General Motors and the United States Postal Service Team Up!!
GM implemented their “Project Driveway” program a few years ago. The test-drive program allows GM to partner with consumers or companies who agree to driving GM’s fuel cell vehicles in a “lab rat” type of situation.
Yesterday, GM announced a newest member of the program, the world’s first and largest market test of fuel cell vehicles. Chevrolet and the United States Postal Service have teamed up for a trial-run of Hydrogen-powered fuel cell Chevy Equinoxes. Two of the USPS locations will be using them. Irvine, CA is the only one released so far, with a second releasing soon. The Equinox fuel cell car will be used 6 days a week on regular delivery routes.
This is not the first time the Postal Service has joined forces with GM. In 2004, they tried out a HydroGen3 fuel cell vehicle in the Northern Virgina area, with Irvine, California copying them in 2006. Both of these programs ended in 2007.
This partnership benefits both parties equally. The Post Office gets to work at finding alternative fuel sources to diminish – or eliminate – their dependency on oil. The Hydrogen-powered vehicles are better for the environment, good for customers, and even better for the Postal Service.
GM uses this trial service as a learning experience. They have provided around 100 fuel-cell vehicles to customers in the Los Angeles, metropolitan New York City, and Washington D.C. areas, and is expected to expand into Europe and Asia later this year. The goal is to pinpoint solutions and bring large amounts of fuel cell vehicles into circulation.
GM will provide the maintenance, fuel, and service for the vehicles. The Post Office carriers can fuel the vehicle themselves using the University of California-Irvine Hydrogen fueling station operated by the National Fuel Cell Research Center. It is already used by other Project Driveway Participants.
GM is working at developing alternative fuel sources, and obviously, is getting much closer. We will keep you updated on any further information we receive, so keep checking back!!