Monday, April 23, 2007

GM Shanghais the Volt

The Technology Review published by MIT reports on the hydrogen fuel cell version of the Volt announced in Shanghai.
The flexible electric car platform is innovative, but the fuel-cell version is freighted with hydrogen's flaws.

....swapping out the generator for a fuel cell may be a step backward. That is in part because producing the hydrogen needed to power the fuel-cell version could increase rather than decrease energy demand, and it may not make sense economically.

"The possibility that this vehicle would be built successfully as a commercial vehicle seems to me rather unlikely," says Joseph Romm, who managed energy-efficiency programs at the Department of Energy during the Clinton administration. "If you're going to the trouble of building a plug-in and therefore have an electric drive train and a battery capable of storing a charge, then you could have a cheap gasoline engine along with you, or an expensive fuel cell." Consumers will likely opt for the cheaper version, Romm notes.


kert said...

substitute for a microturbine like EV1 series hybrid was, or a biodiesel, and you have a winner.

does it run yet, anyway ? is the more relevant question here.

Craig said...

Hello. New to reading this blog so sorry if you haven't mentioned it but I checked out the link a fellow reader left on the previous post. It shows that Miles Automotive is planning on having a $30K EV only with viable range, look and speed by the end of 2008. I think this is a big deal. Can you comment or do you have any info on this? Thanks.

eak said...

I wonder if this is related to the recent CARB staff recommendation to push out the ZEV mandate "Alternative Path". It used to be automakers had to produce 2500 FCVs between 2009-2011. It might soon be 2009-2020 if the staff recommendations are adopted. By making the Volt run on hydrogen, GM pushes it off into the distant future.