General Motors has upped the ante in Germany by rolling out its GM / Opel Hydrogen4 fuel cell vehicles for real world testing in addition to its Project Driveway program. Nine Berlin-based businesses will be the first to operate the vehicles including ADAC, Allianz, Coca-Cola, Hilton, Linde, Schindler, Axel Springer, Total and Veolia.
According to Wolfgang Tiefensee, Germany’s Federal Minister of Transport, “Our future lies in electric vehicles driven by batteries and fuel cell. This technology will allow us to reduce global CO2 emissions in the long term and also help decrease our dependence on oil.
“Thanks to research and innovation, marketable products are now being developed. I am happy to share and personally support this vision. In Germany, we have reached a very high level of competence in the hydrogen and fuel cell technology. And we have to strengthen this advantage. My administration spent 500 million euro supporting the National Innovation Program for Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology. The industry is committing to the same effort. This program proves to be a huge success.”
The GM Hydrogen4 uses General Motors’ fourth generation fuel cell that accelerates four seconds faster from 0 to 60 mph than the last generation Hydrogen3 (12 seconds as opposed to 16 seconds).
The GM / Opel Hydrogen4 also uses a 440-cell fuel cell stack (the Hydrogen3 uses a 200 cell stack) and the Hydrogen4 has upped its range to around 200 miles from 170 miles of the Hydrogen 3. The Hydrogen 4 also has a 73 Kw electric motor and top speed of around 100 mph.
Germany is a good choice for the rollout of GM Hydrogen4 since it alone has 26 hydrogen refueling stations from which drivers can choose. California, by comparison has only a couple more at 28 stations. In addition, the European Union Hydrogen Highway system is more developed in neighboring countries than any network found in the U. S.
It’s good to see that in a time of immense struggles for General Motors, they are still pushing ahead with their hydrogen car program. No matter what eventually happens with GM, the world will have benefitted from their innovation and testing of fuel cell vehicles in real world settings.