GM to Test FCV on Japan Public Roads by End of 2002

July 14, 2002 by Jeff Shepard

General Motors Corp. (GM, Detroit, MI) announced that it will test drive a fuel cell vehicle (FCV) on Japanese public roads by the end of this year. GM sees Japan as a major market for the next-generation vehicle and plans to start mass-producing FCVs in 2008.

The FCV testing will be part of a series of driving tests to be conducted by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry. GM will use the Zafira minivan of Opel (Germany) for the tests. On a single hydrogen charge, the vehicle is expected to be able to travel 400km and hit a maximum speed of 150kph. The vehicle is similar to an FCV that the company plans to mass-produce in the near future. GM has changed its approach on ways to extract hydrogen, halting research into extracting hydrogen from methanol. Instead, GM will concentrate on extracting the substance from gasoline, since methanol's toxicity makes it a potential health threat.