GM Electrovan: meet 50 years of the first prototype hydrogen fuel cell


The GM Electrovan was developed to test this technology.

This year marks half a century of the first draft of General Motors on a vehicle equipped with fuel cell technology fueled by hydrogen. It was in 1966 when GM discovered the Electrovan, the first prototype testing of this technology the story.

At that time, GM faced the challenge of achieving the first practical application of this technology in a real vehicle, in the framework of the space race promoted by the then President of the united States John F. Kennedy.

According to the brand, the project was carried out in 10 hectic months. Coming to work 24 hours a day in three shifts to have ready the prototype. The work started in January 1966 and the result was presented at the press conference ‚ÄúProgress energy” of that same year.


For months he was subjected to numerous tests.

After this, and as often happens in these cases, the prototype was forgotten, and did not appear until the year 2001, on a ship in Pontiac, Michigan. The prototype was developed to be able to test the technology, and for months he was subjected to very different tests. After this testing period, it was just stored and forgotten.

After its discovery 31 years later, became part of the exhibition of the GM Heritage Centre, from where it is transferred for various samples related to this type of technology.

The prototype was based on a van because the high volume and weight of the then primitive fuel cell system. In fact, as seen in the x-ray attached, occupied much of the space of the cargo box, leaving only space for the driver and two passengers.


he is Currently in possession of General Motors.

it Is interesting to see as have had to spend no less than 50 years so that we can find another similar project in GM, which he is currently a partner of Honda in initiatives of this type of technology. His latest project, the pick-up ZH2, has been developed for the u.s. army, which will be in charge of putting it to the test in extreme conditions next year.