General Motors and U.S. Army Jointly Evaluating Hydrogen Fuel-Cell Designs

General Motors and the U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research, Development & Engineering Center (TARDEC) have entered into a new agreement for collaboration on hydrogen fuel-cell technology. Focused on testing the performance and durability of fuel-cell-related design and materials before committing to full-scale production of fuel-cell propulsion systems, the agreement will allow both entities to achieve more tangible results than by working independently. With GM’s interest in hydrogen fuel cells as a source of clean, renewable energy for automobiles and the military’s interest in relatively compact, portable, and quickly refueled power sources, the hookup is an obvious one.

The alliance will no doubt be aided by the fact that TARDEC’s recently opened Warren, Michigan, facility is located just 20 miles from where GM’s new Fuel-Cell Research Laboratory is undergoing construction in Pontiac, Michigan. Engineers are planning on taking full advantage of the close proximity, working on plans to share physical material and data between the two facilities. The collaboration is expected to last five years.

Instrumented Test: 2012 Honda Civic Natural Gas
First Drive: 2011 Mercedes-Benz B-class F-Cell
Feature: Hydrogen at Work: BMW’s Materials Mover Previews Hydrogen-Fueled Future

GM, who according to the Clean Energy Patent Growth Index, is ranked as the leader in in total fuel-cell patents filed between 2002 and 2012, signed an agreement with Honda this past July to co-develop next-generation fuel-cell systems and hydrogen storage technologies. While any fruit from the GM/Honda partnership is slated for the 2020 time frame, TARDEC is already evaluating GM fuel cell vehicles in Hawaii, exploring technology with possible military applications ranging from ground transportation to mobile generators.

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