General Motors Corp. has shipped its first fuel cell demonstration vehicle to a California government-industry partnership based in Sacramento, the company announced, the first of several advanced technology vehicles that GM will demonstrate in California this year. The HydroGen1 fuel cell vehicle, first shown in June 2000 in Brussels, is going to be used as part of a demonstration fleet, under the direction of the California Fuel Cell Part-nership, which was formed by California Gov. Grey Davis, automakers and energy companies in 1999. HydroGen1 has been used in rigorous field testing around the world and has accumulated more than 20,000 miles, operating in the hottest temperatures on record for a fuel cell vehicle during an endurance run in the Arizona desert last summer. The vehicle is based on an Opel Zafira, a five-passenger minivan GM sells in Europe, Asia and Latin America. The HydroGen1 set 15 international speed and endurance records in the heat of the Arizona desert last year, including becoming the first fuel cell vehicle to cover more than 500 miles in one day and be driven in 100-degree Fahrenheit heat. In January, GM unveiled its AUTOnomy concept at the North American International Auto Show. AUTOnomy is the first vehicle designed from the ground up around a fuel cell propulsion system and the first to combine fuel cells with x-by-wire, which allows steering, braking and other vehicle systems to be controlled electronically rather than mechanically.

Originally posted on Fleet Financials