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GM walks the walk on hydrogen fuel cells

GM announces shift of engineers to focus on production of fuel-cell-powered vehicles.

GM is producing 100 hydrogen fuel-cell-powered Chevy Equinoxes this year.
The Chevy Equinox GM

General Motors looks like it is serious about this whole hydrogen fuel cell business. The company announced today that it had moved over 500 engineers from development duties over to groups focused on the production of fuel-cell-powered vehicles.

According to GM, more than 400 of its fuel cell engineers will now report to its Powertrain Group to begin production engineering of fuel cell systems. A further 100 fuel cell experts are being moved to a separate group focused on integrating fuel cells into future models.

While GM has already committed itself to putting 100 fuel-cell-powered Chevy Equinoxes on the road this year as part of its Project Driveway program, the sheer number of engineers that it is reallocating suggests that the company has its sights set on a much bigger deployment of hydrogen fuel cell cars in the foreseeable future.

There has been much hoopla around hydrogen fuel cell development of late, with the likes of Honda, Mercedes, and Ford trotting out prototypes and concepts to feed the demand for alternatives to gas engines, but GM's announcement represents one of the biggest commitments to developing the technology for the real-world market.

Today's news follows last month's news from Purdue University that scientists there had found a potentially new method for onboard creation of hydrogen in cars.