GM Impact electric car prototype
GM Impact electric car -- later renamed the EV1 -- developed in collaboration with Hughes and Aerovironment, This vehicle broke the electric car land speed record at better than 183 mph. The EV1 program was an outgrowth of the highly successful Sunraycer solar car project in 1987. Alec Brooks was the lead engineer on both these programs.

Reality Check

Alec Brooks' presentation to California Air Resources Board ZEV Technology Conference

By EV World

Alec Brooks has been helping pioneer electric drive technology for more than twenty years dating back to the original GM Sunraycer solar car that won the World Solar Challenge race from Darwin to Adelaide, Australia. He has been a vigorous and vocal advocate for electric vehicle technology, bringing a pragmatic approach to the challenges confronting EVs as well as the hydrogen pathway.

In this 25-minute presentation, entitled Energy and Greenhouse Gas Considerations for Various ZEV Alternatives, he gives background on Aerovironment's role in the history of the Sunraycer and the follow-on Impact, which ultimately became the highly-acclaimed GM EV1 electric car. In preparing his talk, he came across some video footage of then GM President Roger Smith introducing the EV1 in 1990. It makes for an interesting counterpoint to Rick Wagoner and Bob Lutz's own announcements this week regarding GM's next electric car program, the Chevy Volt.

In keeping with his view that hydrogen isn't the best way to power motor vehicles nor how to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, especially since most of it is currently steam-reformed from natural gas, Brooks goes to some lengths to demonstrate that using high value sources of energy like electricity to make hydrogen to put in the tank of motor vehicles can be more efficiently and effectively utilized elsewhere. Using the example of Honda's solar-powered hydrogen electrolyzer, he shows that the same amount of energy that it takes to make hydrogen for the car can be used to power a battery electric car the same distance and run most of the home's electric power needs, including air conditioning.

You can listen to Dr. Brooks presentation using either of the two MP3 players at the top of the page, or you may download it to your computer hard drive for transfer to your favorite MP3 device. This program will also be available through Apple iTune's podcast service. A copy of his PowerPoint presentation is available from the California ARB web site.

EVWORLD Future In Motion Podcast

Download MP3 File

Times Article Viewed: 15170
Published: 11-Jan-2007


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