This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

January 12, 2005

General Motors Unveils the Fuel-Cell-Powered "Sequel"

General Motors Corporation (GM) unveiled its latest fuel-cell-powered concept car, the Sequel, at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) on January 9th. Named because it's "a sequel to the first 100 years of the automobile," the Sequel achieves a 300-mile range and can accelerate to 60 miles per hour in less than 10 seconds, according to GM. The company aims to design and validate a competitive fuel cell propulsion system by 2010.

The Sequel draws on GM's latest fuel cell stack—25 percent more powerful than its previous model—to deliver 73 kilowatts of power. A 60-kilowatt motor drives the front wheels, while a 25-kilowatt motor is mounted in each of the rear wheel hubs. A high-voltage lithium-ion battery system, supplied by Saft, provides 65 kilowatts of power, boosting power to the three electric motors during acceleration while storing power regenerated during braking. Sequel's 300-mile range is made possible by advances in high-pressure storage that enable the vehicle to carry 8 kilograms of hydrogen. Developed in conjunction with Quantum Technologies, three lightweight, carbon-composite tanks store hydrogen at 10,000 pounds per square inch (psi), compared to 5,000 psi in Hywire, Sequel's predecessor.

Following the design principle used in the Hywire, nearly everything needed to power and control the car, including the fuel cell and hydrogen storage tanks, are packaged into the Sequel's 11-inch-thick chassis structure. Like the Hywire, the GM Sequel achieves enhanced braking, accelerating, and handling characteristics by replacing traditional mechanical systems with electronically controlled "by-wire" systems. See the GM press release and for additional information, select "Concepts" on the GM 2005 NAIAS Web page. You can also view the Webcast or read the text of GM's press conference at the NAIAS.