Saturday, October 18, 2008

GM, other auto manufacturers make progress with electric and fuel cell vehicles despite recession

On Friday Oct. 17, the Auto Weekend section of The Washington Times ran an important technology story by David E. Zoia in “Ward’s Automotive Report”, “GM’s Volt may help pull plug on fuel cell,” link here.

Of course, the financial condition of General Motors, partly as a result of the financial crisis and partly its inertia in responding to the changes in energy use, have raised questions about its ability to tool the nation’s next generation of green-technology cars. It apparently stirred up the development of car battery technology when it announced it would have the Volt with dealers by 2010. That might have stopped the development of fuel cell vehicles, but apparently it has remained active with FCV, or fuel cell development with the Project Driveway progrsm. About 100 average people in the US are testing the FCV Chevrolet Equinox around the world.

Other manufacturers include Honda, with the Clarity, Toyota, and BMW.

GM says that it could have hydrogen fuel available to motorists every two miles in 100 cities for an investment of $1.2 billion.

On p. 5 of the same section, Eric Clanton has a story about ExxonMobil’s investment in battery technology. Exxonmobil published a similar story from BusinessWire, about its subsidiary Tonen Chemical, on its own corporate site here.

Phuong Le has an AP story Oct. 19 about the sparse plug-in stations for electric car drivers (focusing on Seattle and LA), meaning many have to make it back home. The link is here.

Don't forget, American manufacturers "killed" the electric car back in the 1990s. We've been here before!

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