soon we’ll be introducing “bi-fuel” engines which can burn both compressed natural gas and liquid gasoline.
We’ve seen GM take early steps towards bringing a natural gas-powered car to the road, but this is the first sign from a top executive that a dual-fuel car is a certainty in GM’s near future. By talking down hugely expensive hydrogen cars and talking up cheap natural gas powerplants, Akerson sends a strong message that GM’s green car efforts are moving in a more pragmatic direction. Hit the jump for part two of the interview, in which Akerson talks gas tax and green cars.
I'm in favor of CNG vehicles, especially advantage of ability to refill with natural gas already supplied to our homes. http://naturalgasvehicles.com/ My concern is why bi-fuel? Seems potential of being too comploicated, as mentioned regarding this dual fuel concept: http://green.autoblog.com/2011/06/09/chrysler-working-on-engine-that-can-simultaneously-burn-gas-and/ "It remains to be seen if the additional cost of the extra complexity of the engine – and the hassle of filling up twice every time you gas/diesel up – will limit the commercial interest."
He didn't talk about GM's impending second bankruptcy?
"bi-fuel" sounds great until you open the trunk of your Impala and see that you have as much usable space as a Miata. Nothing more annoying than a bifuel Corolla taxi where your suitcases have to go in the back seat.
>>The DetN points out that GM had previously said that it would have anywhere from 1,000 to “hundreds of thousands” of fuel cell cars on the road by 2010, and most recently said (in 2009) that the technology would be “commercialized” by 2015 and “cost-competitive” by 2020. So, if hydrogen is moving to the back burner, what’s moving up? Akerson revealed thatAll the controversy surrounding the Chevy Volt's unique drivetrain raises a bigger issue: Why would GM mislead the media for months about how it really works? Why does the company refuse to call the Volt a plug-in hybrid, the most obvious and accurate description of the car? http://translogic.aolautos.com/2010/10/12/why-gm-doesn-t-want-you-to-call-the-volt-a-hybrid/ btw, Volt sales are virtually non-existent. GE is bailing them out by buying half the production and taking guv money to do it.