Opel / GM fuel cell fleet passes three-million mile mark



Some vehicles in the fleet have accumulated more than 120,000 miles (193,000 km). They are all part of GM’s large-scale “Project Driveway” - a program involving 119 test vehicles worldwide used in everyday driving by customers which started in 2007.

More than 5,000 drivers have so far provided feedback on the functionality and drivability of fuel cell technology.

“Hydrogen fuel cell technology is an important part of GM’s advanced propulsion portfolio and we continue to make substantial progress in furthering this technology,” says Charlie Freese, Executive Director of GM’s global fuel cell engineering activities. “These vehicles have operated through seven full winters and in a wide range of environmental conditions, proving that fuel cells can meet the real world demands of drivers.”

Opel has been participating in this GM global fleet test since the end of 2008, with a total of 30 Opel HydroGen4 vehicles being run in four German cities within the framework of the Clean Energy Partnership (CEP), a publicly funded research program for hydrogen technology by the German government.

The Opel vehicles have been operated by many partner companies — such as 3M, ADAC, Air Liquide, Allianz, Bild, Coca Cola, Condor, E‑Plus, ESWE, Hilton, IKEA, Linde, Neckermann, nh Hotels, Schindler, Siemens, Shell, Total and Vattenfall — and have covered a total of more than 350,000 km during 13,000 hours of operation in Berlin, Hamburg, Düsseldorf and Frankfurt (including 2,700 refuelling stops).

“All of the feedback from customers on HydroGen4 has been positive, surpassing by far our wildest expectations,” says Dr. Lars Peter Thiesen, who has been overseeing the introduction strategy for hydrogen and fuel cell vehicles in Europe for several years. “The great reliability of the vehicles, especially in winter conditions, and the excellent service from our fuel cell team has been repeatedly emphasised.”