May 16, 2002

GM AUTOnomy concept car receives “Engine of the Year” award




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Stuttgart, Germany – An international jury has awarded GM’s AUTOnomy fuel cell concept car the “Engine of the Year” Award in the Best Concept category. The annual prize, given by “Engine Technology International,” is considered the top award in propulsion technology. The ceremony took place at Engine Expo 2002 in Stuttgart, Germany.

The AUTOnomy is the first vehicle designed from the ground up around a fuel cell propulsion system and the first to combine fuel cells with x-by-wire technology, which allows steering, braking and other vehicle systems to be controlled electronically rather than mechanically.

The fuel cell system was developed at GM’s Global Alternative Propulsion Center and the by-wire system came from SKF, a Swedish-based global supplier.

“This award recognizes our leading role in developing this revolutionary, environmentally friendly propulsion concept,” said Chris Borroni-Bird, AUTOnomy Program Director. “My colleagues and I are working with power and passion to turn these concepts into realities on the road. We believe that by the end of this decade, you can expect fuel cell cars from GM that are both affordable for our customers and economically viable for General Motors – and you can expect them in significant numbers.”

“At last a vehicle concept designed around a fuel cell system,” said Graham Johnson, Jury President and Editor of “Engine Technology International.” “AUTOnomy shows that a space-age propulsion system can be attractive and practical.”

This was the second year in a row that a General Motors concept vehicle was recognized by the jury. The award was given last year to the SVC engine with variable compression, developed by Saab.

The core of the “AUTOnomy” (length/width/height: 176 /74 /49 inches), which was first introduced to the public at the 2002 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, is a unique new chassis (wheelbase: 122 inches), on which essential components, including the fuel cell stack and on-board hydrogen storage system, are neatly packaged. This “skateboard” chassis can accommodate a variety of body styles, making it possible to create a broad range of vehicles.

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