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Transportation & Fuel Source Technology

Behind the Wheel of Hydrogen Concepts

There's no lack of information available on hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. We know they run on a sustainable fuel, emit no tailpipe emissions or CO2 greenhouse gases, and employ cutting-edge technologies. But what are they really like on the road? The editors at Green Car Journal Online share their experiences in driving two of the industry's most high-profile hydrogen vehicles in a just-released Top Stories feature...and come up with some interesting conclusions.

"GM and Honda are justifiably proud of their achievements with the latest generation Sequel and FCX concept vehicles," says Ron Cogan, editor-in-chief of Green Car Journal Online and editor/publisher of the Green Car Journal consumer magazine. "They have followed markedly different approaches in achieving the same net result - the production of real-life, drivable, and exceptionally 'normal' vehicles."

Cogan points to this distinction of normalcy as among the most significant achievements of both automakers' fuel cell development programs.

"While the goal in the marketplace is to positively distinguish one model from another in a given segment, that's not the initial objective of fuel cell vehicles," says Cogan. "People must first be convinced that fuel cells represent a viable technology and hydrogen is a safe fuel. This is an industry-wide issue. Both of these very different vehicles come across as 'normal' and accomplish this mission."

The need to educate is driving innovative outreach programs in the auto industry. GM's "Project Driveway," which involves a consumer and fleet demonstration of 100 Chevrolet Equinox Fuel Cell crossover vehicles, is one example. Another is Honda's industry-leading effort in leasing a small number of fuel cell vehicles to consumers for real-world experience.

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