General Motors will work with the US Army to further develop hydrogen fuel-cell electric vehicles as a way for the military to reduce petroleum dependency. The US automaker and the US Army Tank Automotive Research, Development & Engineering Center (TARDEC) have reached an agreement to develop, design and test fuel-cell powertrains on military vehicles for the next five years, though GM wasn't specific on how many vehicles would be developed or how much would be spent on the project. The military and GM have fuel-cell labs that are about 20 miles from each other in Michigan.

The US Army has long tried to get alternative-fueled powertrains developed for its vehicles. In 2011, TARDEC showed off its hybrid-diesel Clandestine Extended Range Vehicle (CERV) at that year's Indy 500, saying that the vehicle was about 25 percent more efficient than a comparable non-hybrid vehicle and could climb 60-percent grades. In 2007, the US Army ordered six hydrogen hybrid vehicles from Quantum Fuel Systems Technologies Worldwide. The Army has found a good partner in GM, which continues to delve further into the fuel-cell development industry. Earlier this year, the company said it would work with Honda on hydrogen fuel-cell powertrain technology through 2020. And GM's "Project Driveway" program has totaled 119 vehicles that have been driven almost 3 million miles during the past six years. GM's press release on the project is available below.
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GM and U.S. Army to Expand Fuel Cell Testing

New agreement enables continued development of technology

WARREN, Mich. – General Motors and the U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research, Development & Engineering Center are expanding their collaboration in the development of hydrogen fuel cell technology.

Through a new Cooperative Research and Development Agreement, GM and TARDEC will jointly test new hydrogen fuel cell-related materials and designs to evaluate their performance and durability before assembling them into full scale fuel cell propulsion systems.

This collaborative effort will enable GM and TARDEC to jointly develop technology that meets both of their requirements, accomplishing more tangible results than either entity could achieve on its own. The project is expected to continue for up to five years.

"GM welcomes the opportunity to further expand our work with TARDEC developing fuel cell technology," said Charlie Freese, executive director of GM's global fuel cell engineering activities. "We believe hydrogen fuel cell technology holds tremendous potential to one day help reduce our dependence on petroleum and we are committed to building on our leadership through the continued development."

This is the second fuel cell-related announcement GM has made this year. In July, GM and Honda announced a long-term, definitive master agreement to co-develop a next-generation fuel cell system and hydrogen storage technologies, aiming for the 2020 time frame.

GM is an acknowledged leader in fuel cell technology. According to Clean Energy Patent Growth Index, GM ranked No. 1 in total fuel cell patents filed between 2002 and 2012. GM's Project Driveway program, launched in 2007, has accumulated nearly 3 million miles of real-world driving in a fleet of 119 hydrogen-powered vehicles, more than any other automaker.

GM is currently building a new Fuel Cell Development Laboratory in Pontiac, Mich., where the majority of the company's fuel cell development work will take place.

TARDEC and GM's respective fuel cell laboratories are about 20 miles apart, which greatly promotes daily collaboration, and GM and TARDEC engineers are developing extensive plans to share physical material and data between the locations.

TARDEC opened a new Fuel Cell Research Laboratory located in the recently opened Ground System Power and Energy Laboratory building in Warren, Mich. The state-of-the-art facility enables TARDEC to test and integrate the fuel cell systems it has been developing for military applications for more than a decade.

"The Army continues to investigate technologies and partnerships that give the United States a decisive advantage," said TARDEC Director Paul Rogers. "Our relationships – like this one with GM – are maturing and accelerating technologies critical to the transportation and energy capabilities of the future."

Additionally, TARDEC is evaluating GM fuel cell vehicles in a comprehensive demonstration in Hawaii. The technology has possible military applications ranging from ground vehicles to mobile generators.

Fuel cell technology helps address the two major challenges with automobiles today – petroleum use and carbon dioxide emissions. Fuel cell vehicles can operate on renewable hydrogen that can be made from sources like wind and biomass. The only emission from fuel cell vehicles is water vapor.

