July 30, 2002

High-pressure hydrogen storage tanks receive German certification

New York, New York – General Motors and Quantum Fuel Systems Technologies Worldwide received certification from a top German safety institute for a 700 bar (10,000 psi) hydrogen storage system which could ultimately allow fuel cell vehicles to achieve a driving range of 300 miles.

The system is the first high-pressure hydrogen storage tank of 700 bar technology capacity to be certified by Germany’s Technical Inspection Association, an organization that approves new technology in vehicles. Until now, hydrogen storage tanks with a maximum capacity of 350 bar (5,000 psi) had met the requirements for TUV certification. For certification, TUV validates high-pressure tanks in accordance with common industry standards in Europe and North America.

At 700 bar (10,000 psi), significantly more hydrogen can be stored in the same space occupied previously by a 350 bar tank, extending the range of fuel cell vehicles between fill ups. Scientists at the GM Fuel Cell Activities centre in Mainz-Kastel, Germany will be completing tests with the new storage system in the coming weeks.

The system has also been validated according to the European Integrated Hydrogen Project (EIHP). EIHP is at the forefront of developing global regulatory standards for hydrogen storage testing and certification. One milestone to successfully pass EIHP requirements was the development of Quantum’s TriShield tank design.

The TriShield hydrogen storage tank’s design features a one-piece permeation-resistant seamless liner, a high-performance carbon composite over-wrap for strength, and a proprietary, impact-resistant outer shell.

The fuel cell technology, showcased in GM’s HydroGen3 fuel cell vehicle, brings GM another step closer to the commercialization of hydrogen-powered fuel cell vehicles. A key challenge to the introduction of fuel cells is to produce an efficient, lightweight onboard storage system with enough capacity for making lengthy drives possible.

The storage tank is a product developed from GM’s partnership with Quantum. GM owns a 19.9 percent equity stake in the company.

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