News of August 01, 2002
GM Moving Fuel Cell Technology Closer To Commercialization
HONEOYE FALLS, NY. - General Motors Corp. unveiled a unique, new research facility that will expand its ability to develop fuel cell technology, which will help GM determine how to offer fuel cells on a large-scale basis in preparation for market-ready products.
GM's new Fuel Cell Development Center in Honeoye Falls will develop fuel cell technology for commercial use, creating up to 100 new research and engineering jobs. GM has been inventing fuel cell technology at a research facility with about 200 employees on the same property since 1998.
"The work we'll do at this new building holds the key to affordability and durability," said Larry Burns, GM's Vice President of Research and Development, and Planning. "GM is committed to being the first company to sell one million fuel cell vehicles. To do this, we're going to continue to invest in the resources - like this facility - necessary to get us there.
"We're taking another step today, physically linking our research activities to our engineering activities, so we can develop compelling, affordable, profitable fuel cell vehicles that customers want to buy in large numbers."
Burns was joined by New York Gov. George E. Pataki and several key policy leaders in powering up the 64,000 square foot development center outside of Rochester, NY. The two facilities, comprising 144,000 square feet, are expected to employ as many as 300 people.
"The State of New York is excited to be partnering with General Motors in helping open this new Fuel Cell Development Center," Pataki said. "Fuel cells will revolutionize the transportation and energy industries, and New York plans to be at the forefront of this rapidly-developing technology. Fuel cells benefit the environment, open significant new business opportunities and will help lessen concerns over energy security."
Initially, work at the new facility will focus on developing fuel cell stacks, fuel processors, electrolyzers and the systems around them into products for both stationary and transportation uses.
"How do you turn cutting-edge technology into something available to the masses?" Burns said. "How do you make it into high-volume, high-durability, affordable products? It's very important to market the products we develop when the technology is ready and the infrastructure is in place. We're pursuing the answers to these questions through our work at this new facility."
GM plans in the future to use fuel cell power to operate many parts of the building.
Burns said GM expects to have significant numbers of fuel cell-powered vehicles in the public's hands by the end of the decade.
GM has 500 people working on fuel cell technology at its U.S. facilities in Honeoye Falls, N.Y., Warren, Mich. and at its research facility in Mainz-Kastel, Germany.
(July 29, 2002)