GM's current offering of vehicles in the U.S. is decidedly unremarkable in the realm of fuel economy. However, if their lineup of prototype and limited production vehicles is any indication of things to come, GM seems to be catching up with what consumers want. The Chevy Volt, Equinox, Sequel and Cadillac Provoq are three promising prototypes that have been generating some buzz. We'd still like to see better cars from GM today, but to add to the excitement for the future, "The Chevrolet Equinox Fuel Cell has been honored with Green Car Journal’s Green Car Vision Award™, the first time the auto enthusiast magazine has recognized limited production vehicles for their forward-thinking technologies." The Equinox beat out Honda's FCX Clarity, BMW's Hydrogen 7, the Prius Plug-in Hybrid (PHEV), and the Phoenix Electric SUT.
So why did GM win-out over such formidable competition? Find out after the fold.The Green Car Vision Award™ honors vehicles "that make the most significant environmental advancements." Typically, that means giving the award to a production vehicle. This year, however, the focus was to honor "rising stars of the future that are championing fuels and technologies holding extraordinary promise to change the face of personal mobility" with the hope that those technologies will be "encouraged to market." Still, only those vehicles that are at least in small volume production were considered for the award.
In the end, the jurors chose the Equinox for the following reasons:
This advanced vehicle brings to the highway an efficient powerplant that offers zero emissions, no CO2 greenhouse gases, and highly efficient conversion of its fuel to motive power. It also benefits from 40 years of research and development, building upon the engineering of other high-profile prototypes that have come before it and achieving near seamless operation with its space-age powerplant and electro-mechanical systems. It feels familiar to drive, even as its powerplant works in ways that are unfamiliar to most drivers.
The jury was also impressed with some of the other features offered by the Equinox, including "OnStar, StabiliTrac, front and roof rail side-impact air bags, and four wheel ABS."
Now we are only left with two questions: 1) how long will it be before consumers are able to get their hands on these types of vehicles? and 2)in the interim, why doesn't GM throw all its engineering muscle into truly upping the fuel-efficiency ante?
See Also: ::Alternet on the Hyrdogen Economy, ::Bush Calls for Higher Fuel Efficiency, ::GM Banks on Coskata's Cellulosic Ethanol Breakthrough, ::GM Serious About Ethanol and Flex-Fuel Vehicles?, ::Video: GM's Hy-Wire Hydrogen Fuel Cell Concept Car, ::GM Promises 40% Less Manufacturing Emissions and ::GM Promotes FlexFuel When You Can't Find Ethanol