Fleet News

Fuel cell gives glimpse of motoring in the millennium

GENERAL Motors revealed a glimpse of motoring in the new millennium with the Detroit unveiling of a hydrogen fuel cell-powered Precept concept car. The hi-tech Precept FCEV combines electric battery and hydrogen fuel cell technology.

While the fuel cell Precept looks identical to its hybrid sister and has an electric motor at the front, the diesel engine at the rear has been replaced by a General Motors-developed hydrogen fuel stack producing 140bhp and a range of up to 500 miles. Secret tests have proved the vehicle to have a top speed of more than 120mph, a 0-60 mph time of just over nine seconds and computer simulated fuel economy of the equivalent of 108 petrol miles per gallon.

However, General Motors bosses say further work needs to be undertaken on hydrogen fuel storage on the vehicle relating to deficiencies to size, weight and performance before any production plans are discussed. The company says: 'These technologies as they exist today would not meet the expectations of the millions of customers we would like to attract with a mass market fuel cell car. A transition fuel such as an improved petrol or other liquid hydrocarbon-based fuel may be required for the near term to take advantage of the existing refueling infrastructure.'

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