General Motors will have a fuel cell car on sale by 2012
4 April 2008

General Motors will have a hydrogen fuel cell car on sale by 2012, according to one of the company’s leading engineers. “With our current rate of development 2012 seems like a reasonable date to have a solution”, the highly-placed source told Autocar. He also gave strong hints that the system will be available in the Chevrolet Volt, which is due to be introduced in 2010 as a plug-in electric car.GM has already claimed that it will be the first car maker to sell one million fuel cell vehicles profitably, and a hydrogen-powered Volt looks like being the first step towards achieving the goal. GM has already been beaten in the race to sell the first commercially available hydrogen car, with Honda putting its FCX Clarity lurury saloon on sale in the ‘States last November, albeit with plans to only sell 100 a year.The last fuel cell concept that GM showed was the Sequel at the 2005 Detroit motorshow, powered by Hydro Gen 3 technology. At the time, company boss Rick Wagoner predicted that it would be at least a decade before it saw production. Now it looks like GM is ahead of schedule.

Chas Hallett

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4 April 2008

Actually Honda does not 'sell' the FCX, it is leased at a heavily subsidized rate. I believe the generally accepted figure for the true cost of each FCX is around 1 million US dollars. At $600/month, Honda is engaging in a PR and marketing exercise. I'm not sure what their advertising is like in the UK, but in America all Honda's ads stress their 'greeness'. The FCX is all part of a larger plan in California (along with Governor Schwarzenegger's 'Hydrogen Highway') to promote themselves as the 'Greenest Car Company in America'. Whatever that means.

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