Fleet News

GM launches first petrol fuel cell vehicle

THE world's first zero-emission fuel cell car to use petrol to generate electricity has gone on the road in the United States.

General Motors has developed the Chevrolet S-10 fuel cell pick-up which uses an on-board reformer to extract hydrogen from petrol to produce electricity.

The great advantage of the new technology is its ability to accelerate adoption of fuel cell vehicles because the infrastructure for petrol supply is already in place on every filling station.

In the longer term, GM foresees fuel reformers that convert petrol to hydrogen moving from cars to the home, office, or petrol station forecourt.

Larry Burns, GM's vice president of research and development, said: 'In most cases, you already have natural gas, water and electricity coming into your home or place of business. To create hydrogen all that is missing is a natural gas reformer or an electrolyser.'

How it works

The Chevrolet S-10 fuel cell is equipped with a fuel processor that reforms low-sulphur petrol on-board.

The fuel is mixed with air and water, and then passed over catalysts that separate the hydrogen from the carbon.

The resulting hydrogen is then filtered to the fuel cell stack where it combines with oxygen in the air to generate electricity. GM claims the system improves the engine efficiency by 50% over a conventional internal combustion engine, and reduces carbon dioxide emissions by half.

Leave a comment for your chance to win £20 of John Lewis vouchers.

Every issue of Fleet News the editor picks his favourite comment from the past two weeks – get involved for your chance to appear in print and win!

Login to comment

Comments

No comments have been made yet.

Compare costs of your company cars

Looking to acquire new vehicles? Check how much they'll cost to run with our Car Running Cost calculator.

What is your BIK car tax liability?

The Fleet News car tax calculator lets you work out tax costs for both employer and employee