The Promise of Fuel-Cell Vehicles

Mark Delucchi and David Swan

In 1990 General Motors unveiled a new battery-powered electric vehicle, called the Impact – the flashiest, best-engineered electric vehicle ever. Thanks to an advanced electric drivetrain and a lightweight aerodynamic, energy-conversing body, the Impact accelerates faster than comparable gasoline-powered cars. However, even under the best conditions, despite its advanced technology and its state-of-the-art lead-acid battery, it will go no more than 120 miles and, as with all battery-powered vehicles, it requires hours to recharge.

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