A New Initiative, a New Fuel Cell Car
Against a backdrop of futuristic vehicles at the Detroit Auto Show, Secretary of Energy Spencer Abraham and executives of Ford, General Motors and DaimlerChrysler in early January announced a new cooperative automotive research partnership between the DOE and the U.S. Council for Automotive Research (USCAR). The new public-private partnership will promote the development of hydrogen as a primary fuel for cars and trucks, as part of U.S. efforts to reduce dependence on foreign oil.
Of those futuristic vehicles, General Motors unveiled its Autonomy fuel cell car, which it says is the first vehicle designed exclusively for the fuel cell. After a century of making gasoline-burning cars, General Motors sees a not-so-distant future when vehicles powered by hydrogen will revolutionize the industry and make transportation more affordable for the world's population.
Because fuel cells consume hydrogen and emit only water and heat, automakers have talked for years about the arrival of the cleaner technology over the next decade as a way to make cars more environmentally friendly and curtail the need for foreign oil.