Yesterday I had a taste of the future of motoring – or at least what GM’s boffins would like to see as the future.

GM Hydrogen1 GM is launching a fleet of 10 Fuel Cell powered Chevy Traverse SUVs in Berlin.

Fully real-world crash-tested and good for a range of 320km, the cars will be run in real-world conditions by 10 different sponsors, including the Berlin Hilton Hotel and Allianz.

I got a chance to drive one of the Traverses from central Berlin to a Hydrogen fuelling station near Berlin’s main bus depot.

Driven by a 73kW fuel cell, the Traverse was very impressive. The acceleration is very brisk, the torque seamless, and the lack of mechanical thrashing makes for a very refined drive (even if the car’s chassis isn’t that great).

I also got a chance to witness what might be an everyday chore by 2030: refuelling a hydrogen-powered car.

GM Hydrogen2 At what otherwise looked like an ordinary Total fuel station, there are two hydrogen pumps, one which re-fills at 350psi and the other, for the Traverse, re-fills at 700psi.

Just slide in the credit card, key in the PIN and clip the hose onto the tiny valve behind the filler cap. An infrared link between the fuel holster and the car monitors the situation. Filling the tank from empty takes three minutes.

The receipt makes interesting reading. 1.52kg of Hydrogen, sold at a (subsidized) 8 Euros per kilo.

I wondered if I’ll ever find myself holding one of these receipts for real in decades to come.