GM Launches Japan's First Commercial FCV

July 13, 2003 by Jeff Shepard

General Motors Corp. (GM, Detroit, MI) and FedEx Corp. marked a first in Japan by delivering packages in a fuel-cell vehicle (FCV), the first approved for commercial use in the country. As part of the Japanese government's initiative to explore the viability of FCVs, the GM and FedEx will operate GM's HydroGen3 vehicles on FedEx Express's regular routes in Tokyo.

"In addition to giving General Motors lots of data from how fuel cell technology handles in real world situations, it's also another step toward true commercialization - when fuel cell vehicles can be sold to consumers at prices they can afford and auto companies make a profit from them," GM representatives said.

By storing liquid hydrogen on board the vehicle, the HydroGen3 can run for 400km (250 miles) before refueling. That is about 100km more than FCVs developed by Toyota and Honda. The Japanese government wants to lay the groundwork for full commercialization of FCVs by 2005, with the aim of having five million of the vehicles on the road by 2020.