Oahu is home to about 900,000 people, making it the most populous of all the islands and contains both the capital of Honolulu and the naval base of Pearl Harbor. The island is the third-largest in the Hawaii chain, and has about 227 miles of coastline. In other words, it ain’t very big. That’s perfect, because last I heard, the Equinox fuel-cell had a range of about 200 miles on 9 lbs of hydrogen. That two-and-a-half ton vehicle takes about 12-seconds to get to 60 mph, because it has to drag along an extra 770 lbs of equipment and extra safety supports to protect the 10,000 psi fuel tank.
GM started rolling out these Equinox fuel-cell vehicles back in 2006 as part of Project Driveway, which leased fuel-cell vehicles to about 100 vehicles in three-cities to a wide variety of customers for real-world testing. It’ll be a boon to Hawaii too, as this slice of paradise needs to import every ounce of oil across about 2,500 miles of Pacific Ocean. A gallon of premium fuel is hovering around $3.95, and diesel is over four bucks. These are the highest average gas prices in the nation (though I paid about $5.00 a gallon on a cliff side gas station along the Pacific Coast Highway).
A controlled fuel-cell experiment on Hawaii sounds pretty neat, but when is GM going to start selling fuel-cell vehicles? Do they not trust the technology, or do they not trust us with the technology?
Chris DeMorro is a writer and gearhead who loves all things automotive, from hybrids to Hemis. You can follow his slow descent into madness at Sublime Burnout.