FIGURE 4-1 The General Motors Precept concept vehicle. Source: GM and USCAR.

requires an air compressor, a humidifier, a heater for releasing the hydrogen, a coolant pump, and several heat exchangers. Packaging all of these components without infringing on vehicle utility presents a major challenge. The Precept fuel-cell vehicle shown to the public demonstrates that this packaging can be accomplished. An operating version of this vehicle is anticipated by the end of 2000.


The Ford Prodigy, also an HEV concept car, is designed to meet all of the functional requirements of Goal 3 and deliver about 70 mpg (Ford, 2000). Ford has chosen a “low storage requirement hybrid design” for this car. The power train, which is considerably simpler than the power train for the GM Precept, consists of a 1.2-liter, four-cylinder, CIDI, turbocharged 55-kW aluminum engine with a starter/alternator that replaces the engine flywheel. A five-speed, automatically shifted, manual transmission is used. The starter/alternator is rated at 3 kW continuous, 8 kW for three minutes, and 35 kW for three seconds. The hybrid NiMH battery is designed for high power, but its storage capacity is only 1.1 kWh. The Prodigy vehicle has an all aluminum body with a wheel base of 109 in (2,781 mm), an overall length of 187 in (4,747 mm), an overall width of

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