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The new fuel thing

Is changing in a way t hat could accelerate the

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Unformatted text preview: is changing in a way t hat could accelerate the transition · from the internal combus- tion engine. Honda and BMW are both .. experimenting with liquid hydrogen as a fuel for conventional engines; BMW an" . nounced it is putting 100hydrogen-fueled cars on the road next year: GM's is a fun- . ... . . . • . . ..•.. . .. . .. . .. _- .' . GM'S BURNS( ~ g t r t)is a fuel~ell txx > ker. . damentally different bet , leapfrogging pasttraditioniiIengines altogether. Combining hydrogen and oxygen to . ' cause a chemicalreaction that makes eIec" tricit}'has been known since the 1830sand has been in practiciiI use since the 19608; . . man cou)d never have reacheq the moon with- out it. The difficulty has been bringing the tech- nology down to earth.- Then there ' is the infra- structUre question: · how to produce and dis- tributebydrogen na- . tionwide . Hydrogen re- filling stations are i Scaice · . ' fewerth:ilithree doiennationwide in oIilya handful of areas. The pumps look like conventioniiI gas ones except that they are more high-tech (and much more ex- pensive) because the hydrogen gas is kept unqer pressure. GM hopes that if it launches a small car fleet in a few big markets (New York, . Washington, Los Angeles), oil companies might become interested in adding hy- drogen refueling stations to theirtetail out- lets . It iiIso hopes to pique consumer cu- riosity-hence the decision to brand the Sequel as a Chevrolet, GM's best known and most globiiI brand. Says Byron Mc~ Cormick, the engineer who heads OM's ...... . . fuel- cell efforf:"We'rebuildingan indus- try.you can'tdo it staying in the labora- tory.We haVetogetoutthere and make an emotioniiI connection to people who are r eally going to buy this thing. " Back at the lab, developments are mov- ing quickly. Because smaller is cheaper, OM is nowworkiitg on a layout that ishalf the size and weight of the current one and only a little bigger than a conventional foUI-eylinderengine. Thatversion coUldbefoUI-eylinderengine....
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