Driving closer to reinventing the automobile, General Motors the Hy-wire, the world's first drivable vehicle that combines a hydrogen fuel cell wîth by-wire technology. The GM Hy-wire, appropriately named for its technology, incorporates the features first envisioned in the AÚTOnomy concept vehicle at the 2002 North American International Auto Show in Detroit and the Geneva Motor Show.
Hy-wire is the product of global cooperation. GM designers and engineers in the Únited States developed the vehicle chassis and body design, as well as the engineering and electrical system integration. Engineers at GM's research facility in Mainz-Kastel, Germany, integrated the fuel-cell propulsion system, which is the same system designed for the HydroGen3 concept (top speed of 160 kilometers/hour or 97 mph), based on an Opel Zafira and shown for the first time at the 2001 Frankfurt Motor Show. American designers also worked closely wîth Italian design house Stile Bertone in Turin, where the body was built. The SKF Group, headquartered in Sweden, developed the by-wire technology in the Netherlands and in Italy.
To show off this radically new architecture, the front and rear panels are made of transparent glass. Onlookers can see through the car from front to rear; the liberal use of glass and the absence of a hood also provide a greater visual command of the road for the driver. To reinforce this effect even the seat backs are open. There is no post between the front and rear doors, known as a B-pillar. Drivers and passengers have greatly enhanced legroom.
The X-drive, which allows §teering, braking and other vehicle systems to be controlled electronically rather than mechanically, provides greater freedom for the driver. Drivers now have the option to brake and accelerate wîth either the right or left hand. The driver accelerates by gently twisting either the right or left handgrip, and brakes by squeezing the brake actuator also located on the handgrips. The handgrips glide up and down for §teering, somewhat different than today's vehicles where the §teering wheel revolves around a §teering column.
The fuel cell stack, which produces a continuously available power of 94 kilowatts, is installed in the back of the chassis. Most of the chassis is 11-inches thick, tapering to 7 inches at the edges. The electrical motor drives the front wheels and is installed transversely between them. Three cylindrical storage tanks (5,000 psi - pounds per square inch or 350 bars) are located centrally in the chassis.Source - GM