About General Motors Co.
General Motors Co. (NYSE:GM, TSX: GMM) and its partners produce vehicles in 30 countries, and the company has leadership positions in the world's largest and fastest-growing automotive markets. GM, its subsidiaries and joint venture entities sell vehicles under the Chevrolet, Cadillac, Baojun, Buick, GMC, Holden, Isuzu, Jiefang, Opel, Vauxhall and Wuling brands. More information on the company and its subsidiaries, including OnStar, a global leader in vehicle safety, security and information services, can be found at http://www.gm.com.
# # #

About TARDEC

Headquartered at the U.S. Army Detroit Arsenal in Warren, Mich., TARDEC is a major research, development and engineering center for the Army Materiel Command's Research, Development and Engineering Command and an enterprise partner in the TACOM Life Cycle Management Command. TARDEC is the Nation's laboratory for advanced military automotive technology and serves as the Ground Systems Integrator for all Defense Department manned and unmanned ground vehicle systems. With roots dating back to the World War II era, TARDEC develops and integrates the right technology solutions to improve current force effectiveness and provides superior capabilities for future force integration. More information can be found at
http://tardec.army.mil


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  • 32 Comments
      alfredschrader
      • 1 Year Ago
      Hydrogen powered vehicle I invented uses Nitrous Oxide injection same as a race car. NOS makes it go like a rocket, gets better fuel economy, and only produces water and nitrogen gas as exaust products. The Army did more fore me in Afghanistan than I could ever do myself. Some of them didn't come back. I owe them. - so they can have the H2/NOS technology for free if they ask me.
        mjneumanii
        • 1 Year Ago
        @alfredschrader
        Nice of you to offer Alfred , but I think that the engineers at GM and the US Army have a pretty good grasp on just about every form of alternative fuel that can drive a vehicle ( Bio-fuels, Solar , Hydrogen , electric , etc. ). These technologies have been being researched and tested for decades now. The only major hurdle to overcome is the powerhouse lobbying of the oil companies that prevents these alternative fuel vehicles from reaching the private or public sectors in any reasonable fashion. If you notice the only ones actually using these vehicles now are typically the energy companies themselves as nothing more than a PR move ( distraction from the truth ). Its sad but true !
      goodoldgorr
      • 1 Year Ago
      We can see that hydrogen fuelcell is taken more seriously by manufacturers and army and goverments then bev. As soon as hydrogen fuelcell will be put on the market, then bev vehicle like tesla and leaf and maybe the volt will be obsolete and deleted by consumers and manufacturers.
        Chris M
        • 1 Year Ago
        @goodoldgorr
        I must point out that the Military is not highly concerned with issues of "cost" and "efficiency", unlike consumers. After all, the Military has had lots of jets, helicopters, and tanks, for decades, and very few consumers are buying those things - or ever will.
      lthrnck68
      • 1 Year Ago
      As a Marine, I find it amusing that the picture posted with this article has the car next to a billboard with Marines on it.
      DarylMc
      • 1 Year Ago
      Hi DaveMart and LTAW Thanks for the links. Those methanol fuel cells look quite interesting with a liquid fuel.
      DaveMart
      • 1 Year Ago
      16 GM Equinox fuel cell vehicles have been on test in Hawaii for the past year, assessing their performance in the harsh conditions there: www.fuelcelltoday.com/analysis/analyst-views/2011/11-05-25-integrated-hydrogen-projects-in-hawaiiwww.fuelcelltoday.com/news-events/news-archive/2012/february/us-army-demonstrates-its-hawaiian-fleet-of-fuel-cell-vehicles Presumably they are doing OK, since the co-operation is now being extended. For Hawaii that is part of their roll out of 20-25 hydrogen stations by 2015 http://www.fuelcelltoday.com/analysis/analyst-views/2011/11-05-25-integrated-hydrogen-projects-in-hawaii 'TGC is Hawaii’s largest utility and currently delivers approximately 5% hydrogen in its utility synthetic gas (syngas) stream with a potential maximum of 7,000 gallons gasoline equivalent H2 per day. This blended hydrogen will be removed from the stream at strategic locations in TGC’s 1,000-mile Oahu pipeline by pressure swing adsorption (PSA) technology for use by the planned hydrogen refuelling stations. A PSA-based refuelling system at a station will cost US $300,000 to $500,000 to deploy – up to four times cheaper than standard hydrogen refuelling stations in the USA. TGC plans to increase the level of hydrogen in the syngas stream by up to double with its renewable biogas initiative, which adds plant oils and animal fats as syngas feedstocks.'
