General Motors Increases HydroGen3 FCV Range

March 02, 2003 by Jeff Shepard

General Motors Corp. (GM, Detroit, MI) has increased the range of its HydroGen3 compressed hydrogen fuel cell vehicles by 80 percent with the successful test of a 10,000psi (700 bar) hydrogen storage system. The HydroGen3 Zafira minivan has a range of 170 miles, up from 95 miles achieved in summer 2002. It has been certified for use on public roads.

The system, which consists of two carbon composite tanks, was approved last year by Germany's top safety institute in accordance with common industry standards in Europe and North America. GM is confident that it will reach the 300 to 350 mile range by 2010. The HydroGen3's 10,000psi tank can store 3.1kg of compressed hydrogen, which increases storage capacity by a factor of 1.6 over a 5,000psi (350 bar) system. The 10,000psi system also occupies roughly the same physical space as the 5,000psi system with a hydrogen storage capacity of 1.9kg.