The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has become the latest federal government organization to take delivery of a Chevrolet Equinox fuel cell vehicle (FCV) as part of GM's ongoing Project Driveway Program. Earlier this year, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) also added one of these zero-emissions SUVs to its fleet for an extended evaluation. Like the EPA's Equinox, the USDA's vehicle will be based in Washington D.C. and have all of its basic service and maintenance handled by a GM tech team. This particular tie-in reflects the fact that the USDA also happens to be affiliated with is the Department of Energy's hydrogen and fuel cell research, development, and demonstration program.
In commenting on the latest of more than 100 Equinox FCV's that have already been placed in the hands a various private and commercial evaluators, Keith Cole, director of GM's Legislative and Regulatory Affairs -- Environment noted that, "With each partner that participates in Project Driveway we gain valuable insight on this important advanced automotive technology that may not have been identified in our internal test mechanisms. The USDA will build on our year of findings through this innovative market test and further demonstrate the need to develop a hydrogen infrastructure to support fueling these vehicles."