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GM’s Going Hydro

Everyone is being invited to test drive GM’s Chevrolet Sequel, the automaker’s hydrogen-fuel-cell concept car, except me. John Voelcker at IEEE Spectrum recently wrote about his test drive, as did Joel Makower over at WorldChanging.

As hybrid vehicles become increasingly popular, it almost seemed as if the dream of a hydrogen-powered car was ebbing away. As Leslie Taylor recently wrote in The Hype of Hybrids at Fast Company.com:

“In 2003, Bush launched a $1.2 billion initiative to help automakers develop a hydrogen-fueled vehicle. Yet, Paul Erickson, a professor of Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineering at UC Davis who studies hydrogen production and utilization warns affordable hydrogen fuel cell technology is still decades away.”

The fact is, we’re still far away from the reality of the hydrogen-fuel-cell. While both BMW and GM tinker with concepts, they still haven’t gotten the technology all mapped out just yet. Besides, if these cars were available today, their MSRP’s would be far greater than the extra dollars it takes to purchase a hybrid.

But at least they’re trying. And given the failing U.S. auto market and rising gas prices, can you blame them?

LDJ