General Motors has unveiled its next-generation hydrogen fuel-cell car and the big news is, it's a Chevy. The Chevrolet Sequel is a 5-seater crossover that builds on technology developed in GM's two previous hydrogen concepts: the AUTOnomy and the Hy-wire. The Sequel is driven by two asynchronous wheel-hub-mounted electric motors on the rear wheels and a third motor driving the front wheels, which are themselves powered by gaseous hydrogen pressurized to 10,000psi and stored in three carbon composite tanks.
Like the Hy-wire, the Sequel is based on a skateboard-style platform, with all major propulsion, braking, and chassis components contained in the car's underbelly. All throttle and braking inputs for the Sequel use drive-by-wire technology, meaning that electronic--rather than mechanical--connections link the accelerator and the brake pedal to their respective functions.
According to GM, the Sequel has a range of 300 miles, a top speed of 90mph, and will go to 60mph from standing in less than 10 seconds--not spectacular by modern standards until you remember that the only emission produced is water vapor. At a press event in San Diego tonight, GM's vice president of R&D, Larry Burns, told a group of auto journalists that the Sequel heralds the "reinvention of the automobile."
We'll have to reserve judgment until tomorrow when we get a chance to actually drive one here in the desert of Southern California. Stay tuned to Car Tech for our first-hand impressions of the car of the future.
Source: Images: GM press photos