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Democrat’s Fuel Cell Car Stunt Backfires

This bit of innocent merriment almost slipped by us, being buried as it was in the back pages of the New York Times:

Congressman-elect Eric Massa and Monica Murphy, driver relationship manager for General Motors, top off the tank of a Chevrolet Equinox Fuel Cell vehicle with hydrogen in Washington.

At Least He Didn’t Take a Private Jet

By Richard S. Chang

January 7, 2009

On Tuesday, the 111th Congress opened amid the hullabaloo of Roland Burris being barred from taking the Senate seat that was vacated by President-elect Barack Obama.

There were more than 50 new members of Congress sworn in during the session, including Eric Massa, Democrat of the 29th District in New York, who rolled up to the Capitol in a Chevrolet Equinox Fuel Cell vehicle.

Mr. Massa had driven the Equinox from his hometown, Corning, down to Washington without using a drop of gasoline or producing any emissions — at least that was supposed to be the message. General Motors builds the fuel-cell stacks that go into the Equinox in Honeoye Falls, right in his district. And it was during a tour of the facility that he came up with the idea of taking a fuel-cell vehicle to Capitol Hill.

“I have asked to drive this vehicle to Washington to demonstrate that this technology is real, it’s here and we are going to work to make sure it’s ready for the American people within a decade,” he said in a news release.

But was the trip as green as the photo suggests?

Not really. The range of the Equinox Fuel Cell vehicle is about 200 miles, according to G.M., and the distance from Corning to Washington is roughly 280 miles, which means Mr. Massa would have had to refill the tank with hydrogen somewhere along the way — but there are no hydrogen stations on the most direct route from Corning to Washington.

The solution: two Equinoxes.

Carolyn Markey, a G.M. spokeswoman, said Mr. Massa drove one Equinox from Corning to Harrisburg, Pa., where a second Equinox was waiting for him. He then drove it to Washington, where the above photo was snapped.

In order to deliver and retrieve the Equinox Fuel Cell vehicles, Ms. Markey said, two Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrid S.U.V.’s were used as tow vehicles: one to tow the first Equinox back up to Honeoye Falls, and another to tow the second Equinox, which originated in Washington, up to Harrisburg for the trip back down. So essentially, the entire 280-mile trip was also made by a Tahoe Hybrid, which gets about 20 miles a gallon on the highway. Towing another S.U.V. lowers that gas mileage.

So the trip wasn’t exactly emissions-free or gas-free. But that was all part of the plan, according to both Ms. Markey and Mr. Massa, who say that the trip was also supposed to emphasize the need for more hydrogen infrastructure.

Isn’t irony ironic?

This article was posted by Steve on Friday, January 9th, 2009. Comments are currently closed.

12 Responses to “Democrat’s Fuel Cell Car Stunt Backfires”

  1. 1sttofight says:

    One thing I have never heard mentioned is just how much does the hydrogen to fuel these cars cost?

    Hydrogen is made by running an electric current through water which seperates the hydrogen and oxygen atoms.

    Sounds expensive to me.

    • proreason says:

      You never see the full cost of any of these technologies. They tell you about the gas-savings, but they don’t tell you about the replacement cost of the batteries or fuel cells, and what the electricity cost to juice then is and would be if there were mllions of them. They don’t tell you about the additional cost of the vehicles, and the hidden costs of untried, new technologies. They don’t tell you about the costs of the backup systems that are required because of the high failure rates. They don’t tell you about the immense infrastructure costs to build re-fueling stations so you don’t need a Chevy Tahoe to tow you to one. They don’t tell you about the loss of jobs as crappy technologies replace proven technologies. They don’t tell you that you might buy the betamax car instead of the VCR car and that it might be worthless in 6 month..

      But, of course, they assume we are idiots…..and unfortunately, collectively, they are correct.

    • Confucius says:

      I hope the electricity was made with coal.

  2. 1sttofight says:

    If it aint broke, dont fix it.

    • 1sttofight says:

      BTW, does Monica Murphy, driver relationship manager for General Motors, come standard with one of those cars?

      If so it just might be worth the price.

  3. take_no_prisoners says:

    If they ever do build these hydrogen refueling stations it’s going to be interesting to see what happens when some idiot disregards the no smoking sign in the fueling area.

  4. Liberals Demise says:

    Now……take your right hand, go over your left elbow and try to scratch your right butt cheek. This story makes just about as much sense….truely!

  5. VMAN says:

    Isn’t industrial hydrogen made from coal? I just looked up the process and it looks to me like there’s some undesirable leftovers like carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide? Aren’t those GREEN HOUSE GASES? I guess if someone could come up with a viable way to separate water into hydrogen and oxygen then I guess that would be OK. This is all just smoke and mirrors. We got coal and we got oil!!! LET”S USE IT!!!!

  6. CaliforniaBear says:

    If I had just looked at the picture and not at the article, I would have thought it was an article about how fewer and fewer Americans know how to fill up their gas tank. You would think they could look a little more natural rather than in the obvious posed positions they are in.

    • Liberals Demise says:

      You are absolutly right but there is more to this picture that meets the eye.
      A woman showing the man where to put it! LOL

    • Confucius says:

      Clearly, he’s more comfortable with smaller, more petite hoses.

  7. U NO HOO says:

    “But, of course, they assume we are idiots…..and unfortunately, collectively, they are correct.”

    Well, half are idiots, all the time, half are geniuses, half the time.

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