GM and Opel Boost Hydrogen Vehicle Deployment Activities
* Hawaii to get comprehensive hydrogen infrastructure soon
* Opel adds fuel cell vehicle fleet to German market test
Honolulu/Rüsselsheim. GM and Opel are to expand their global and European hydrogen fuel cell market testing in Hawaii and Germany.
In Hawaii, ten companies, agencies and universities have joined in an initiative between General Motors and The Gas Company (TGC), one of Hawaii’s major utilities, to make hydrogen-powered vehicles a reality by 2015.
The plan, called the Hawaii Hydrogen Initiative (H2I), aims to integrate hydrogen as an essential building block for Hawaii’s sustainable energy system. The effort is expected to make hydrogen available to all of Oahu’s one million residents by 2015. Between 20 and 25 hydrogen stations will be installed in strategic locations around the island. The effort would reduce the state’s extremely high dependence on imported oil.
“Hydrogen fuel cell vehicles become an important element to a sustainable transportation strategy,” said Charles Freese, GM’s executive director for fuel cell activities. “Once the key hydrogen infrastructure elements are proven in Hawaii, other states can adopt similar approaches. Germany, Japan and Korea are all building hydrogen infrastructures within this same timeframe. The work in Hawaii can provide a template for other regions.”
vehicles, Opel also announced that it will significantly expand its activities in Germany at the same time and install an additional market test fleet of fuel cell cars in Düsseldorf, North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) in 2011. NRW recently joined the Clean Energy Partnership (CEP), the European lighthouse project supported by the German Federal Ministry of Transport, Building and Urban Development (BMVBS) to demonstrate the viability of hydrogen as a fuel for road transport.
“The European hydrogen vehicle operations are an important pillar of GM’s global deployment strategy for battery, extended range and fuel cell technology”, says Dr. Thomas Johnen, Director of the European Advanced Propulsion Center in Mainz-Kastel. “So, it’s a consequent step to expand our market test activities in Germany. System integration, component development and validation, regional type approval and successful demo programs are our key contribution to GM’s global research and development. Awards like the renowned f-cell award that we received for our experience in the 700 bar hydrogen refueling process clearly demonstrate that we are in a leading position.”
Opel operates HydroGen4 vehicles in its test fleet for the CEP project in Berlin since December 2008. Opel partners like ADAC, Allianz, Axel Springer AG/Bild, Coca-Cola, Enertrag, Hilton, Ikea, Linde, Pace, Schindler, Total and Veolia are testing the hydrogen-powered cars in everyday conditions. The regular use of cars with a wide spectrum of utilization profiles enables Opel engineers to collect comprehensive performance and fueling data and gain better understanding of infrastructural correlations. To date, GM’s fuel cell vehicle customers around the world have accumulated more than 2.2 million kilometers and over 17,000 refuelings without any problems.
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