• Feb 10th 2007 at 1:44PM
  • 9
Click on the photo Bob Lutz with the Sequel for a gallery of high-res images of the fuel cell prototype

At a conference in Palm Springs, CA, earlier this week, Mohsen Shabana, the chief engineer of the GM fuel cell project announced that they would begin building a production version of the Sequel by 2010. The Sequel is GM's latest generation fuel cell concept using lithium-ion batteries to capture kinetic energy from regenerative braking and third-generation General Motors developed fuel cell. A single electric motor of the same type used in the Chevy Volt concept drives the front wheels, while the rears are driven by a par of hub motors.

Most likely GM will follow a model similar to the one Honda will be using starting in 2008 for the production version of the FCX. The FCX will be built initially in low volumes with availability limited to locations that have some hydrogen filling stations such as California and Florida. As hydrogen becomes more widely available, vehicle availability would be expanded. Currently, only two running Sequels exist, and GM's first large scale field trials will begin this year with a fleet of 100 fuel cell powered Chevy Equinoxes.



[Source: The Raw Story via eGMCarTech]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 9 Comments
      • 8 Years Ago
      I looked it up as promised. You are correct. The battery system though only mentioned for use to assist the fuel cell power (as the Prius batteries assist the gasoline engine and never power the car by them selves) is a more powerful pack then I first imagined.

      This "detailed" demo doesn't really address battery usage of the Sequal and so it is not clear at first:
      http://www.gm.com/company/gmability/edu_k-12/popups/fc_energy/fuelcell_interactive.html

      But this does mention the specs: http://media.gm.com/events/autoshows/05naias/technology/specs.html This shows the battery pack nearly as powerful as the fuel cell pack. Since the Sequel doesn't appear to move on battery only it is interesting that the battery pack is so potent (nearly equaling the fuel cell pack in kw power).

      But it will be around 2010 when the Sequel is supposed to debut and that is about the time that the Volt was hinted at being possible so it still doesn't make one possible and the other not like you mention even if they use the same battery pack. These are both future vehicles.

      The interesting things is that it appears that it comes down to producing electric motors in the future no matter what. Whether it is for battery (plug-in only or recharged by on-board generator) or fuel cells (which produce electricity) the key is to produce a reliable electric motor and put one or more of many power sources behind it. I think that is why the Volt is called an electric vehicle by GM. You could have a Volt going around with a generator attached and when the battery technology gets real good you could remove the on-board generator and use the same electric motor with just more of very efficient batteries to power it that are plugged-in overnight, correct? Whereas the Prius in its current form could not do that (i.e. just get rid of the gas engine and the electric motor could do all the powering with just more battery power in the same size batteries).



      • 8 Years Ago
      The Sequel needs batteries to supplement the fuel cell, and if the batteries are not ready for the Volt, they won't be ready for the Sequel, either.

      Considering the high price and the limited number of fueling stations for expensive H2, GM will only provide a limited number to government agencies and a few wealthy individuals who can conveniently ignore high prices.

      Will these actually be sold, or will it be "lease only" like the EV1? Will GM take them back and crush them, risking more adverse publicity? Or will GM find an excuse to delay production forever?
        • 4 Years Ago
        It's now 2011, and - No Sequels. Not even a test fleet. In fact, there is hardly even a murmur about them, the GM future H2-FCV plans are to make a fuel cell version of the Volt, in 2015. But considering the history, I'd say the 2015 deadline will not be met, either.

        The Volt, on the other hand, is in production, and some have already been sold to customers.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Nicely done, Lithous.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Hydrogen is just part of GM and big oils smoke screen. What's practical now is electric primary, gas secondary systems. If GM is serious, build the volt now with Nickel-metal-hydride. Those batteries are proven, they just have less range (energy density). So the car goes 20 miles all electric, GM claims that even if it's never plugged in, miles per gallon would be 50. I'm not going to wait for GM.
      • 8 Years Ago
      "Hydrogen is just part of GM and big oils smoke screen."

      Even though Honda is coming out with a version too, it is just GM and big oil's scam? Whatever. You would get kicked out of your green club if you mentioned Honda as attached to big oil like you did GM I guess. Or something.



      "What's practical now is electric primary, gas secondary systems."

