Monroe County, New
York, announced today that they will use a Chevrolet Equinox Fuel Cell
Electric vehicle as part of their efforts to promote a cleaner and
greener environment in the Western New York area. Monroe County becomes
the latest member of Chevy's Project Driveway--the largest-ever market
test of fuel cell and hydrogen technology.
The announcement was
made by Monroe County Executive Maggie Brooks during her annual State
of the County Address in Rochester, NY.
Project Driveway is
placing more than 100 zero emissions Chevy Equinox fuel cell electric
vehicles, powered by hydrogen, on the streets of key markets in the
U.S. and around the world.
"Through this unique partnership
with GM, Monroe County is leading the way toward a more sustainable
future," said County Executive Maggie Brooks. "By testing a
hydrogen-powered fuel cell vehicle, we will be able to provide valuable
information to GM about the automobile's performance. At the same time,
we will prepare Monroe County for the next generation of alternative
fuel vehicles. We are proud to be the only community in upstate New
York selected to participate in this cutting-edge program, and we look
forward to the positive impact it will have on the environment."
and Monroe County will work together to collect comprehensive feedback
on all elements including customer acceptance, operations and
performance and overall satisfaction. This will include cold weather
operation and on-road performance. The County is particularly
interested in the fueling time and logistics as well as vehicle range.
The Chevy Equinox fuel cell vehicle will be highly visible at public
events, festivals, parades and press conferences, and will also be
utilized by department heads.
"Monroe County has always been on
the forefront of progressive, new technologies, and what they will be
able to tell us from their driving experiences with the Equinox fuel
cell vehicle will be crucial as we further develop the technology and
move toward commercialization of fuel cell electric vehicles," said
Daniel O'Connell, GM director Equinox fuel cell service, support and
Enabled by GM's fourth-generation hydrogen fuel
cell propulsion system, the Equinox Fuel Cell electric vehicle is a
fully functional crossover vehicle. During the Project Driveway test,
consumers in suburban Los Angeles, New York City and Washington, D.C.
will drive more than 100 of these vehicles for three months and report
their experiences to Chevrolet. The drivers have free use of the
vehicles, including the hydrogen fuel it needs to make electricity
onboard as well as insurance, in exchange for their valuable feedback.
A small number of the Project Driveway vehicles will also be deployed
to other parts of the world, including Germany and Asia.
from its dramatically different propulsion system, the Equinox Fuel
Cell electric vehicle looks and drives much like a production Chevy
Equinox crossover. The fuel cell system fits within the space of the
conventional engine compartment. The nickel-metal hydride battery pack,
which stores energy from the regenerative braking system to increase
operating efficiency and boost acceleration when needed, sits under the
floor in the middle of the vehicle. Three compressed hydrogen storage
tanks, made of carbon fiber for strength and pressurized to 10,000
pounds per square inch (psi), are located under the rear seats and
cargo area. They contain roughly nine pounds (4.2 kg) of hydrogen. The
Equinox fuel cell has a range of approximately 150 miles ( km) when
the Chevrolet Equinox Fuel Cell electric vehicle fascia sports Chevy's
horizontally split grille, along with extra cooling air inlets in the
lower front corners. At the rear, the new fascia under the bumper has
four thin vertical slits in place of the exhaust pipe; they release the
clean water vapor emissions. This patented design lets onlookers know
that this is no ordinary internal combustion engine vehicle.
Equinox Fuel Cell vehicle boasts a long list of standard safety
features including driver and passenger frontal air bags and roof rail
side-impact air bags; anti-lock braking system (ABS); StabiliTrak
stability enhancement technology and OnStar.