General Motors expects to mass produce fuel cell cars by the end of the decade, said Matthew Fronk, chief engineer of fuel cell systems for GM, at a fuel cell conference, according to Reuters. "We see a path to volume production within this decade, probably around 2008-2010," Fronk said. Other car manufacturers have said they expect to have fuel cell vehicles commercially available by 2005. The car to be developed by GM will use gasoline as primary fuel, which will be transformed into hydrogen through a reformer. The hydrogen feeds into the fuel cell stack to produce electricity, which powers the car’s engine. The technology used by GM is PEM (Proton Membrane Exchange) fuel cell. Distributing hydrogen would require new supply infrastructure estimated to cost $1 million per filling station. "The hydrogen economy is a way off," he said. Other techniques being considered by other car manufacturers include the transformation of liquid methanol into hydrogen through a reformer. Fuel cell company Zetek is developing an alternative alkaline fuel cell system for motor vehicles as opposed to PEM technology, which uses hydrogen directly as the main fuel.

Originally posted on Fleet Financials