HUMMER Debuts H2H Hybrid

LOS ANGELES - The HUMMER H2H, a hydrogen-powered experimental vehicle, combines a distinctive design with advanced technologies in order to help GM and California gain experience and learning on the journey to a hydrogen economy.

HUMMER is like nothing else, and the H2H carries that tradition forward. Not only does the H2H carry HUMMER's iconic design, it creates a bold and striking visual statement on the future of hydrogen.

HUMMER designers took the opportunity to make the H2H a unique expression of HUMMER's trademark appearance. The H2H is based on an H2 SUT (Sport Utility Truck) body, with several enhancements. The SUT rear cargo bed is covered by a special composite tonneau, giving the truck a "slant back" appearance. The slant back shape is a new interpretation of a body style created for the military HUMVEE, the precursor and inspiration for HUMMER itself.

The H2H is immediately recognized by its Laser Blue exterior paint, a rich, deep color never before used on a HUMMER. A special graphic on each side of the body announces the truck's hydrogen fuel application, along with HUMMER's support for California's Hydrogen Highway Network initiative. A special integrated roof rack and light bar sits atop the truck, with a unique chrome grille guard on the front.

On the inside, designers again took the opportunity to integrate some one-of-a-kind touches. These additions not only make the H2H more distinctive, they are also styling experiments allowing designers to test ideas that may influence future vehicles. These include special water-resistant seats made of a prototype nylon-based material. Rather than splattering and soaking, spilled water hits this material and immediately gathers into droplets perched on the surface of the seat that can be easily brushed aside.

H2H is equipped with a rear entertainment system, featuring DVD players with screens mounted into the headrests. The headliner of the H2H is made of Ultra-Suede, a material that is especially soft, luxurious and durable. The instrument panel features a carbon fiber-patterned appliqué evoking the material used for the H2H's fuel tanks.

Many worthy experiments regarding hydrogen fuel are being conducted on smaller, less expressive and less rugged vehicles. The H2H is a rare opportunity to apply this concept to one of the world's most rugged and distinctive vehicles - a HUMMER H2.

The H2H features the same Vortec 6000 (6.0-liter V-8) engine utilized in all HUMMER H2s on the road today. This experimental vehicle achieves much of the same on-road driving characteristics and comfort of the H2, a major accomplishment for such an advanced technological effort.

The dynamics of fuel delivery to an internal combustion engine are much different for gaseous hydrogen fuel, compared to gasoline, due to the different combustion dynamics of these fuels. Specially designed fuel injectors deliver hydrogen to the engine more conservatively than in a gasoline fuel system, thus reducing engine power. The H2H adds a supercharger mounted onto the Vortec 6000 to help the engine reclaim some of that deficit, reaching a peak of approximately 180 horsepower (134 kw).

The truck's powertrain, fueling and electrical systems have all been extensively reconfigured to operate with a dedicated 350-bar compressed hydrogen fuel system. This includes three on-board carbon fiber fuel tanks. Two tanks are mounted underbody in the approximate location of a traditional gasoline fuel tank. The third is mounted in the H2 SUT's rear cargo bed. The three tanks combine to create 5.5 kg (12 pounds) of total hydrogen storage.

The H2H's hydrogen fuel system including fuel injection, electronic controls, ultra-light composite hydrogen storage, complete with integral pressure regulation and safety systems, was developed in collaboration with Quantum Technologies (NASDAQ: QTWW), a California-based leader in packaged fuel systems for hydrogen and one of GM's fuel cell technology alliance partners. In 2002, GM acquired a substantial minority ownership position in Quantum to collaborate on improving the range of GM's fuel cell vehicles through the development of hydrogen storage, hydrogen handling and electronic control technologies for fuel cell applications.

The hydrogen refueling interface for the H2H follows the prototype design set forth in California. It consists of two connectors (one in the traditional fuel-fill location, the other on the rear bumper) that enable the fastest fuel fill currently available in California's growing hydrogen infrastructure. In its early testing and development, it is estimated that the H2H can travel roughly 60 miles (97 km) between fill-ups.

GM's foremost powertrain and vehicle development engineers in the U.S., Canada and Germany collaborated to create the H2H's hydrogen fuel system. The electronics and safety systems of the H2H are state-of-the art for a hydrogen-powered vehicle. In fact, the H2H's safety system is modeled after that used on GM's Hydrogen3 minivan, GM's record-setting hydrogen fuel cell vehicle.

GM is moving very fast on reducing the cost of fuel cell stacks and proving technology and commercial viability of fuel cell technology, and is committed to perfecting fuel cells because they are more efficient and cleaner than internal combustion engines. Therefore, there are no plans at GM to produce the H2H or pursue hydrogen internal combustion engine technology long term.


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