Hydrogen fuel in GM's sights


POSTED: Thursday, March 18, 2010

General Motors Co. aims to commercialize autos fueled by hydrogen even as the largest U.S. carmaker prepares to begin selling the battery-powered Chevrolet Volt plug-in vehicle late this year.

While U.S. policy has shifted to favor developing cars that use lithium-ion packs, rather than hydrogen fuel-cell models, both are needed to cut oil reliance and greenhouse gases, Charles Freese, GM's executive director of global powertrain engineering, said at a briefing in Burbank, Calif. He discussed GM's new fuel-cell power system that's smaller, lighter and cheaper than the one used in its hydrogen-powered Equinox wagon.

Bloomberg News

» New-vehicle buyers in Hawaii prefer Japanese models by a more than 3-to-1 margin, according to 2009 market share figures for new car and light-truck registration.

Japanese models accounted for 65 percent of the market, while the Big 3 U.S. automakers combined for a 19 percent share. They were followed by European sales, 11 percent, and Korean autos at 4 percent, according to the fourth-quarter 2009 Hawaii Auto Outlook from the Hawaii Automobile Dealers Association.

Star-Bulletin staff