The largest real-world demonstration of automotive fuel-cell technology passed another milestone last week when General Motors announced that its fleet of hydrogen-powered Chevrolet Equinox SUVs participating in the "Project Driveway" program eclipsed the million-mile mark. Since Project Driveway began in November, 2007, nearly 5,000 people have spent time behind the wheel of these zero-emission vehicles, from individuals to government entities -- including the U.S. Postal service which has used them to deliver over 700,000 pieces of mail -- to mega-corporations like Disney and Virgin Atlantic. Project Driveway participants generally get to keep these midsize Equinox crossovers for about two months during which time they receive free fuel and insurance in exchange for providing GM engineers with regular feedback about their daily driving experiences.
According to GM's records, the honor of having rolled up the official millionth mile in a fuel-cell Equinox went to Jeanine Behr-Getz, a mom and children's book author from Greenwich, Connecticut. One of more than 80,000 individuals who volunteered to take part in the Project Driveway program, Behr-Getz indicated that her concerns for the environment in general and the need to cut our dependence on petroleum products in particular would likely see her purchase a fuel-cell vehicle when they finally do become commercially available.