        DaveMart
        • 1 Year Ago
        @DaveMart
        Sorry, I was not clear. The 16 fuel cell vehicles are on test in Hawaii on behalf of the US military.
      EZEE
      • 1 Year Ago
      They showed off their 'clandestine' vehicle? Someone hand the Army a dictionary...obviously they need help with 'clandestine'
        Spec
        • 1 Year Ago
        @EZEE
        Yeah, it is right there . . . next to the Chevy. Can't you see it?
          EZEE
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Spec
          (best stoner voice) "Whoa...."
        paulwesterberg
        • 1 Year Ago
        @EZEE
        Hey never mind your fancy dictionary college boy, this is like a vehicle that Jack Ryan would drive from his secret government facility to get a double cheese burger from the drive through. Of course it would be equipped with a tailpipe hooked to a fog machine and engine noise would be piped out of speakers so the stealth vehicle could blend with the rest of the traffic.
          EZEE
          • 1 Year Ago
          @paulwesterberg
          Taliban walking down the street in Jalabad... "What is that strange vehicle? Praise Allah." "It is a secret clandestine US Military Vehicle. I saw it in an issue of Motor Trend. Praise Allah." "Should we shoot at it? Praise Allah." "No, it is supposed. To be clandestine. It would hurt their feelings if we did. Act like you don't see it, Praise Allah." (Voices yelling out of the clandestine vehicle) "Hahahahahaha you can't see us hahahahaha Obama Rocks," (Taliban) (Sigh)..... Praise Allah.
        DaveMart
        • 1 Year Ago
        @EZEE
        They looked for clandestine in the dictionary. They couldn't find it. It was camouflaged.
      Jim1961
      • 1 Year Ago
      I ain't no military strategist but I think the best thing individuals can do is drastically reduce (OPEC) oil consumption. Americans spend more than $1 billion per day on gasoline. Three years ago, with a minivan and midsize sedan, I was spending $300 per month on gasoline. Today, with a Chevy Volt and Nissan Leaf, I spend about $25 per month on gasoline.
        juststeve35
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Jim1961
        What is your electric bill?
          Chris M
          • 1 Year Ago
          @juststeve35
          Better question - how much did their electric bill go up? Rough estimate, considering their former gas consumption - about $55 per month more. Still spending a lot less than they were
      danfred311
      • 1 Year Ago
      Evil, hand in hand.
      bolomark3
      • 1 Year Ago
      Hopefully they will NOT repeat their last several failures of vehicles that end up out of commission before they're even able to be used.
      Joeviocoe
      • 1 Year Ago
      :) There are some good applications for Fuel Cell vehicles in this domain. WHAT?!?!?! Joeviocoe said that?!?!? Yeah, for certain missions the need for long range, silent mobility is priority. And centralized H2 fueling (not relying on commercial H2 stations)... avoids barriers from local economics.
      Letstakeawalk
      • 1 Year Ago
      I'm not immediately familiar with the GM vehicle pictured; it isn't the fuel cell Equinox that was used in Project Driveway (and also currently being used by the military in testing). OK, quick google search: It's the GM Sequel, from 2005. Here's the real nugget of info: "GM is currently building a new Fuel Cell Development Laboratory in Pontiac, Mich., where the majority of the company's fuel cell development work will take place." Solid, real-world investment. Something people can actually see and walk around in. Not just words... So, GM will not only be working with Honda on the next-gen FCV, but will also be working with the military. That should really help the R&D process.
        Alfonso T. Alvarez
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Letstakeawalk
        They have previously done fuel cell development work for years in Honeoye Falls NY and also some in Palo Alto, CA. The new lab will likely be in the GM Powertrain world HQ campus in Pontiac, MI. Test mule vehicles will likely be built at the Milford Proving Grounds.
      Letstakeawalk
      • 1 Year Ago
      The Efoy system is already quickly gaining popularity with the boating/RV crowd. http://www.efoy.com/
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