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General Motors Hy-wire


  The Hy-wire (Hydrogen drive-by-wire) is a concept car from General Motors originally introduced in January 2002[1]. The car runs on hydrogen fuel cells and uses a drive-by-wire system, meaning that the car is controlled electronically. GM asked school children to name the car, and one of them suggested "Hy-wire".

General Motors has stated that it is confident that it can produce a commercially viable model by 2010.[1]



Due to hydrogen fuel cell drive system used by the Hy-wire the conventional car layout has been revamped. Without the need for a conventional engine block and transmission system coupled to the steering column and pedals through mechanical linkage the cars power system and single electric motor are built into a flat skateboard configuration. This serves to lower the car's center of gravity but more importantly to standardize vehicle drive train systems. Because all propulsion and energy storage systems are housed in the skateboard designers are free to arrange the passenger compartment however they see fit. This allows for highly flexible vehicle configurations such as a 4 door sedan, mini van, or even a small bus to be placed on the same drive system, with the only difference being the shape of the cars upper body and the location of seats. The skateboard itself contains crumple zones similar to those in conventional automobiles.

Driver interface

The cars drive by wire system coupled with cameras instead of mirrors and multiple LCD displays for feedback to the driver allows the drivers seat to be located theoretically anywhere however most current designs still favor the driver in front of or beside the other passengers for maximum visibility. The digital coupling of the controls to the drive system means neither the drivers seat nor the steering and throttle controls be fixed in place with the 2003 concept model having a single control interface that can be operated from either the right or left front seats,[2] the 2004 concept design places the two front seats on a rotating platform which allows the driver and passenger seats to be swapped or the driver to sit in front of the passenger for greater flexibility.[3]


The Hy-wire is powered by a fuel cell capable of producing 94 kilowatts continuously of and up to 129 kilowatts for short periods.[4] The fuel cell itself is supplied with hydrogen from 3 tanks located in the skateboard holding 2 kg (4 lb) of compressed hydrogen, but future models may hold larger capacities yielding increased driving range. With its 250 to 380 watt three-phase electric motor the ~4000 lb (1814 kg) vehicle has a top speed of 100 mph (160 km/h).[4]

See also


  1. ^ a b King, Ralph. "GM'S Race To The Future", Business 2.0, October 1, 2003. Retrieved on 2007-05-22. 
  2. ^ Chernoff, Adrian. The 2003 Hy-wire Concept Car. Ideation Genesis, LLC. Retrieved on 2007-05-22.
  3. ^ a b Harris, Tom. How Stuff Works: How GM's Hy-wire Works. HowStuffWorks, Inc.. Retrieved on 2007-05-22.
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "General_Motors_Hy-wire". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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