Hydrogen powered vehicles tested

Several hundred hydrogen-powered vehicles are being put on the roads in the US by a major car manufacturer to see how they fare in day-to-day driving.

The "Project Driveway" program will see small fleets of the Chevrolet Equinox electric hydrogen fuel cell vehicles allowing customers to provide feedback on them.

The Chevrolet Equinox holds about 4kg of pressured hydrogen in tanks and generates electricity from a reaction between hydrogen and oxygen. It delivers the petrol equivalent of about 43mpg.

Participants have been chosen by GM based on how close they live to a fuelling station and their level of interest in fuel cell technology. The company is covering the cost of the hydrogen fuel, insurance and maintenance.

Costs have not been disclosed but the hand-built vehicles are valued at over $1 million.

Patrick Serfass, director of technology development for the National Hydrogen Association, says the ultimate goal is to emit half the amount of overall emissions compared with a conventional petrol-fuelled vehicles.

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