GM Plans Fuel Cells by 2010

General Motors recently announced that it expects to mass produce fuel-cell vehicles,
between 2008 to 2010. Other manufacturers have said they expect to have fuel-cell vehicles
available by 2005. Fuel cells produce electrical power from hydrogen and oxygen without
combustion. The technology used by GM is called a Proton Membrane Exchange fuel cell. A
stack will generate a continuous power output equivalent to 134 horsepower. Other
techniques being considered by other car manufacturers include making liquid methanol into
hydrogen. Even though a hydrogen-powered vehicle is the “most elegant” solution because it
has zero carbon-dioxide emissions, GM believes that gasoline is a good transitional
approach to a hydrogen vehicle. Although fuel-cell systems using gasoline would only cut
CO2 emissions in half, gasoline is readily available, whereas hydrogen will require a whole
new infrastructure estimated to cost $1 million per filling station.

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