Supplier Spotlight

Video Exclusives

Jaguar details the technology behind the I-Pace

Jaguar I-Pace

Ahead of it public debut at the Geneva International Motor Show next month, McLaren has released further information on the Senna. Fitted with a 4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V8 – McLaren’s most powerful IC engine ever produced for a road car – the limited release hypercar will develop 800ps and 800Nm.

Toyota details its new Dynamic Force engine

Megane R.S Video

The Japanese OEM has revealed its all-new powertrain system which is set to be installed in 80% of Toyota vehicles by 2023. Based on the Toyota New Global Architecture, the technology will feature a new continuously variable transmission (CVT), a 6-speed manual transmission and a 2.0-liter hybridized engine unit.

Click here/on image to watch video

As OEMs continue to announce plans to end production of diesel engines, Mercedes-Benz has unveiled its new diesel PHEV C-Class at the Geneva Motor Show. Will this powertrain development give TDI a new lease of life? 

Web Exclusives

« back to listing

50 years of hydrogen fuel cell development

50 years ago, General Motors tested its Electrovan concept, which was at the time, the world's first hydrogen-powered fuel cell vehicle


The year 1966 brought the TV debuts of “Batman” and “Star Trek,” which both enjoy a cultlike following 50 years later. With less fanfare in the same season, General Motors tested the Electrovan, the world’s first hydrogen-powered fuel cell vehicle.

Floyd Wyczalek, 91, was project manager of Electrovan fuel cell development and recalls the 200-person team working on the first technology transfer of fuel cells from President John F. Kennedy’s 1962 challenge to NASA to safely land a man on the moon before the end of the decade.

"We had three shifts of people on this project starting in January 1966 and finishing 10 months later," Wyczalek said. "We had one running demo for the Progress of Power press conference in October that year."

GM has since invested more than US$2.5bn in hydrogen fuel cell technology and is among patent leaders along with Honda, its collaborator since 2013 in developing a next-generation system that will be much more powerful but a fraction of the size of the equipment-crammed Electrovan, which had room for only a driver and two passengers.

Several fuel cell demo programs have helped GM amass more than 3.1m miles of real-world experience on modern fuel cell systems. On Oct. 3 at the Association of the U.S. Army (AUSA) annual meeting and exhibition in Washington, D.C., GM revealed its latest fuel cell demo, the Chevrolet Colorado ZH2, an off-road midsize pickup that the Army will test in extreme conditions next year.

Coincidentally, the ZH2 went from contract to completion in about 10 months, the same timing as the Electrovan. It will be the first fuel cell vehicle to wear the GM Hydrotec badge, a familial tie to the Ecotec gasoline engines.

"We see broad potential for fuel cell systems in military, aerospace and other applications while we continue on the path to a commercial vehicle," said Charlie Freese, executive director, GM Global Fuel Cell Business. "It is pretty special to celebrate the Electrovan’s 50th anniversary."

The Electrovan was strictly a test vehicle to explore hydrogen as an energy source for vehicle propulsion.

"Fuel cell durability was performed over a period of several months in a test cell," Wyczalek said. "Driving acceleration and top speed tests were conducted on a chassis dynamometer."

Following the end of the project the Electrovan was stored in a Pontiac, Michigan, warehouse for 31 years before being rediscovered in 2001 and assigned for use in fuel cell displays and loaned to museums when not at home in the GM Heritage Center. Pontiac has been home to the GM global fuel cell business since late 2012.


7 October 2016


Your email address:

Read Latest Issue

International Engine of the Year Awards
Read Latest Issue
Read Latest Issue

Web Exclusive Articles

Audi pursues e-fuels strategy with testing of new e-benzin fuel technology
Audi continues to pursue its e-fuels strategy with the testing of its e-gasoline ‘e-benzin’.
Read Now

Siemens on the future of the EV battery industry
With a holistic approach to battery development, Siemens discusses the production solutions available to OEMs as the electric vehicle industry becomes increasingly demanding
Read Now

WMG details sensor technology that could enable five times faster charging
Research led by Warwick Manufacturing Group (WMG) at the University of Warwick in the UK has produced new sensor technology that could enable five times faster charging for commercial EV batteries.
Read Now

Supplier Spotlight

Supplier SpotlightClick here for listings and information on leading suppliers covering all aspects of the engine technology industry. Want to see your company included? Contact for more details.

Submit your industry opinion

Industry BlogDo you have an opinion you'd like to share with the engine technology community? We'd like to hear your views and opinions on the leading issues shaping the industry. Share your comments by sending up to 500 words to

Submit Your Recruitment Ad

Recruitment AdTo send us your recruitment advertising or to receive information on placing a banner please email