Earlier this week General Motors announced that they would be delivering a fleet of 100 new fuel-cell vehicles. Now, the General has announced the U.S. Army is taking the first of the new Fuel Cell equipped Chevrolet Equinoxes (Equini?).

GM intends to market test 100 of the fuel cell equipped crossovers with a variety of drivers including end costumers in various regions of the country. Drivers in California, DC, and New York City will get be beta testers for what is possibly the bet long-term hope for reducing carbon emissions and oil consumption. The vehicle will be used for non-tactical general transportation at military bases in Virginia and California . The men and women in green will be finding out how it feels to go green from something other than the fuel or bouncing around in a tank. You can read more on the prior announcement of the fuel cell Equinox along with some details about the vehicle here and here. The full press release from GM is after the jump.

[Source: GM]


U.S. Army Takes Delivery of GM's Latest Fuel Cell Vehicle Army First Chevrolet Equinox Fuel Cell Vehicle Customer


Washington, D. C. - The U.S. Army became the first customer of General Motors Corp.'s latest fuel cell technology today as the automaker deployed the first vehicle of its next generation Chevrolet Equinox Fuel Cell vehicle fleet.

U.S. Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.), ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Committee and a champion of fuel cell technology, and Larry Burns, GM vice president of research and development and strategic planning, gave the Equinox Fuel Cell keys to Army Maj. Gen. Roger A. Nadeau, commander of the U.S. Army's Research, Development and Engineering Command.

On Sunday, GM announced "Project Driveway", a comprehensive market test to place 100 Chevrolet Equinox Fuel Cell vehicles with consumers in three key U.S. regions: California, Washington, D.C. and the New York City metropolitan area. A variety of drivers, including individual consumers, will begin driving the vehicles in the fall of 2007. The fuel cell vehicle the Army received today is a vehicle which will enable a direct performance assessment of GM's latest generation of fuel cell technology.

"The delivery of this vehicle today illustrates what is possible with the powerful collaboration of industry and government," said Sen. Levin. "The Army's involvement with this important program demonstrates the military's commitment to develop and test alternatives that will offer tremendous potential to reduce our dependence on oil on the battlefield. This vehicle also highlights the important work occurring in our domestic auto industry to move toward fuel cell vehicles, and the Army provides an important test bed for this technology."

The Army's fuel cell vehicle will be used for non-tactical transportation purposes, primarily on military bases in Virginia and California. It is powered by GM's fourth generation fuel cell propulsion system, offering significantly improved performance, refinement and range as compared with earlier generation vehicles. The Army's vehicle is a four-passenger crossover vehicle, with 186 miles of petroleum-free operating range. Safety features include driver and passenger airbags, anti-lock braking system (ABS) and OnStar.

"GM is demonstrating its commitment to hydrogen fuel cells as the answer for taking the automobile out of the environmental debate and reducing our dependence on petroleum," Burns said. "The U.S. Army is an important partner in validating GM's fuel cell technology in real use operation. Delivery of this vehicle is an important milestone in the Equinox Fuel Cell vehicle program announced last week, and in our ongoing relationship with the U.S. Army."

GM has a history of working with the Army on demonstrating and evaluating fuel cell vehicles. In April 2005, the U.S. Army took delivery of the Chevrolet Silverado Fuel Cell truck, the world's first compressed-hydrogen fuel cell pickup, for demonstration and evaluation in different climates and locations around the U.S. In addition to using the Chevrolet Equinox Fuel Cell vehicle to evaluate the performance of GM's latest fuel cell technology, the military will continue to obtain first-hand experience with the operation, maintenance and logistics of fuel cell vehicles. This vehicle is an engineered prototype of the 100 vehicle Chevrolet Equinox Fuel Cell market test fleet that GM will deploy to various customers beginning in the fall of 2007.

The U.S. Army has one of the largest fleets of vehicles in the world and GM produces more than half of the non-tactical U.S. military vehicles purchased each year. Improving fuel economy and reducing the logistics of the fuel supply chain could save millions of dollars.

General Motors Corporation

General Motors Corp. (NYSE: GM), the world's largest automaker, has been the global industry sales leader for 75 years. Founded in 1908, GM today employs about 327,000 people around the world. With global headquarters in Detroit , GM manufactures its cars and trucks in 33 countries. In 2005, 9.17 million GM cars and trucks were sold globally under the following brands: Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, GMC, GM Daewoo, Holden, HUMMER, Opel, Pontiac, Saab, Saturn and Vauxhall. GM operates one of the world's leading finance companies, GMAC Financial Services, which offers automotive, residential and commercial financing and insurance. GM's OnStar subsidiary is the industry leader in vehicle safety, security and information services. More information on GM can be found at www.gm.com.

U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command (RDECOM)

The U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command gets technology out of the laboratories and puts it into the hands of warfighters as quickly as possible. RDECOM manages eight laboratories and research, development and engineering centers, plus the U.S. Army Materiel Systems Analysis Activity, System of Systems Integration, international technology centers, and capability and technology integrated process teams. RDECOM maintains liaisons to the field, hundreds of international agreements, and engineer and scientist exchange programs. RDECOM has more than 17,000 military, civilian and direct contractor personnel, a multi-billion dollar annual budget and is responsible for 75 percent of the Army's science and technology objectives. RDECOM provides direct support of the technical base to Future Combat Systems and Future Force, ensuring the nation has the protection it needs for the 21st century and beyond. More information on the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command can be found at www.rdecom.army.mil.


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