Although it seems General Motors is focused on hybrids as of late, the company hasn’t halted development on its hydrogen fuel cell programs. In fact, the automaker announced earlier this week that a fleet of fuel cell-powered Chevrolet Equinoxes has accumulated 1 million miles of real-world testing.
<;P class=MsoNormal>GM’s Project Driveway, launched in 2007, sought to put the fuel cell vehicles in the hands of consumers to gain feedback on how well the advanced powertrain system works in typical driving scenarios. Equinoxes have been placed into fleet service and short-term leases in New York, Washington, D.C, California, and Germany (the unit shown above was photographed this week at the 2009 Frankfurt motor show).
<;P class=MsoNormal>“It has never been our focus to get a million miles,” said Project Driveway manager Mark Vann, “but it’s given us an incredible learning experience. This says a lot about the viability of fuel cell vehicles – that they are not decades away, but are doable today.”
That may be a bit optimistic. Fuel cell stacks are still quite expensive to manufacture --and there’s also the matter of creating a hydrogen fueling infrastructure -- but it’s encouraging to see drivers are reportedly finding the Equinoxes as easy to live with as a conventional vehicle.