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Old 12-14-2008, 08:40 PM   #1
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Thumbs up Project Driveway Update

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Listening and learning from 500,000 miles of emissions-free driving
By Mary Beth Stanek
Director, GM Fuel Cell Commercialization


Sometime next week, one of 100 Equinox hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles being driven in Los Angeles, New York and Washington, D.C., will drive the 500,000th emission-free mile of Chevrolet‘s Project Driveway.

This is a huge accomplishment because we learn something about our vehicles, the hydrogen infrastructure and consumer acceptance of fuel cell vehicles with every mile driven.

Since the program began just over a year ago, more than 3,400 individuals have driven the fuel cell Equinox; either in short drives at media programs or special events, or as part of a longer-term loan. And with each drive we’ve learned something – most times it’s a pleasant surprise; other times not so pleasant. But each “surprise” has helped us identify needed refinements to the vehicles performance or resolve potential issues.

Overwhelmingly, the drivers love their experience, but that hasn’t stopped them from giving us candid feedback on everything from the way the vehicle looks, to technical input on brake “feel” and performance, to fueling experiences. To date, their feedback has led to the resolution of several hundred customer issues, and many of those changes have to do simply with how we set-up the driver experience.

The Project Driveway program has also provided us with insight into how these vehicles are being used under real world driving conditions. We’ve been able to use these experiences to extend fuel cell stack life and improve the regenerative braking system, which has already benefited our 2-mode hybrid vehicles since it’s the same brake system used on the Saturn Vue, Chevy Tahoe and GMC Yukon 2-mode hybrids.

Plus, the knowledge we’ve gained during the program on the fuel cell itself directly impacts the development of the Chevrolet Volt battery. Just like the Volt battery, fuel cells have several hundred repeating elements that need to be thermally managed, and we are applying the fuel cell thermal design knowledge to the Volt battery design.

From an infrastructure standpoint, the capabilities of the fueling stations have improved greatly to where many customers who used to spend 20 minutes or more refilling now spend about 6 or 7 minutes, which is very close to the average time to fill-up a traditional internal combustion vehicle.

True, hydrogen has a ways to go before it becomes a mainstream fuel, but GM is making real progress in vehicle development, which is also impacting other advanced vehicle programs as well. If you have some time, I recommend you check out the write-up in Motor Trend this month, which is a balanced account of where the Equinox fuel cell electric vehicle and hydrogen economy stands today.
http://fastlane.gmblogs.com/archives...#comment-84361
This is phenomenal!! Way to go, GM!!!


(I can't believe the gov't would let this die....)
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Old 12-14-2008, 08:44 PM   #2
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And to think that all this could be for nothing because of an idiotic Congress...
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Old 12-14-2008, 09:48 PM   #3
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This is phenomenal!! Way to go, GM!!!


(I can't believe the gov't would let this die....)
remember the EV1?
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Old 12-14-2008, 10:14 PM   #4
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i have always wondered why they didnt use one of these to drive up to congress. there is a fleet of them in DC.
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Old 12-14-2008, 11:22 PM   #5
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remember the EV1?
Yeah in school we watched a video about the ev1 and what killed the electric car. It was an amazing car. I cant believe they killed that car off.
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I would kill for a gale banks diesel powered camaro. I would have so much torque and power that whenever I go to parades I would be physically able to throw torque out the window like candy for the kids.
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Old 12-14-2008, 11:29 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Sizzox View Post
I cant believe they killed that car off.
Did they say anything like this in the video? (I haven't seen it, yet)
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Originally Posted by GM
The EV-1 program ended due to the lack of suitable batteries. Although many people said they wanted an electric car, when faced with a range of 80 miles or less between overnight recharges, most went elsewhere. Other carmakers’ EV programs of that era met a similar fate – the batteries weren’t quite ready for prime time.

Because of legal requirements to provide warranty service and spare parts, it was too expensive to leave the vehicles in service once the leases ended. A number of EV-1s were retained by GM, some were donated to schools and museums, and others were dismantled for parts, crushed and recycled.
http://gmfactsandfiction.com/gm-kill...c-car-program/
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Old 12-14-2008, 11:47 PM   #7
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Yeah they leased out a bunch of the cars and the people that had gotten them wanted to buy the cars at the end of the lease but gm wouldn't them keep the cars all the cars were takin to a junk yard then crushed.
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I would kill for a gale banks diesel powered camaro. I would have so much torque and power that whenever I go to parades I would be physically able to throw torque out the window like candy for the kids.
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Old 12-15-2008, 10:38 AM   #8
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I wish I could have gotten in on project driveway. Can't go wrong with driving for free.

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Yeah in school we watched a video about the ev1 and what killed the electric car. It was an amazing car. I cant believe they killed that car off.
The EV1 was an amazing golf-cart. It was terrible as a car. Limited range, minimal space, awkward styling, slow, etc. The EV2 is coming soon though (AKA Chevy Volt). That will be amazing.
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