A hydrogen fuel-cell-powered Chevrolet Equinox has reached 100,000 miles of real world driving. Through way renewable hydrogen, the vehicle has saved 5,260 gallons of gasoline, or $18,000 in fuel at $3.50 a gallon. The car is part of GM’s 119-vehicle Project Driveway Program, which has been running since 2007. The test fleet has accumulated nearly 3 million combined miles, accounting for 157,894 gallons of saved gasoline and $552,631 in avoided fuel cost.
Throughout its life span, the Fuel Cell Equinox operated as a fleet vehicle at Walt Disney Worlds studio in Burbank, Ca. It is now an engineering development vehicle, driven by several General Motors engineers.
According to Clean Energy Patent Growth Index, GM filed more fuel cell patents between 2002 and 2012 than any other automaker. The company is building a new Fuel Cell Development Laboratory in Pontiac, Mich. where the majority of future fuel cell development will take place.
GM also announced earlier this year two new fuel cell collaborations. In July, GM and Honda announced an agreement to co-develop a next generation fuel cell and hydrogen storage system, set to be ready for the 2020 time frame. More recently, in September GM announced it would expand its co-development of hydrogen fuel cell technology with the U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center.
Despite the milestone, GM still hasn’t launched a fuel cell vehicle in the marketplace. This should change, however, as their collaboration with Honda aims to bring a feasible solution to market by 2020.