GM built the world’s first electric car and although this experiment did not go as well as the company would have liked, the Detroit-based auto maker has not given up on green technology investments and research.
In fact, General Motors Corp. is moving more than 500 fuel cell experts from advanced development laboratories to core engineering functions to prepare fuel cell technology for future production.
More than 400 fuel cell engineers will report to GM’s Powertrain Group to begin production engineering of fuel cell systems. Another 100 will transfer to GM’s Global Product Development organization to start integrating fuel cells into future company vehicles. Finally, more than 150 fuel cell scientists and program support will remain as part of GM’s Research and Development center to continue advanced research in hydrogen storage, fuel cells and program commercialization.
The transition is aimed at expediting the company’s efforts to produce vehicles that displace petroleum through energy diversity.
“Eight years ago we said that hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicle technology could make a major contribution to solving the energy and environmental challenges facing the automobile industry,” said Larry Burns, GM Vice President, Research and Development. “Today’s announcement signals another important milestone as we move fuel cell vehicles closer to future production.”
This realignment is yet another initiative in GM’s commitment to displace petroleum usage in the auto industry through a range of propulsion alternatives, including:
- E85-capable biofuel vehicles - GM is a leading producer with more than 2 million on the road today
- GM’s 2-mode hybrid system for large city buses
- GM’s Hybrid System in the Saturn Vue Green Line and Saturn Aura Green Line
- Coming this fall, GM’s 2-mode hybrid system in the Chevrolet Tahoe and GMC Yukon full-size SUVs, which provides a more than 25-percent improvement in fuel economy to what is already the industry’s most fuel-efficient large SUVs, with no compromises in performance or towing capability
- Due next year, a front-wheel-drive 2-mode Saturn Vue Green Line that is expected to deliver up to a 45-percent improvement in combined city and highway fuel economy compared with the current non-hybrid Vue, based on current federal test procedures
- Plans to produce a plug-in version of the 2-mode hybrid Vue Green Line that has the potential to achieve double the fuel efficiency of any current SUV
For more information on how General Motors is putting green technology into the hands of consumers read this well researched and detailed article