Hyundai may have the first assembly-line production of zero-emissions, hydrogen-powered vehicles to crow about, but General Motors recently said it has a milestone of its own to share in the fuel cell space. One of its converted 2007 Chevrolet Equinox recently became one of the first of its kind to cross the 100,000 miles of real world driving milestone.
GM said this specially equipped fuel cell vehicle, since becoming part of its fuel cell test fleet, has helped save what’s said to be the equivalent of 5,260 gallons of gas which, at $3.50 per gallon, would be more than $18,000 in fuel cost savings. To date the total fleet, meanwhile, has accumulated nearly 3 million miles, saving 157,894 gallons of gasoline and more than $552,631 in fuel costs.
Much of the mileage the Equinox has been accumulating is through the Project Driveway program, launched in 2007. It operated during this time as a fleet vehicle at Walt Disney Company’s studio in Burbank, California. After Project Driveway, it became an engineering development vehicle driven by as many as 10 GM engineers.
Even with all of this testing under its belt, it is unclear as of yet when GM will actually join Hyundai in a production ready fuel cell offering. The company is aiming for something likely in 2015, but it is possible this could bump given a partnership it announced with Honda earlier this year to co-develop a next-generation fuel cell system and hydrogen storage technologies. The time frame for this? 2020.