Car giant GM and the Big Green Machine partner on fuel cell research


Greening the Big Green Machine and getting more value from US tax dollars at the same time – one of the world’s largest car manufacturers by volume, partners with the world’s largest military force: only good can come of this…

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. See EVMarkets article.

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.

General Motors press release: GM and U.S. Army to Expand Fuel Cell Testing

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