      Except the world's most profitable car company (Toyota) has a gas primary, electric secondary system available only and that is acceptible to you? Why doesn't Toyota think it is practical enough right now to make it and you do? I guess you are smarter than Toyota engineers but just not as motivated to show them how it is done. I guess.


      "If GM is serious, build the volt now with Nickel-metal-hydride. Those batteries are proven, they just have less range (energy density). So the car goes 20 miles all electric, GM claims that even if it's never plugged in, miles per gallon would be 50."

      Is 50 MPG the claim with nickel-metal hydride? If so I'd like to see a link to that claim.



      "I'm not going to wait for GM."

      Awesome!!! So you are going to start a company and build us an electric primary and gas secondary before GM? Great news. Oh, wait. You mean that isn't how you are going to "show" GM how it is done? You mean you are just going to buy whatever the Japanese have for sale when you are ready to buy? I guess that just as good, you showed them.





      • 8 Years Ago
      " The Sequel needs batteries to supplement the fuel cell, and if the batteries are not ready for the Volt, they won't be ready for the Sequel, either."

      I don't think the Sequel needs nearly the battery power as the Volt. Isn't the battery(s) needed in the Sequel mostly for auxillary things and not that battery power ever totally powers the vehicle at any given time? That is what I thought was the case. I'll have to look it up.



      "Considering the high price and the limited number of fueling stations for expensive H2, GM will only provide a limited number to government agencies and a few wealthy individuals who can conveniently ignore high prices."

      Can we replace "GM" in your paragraph with "Honda" (as it mentions they will be producing theirs sooner) and anyone else making fuel cell vehicles. Or do you really think GM is the bad guy only for trying to sell new technology?



      "Will these actually be sold, or will it be "lease only" like the EV1? Will GM take them back and crush them, risking more adverse publicity? Or will GM find an excuse to delay production forever?"

      I don't know. Maybe they will be sold like the S10 factory electrics that had the EV1 drivetrain. From what I read, Toyota crushed some RAV4 electrics as well (though they shouldn't have had reason to crush any like GM did, I mean, GM's vehicle didn't meet so many state standards yet the RAV4 did). So if GM is the third company in the world to come out with their own company developed full hybrid system this year does that make it also delayed "forever"? Sorry, I am just trying to understand if you are picking on GM for past fuel cell delays or past alternative fuel delays in their past as the precedence for your snide remarks now. I.E. GM was one of the first companies to have a modern electric (with by far more horse power than Toyota and Hondas: 137hp vs mid 60hp) and one of top 3 to make their own full hybrid system I am not sure the "forever" part is justified.



      • 8 Years Ago
      To answer some of Lithous's questions:

      Fuel cells are very expensive, far more costly per watt than NiMH or even LiIon batteries. Since smaller lower power fuel cells cost less, it makes sense to use the smallest practical fuel cells and rely more heavily on less expensive batteries for power. Since electricity from wall outlets is cheaper than H2 and far more available, it also makes sense to run mainly on grid electricity, using H2 only when needed as a "range extender" for long trips.

      Also, fuel cells do not start instantly, they take some time to come to full power, so it is more convenient for the customer to be able to start out running on battery only until the fuel cells can come online. That means batteries must be big enough and powerful enough to run the car all by themselves.

      And yes, you could replace "GM" with "Honda" or any other HFC car maker in my previous comment. I only mentioned GM because the article was about a GM prototype.

      "delayed forever" means just that. Like fusion power, H2 fuel keeps getting hyped and promoted as "coming soon" but like a mirage, never seems to get any closer. (I don't know why you tried to tie it in with "hybrids", I wasn't discussing GMs hybrid efforts. Late as they were, GM is delivering on hybrids.)
      • 8 Years Ago
      Alt powered vehicles have to meet the same criteria in the marketplace as gasoline powered cars. The purchase price needs to be reasonable. It has to offer viable passenger and cargo space. It has to be large enough that people feel safe in them. It has to be quick enough for accident avoidance. It has to be easy to use. It has to have an operating range that is viable in real world driving, which means 100 miles for most consumers, since the average driver puts on over 40 per day.

      No one will buy a vehicle that isn't visable in most peoples daily lives. At this point in time, only the die hard and must have type customers will line up to purchase these vehicles. This is why the EV-1 didn't succeed- it didn't meet the requirements of the marketplace. Beta was better than VHS, but it couldn't win the hearts of consumers.
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