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GM Auto Tech Tour hits L.A.

Los Angeles, Calif. In an ongoing effort to encourage public acceptance of hydrogen and hybrid technology, GM is hosting a Tech Tour in the City of Angels this week. During a two-day Tech Tour stop beginning today that features a broad range of current and future General Motors cars and trucks, state lawmakers, regulators, educators and environmentalists will focus on ways to encourage mass-market acceptance of advanced automotive technologies to dramatically reduce emissions and improve efficiency.

At Dodger Stadium, Tech Tour participants will learn about GM's fuel cell activities, partnerships and other advanced propulsion technologies from Lowery and a corps of engineers involved in commercializing GM's hybrid and fuel cell technologies.

On Monday, GM unveiled a special motor in the two rear wheels of a Chevy S-10, instantly improving torque by 60 percent and adding another 70 horsepower to a vehicle. The technology, which allows the pickup truck to beat a Corvette in a drag race, has great promise for hybrid and fuel cell vehicles because it provides the power of a performance engine with the fuel economy of a smaller one.

"Picture a world-class sprinter that comes out of the block in less than half the time. That's what instant torque is," said Larry Burns, GM's vice president of research and technology and planning. "We could be building some pretty exciting future vehicles that have the potential to be as quick as a sports car while providing significant fuel economy, and in the case of a hydrogen fuel cell, no emissions at all."

The Tech Tour also underscores GM's commitment to the California Fuel Cell Partnership, an organization that demonstrates fuel cell electric vehicles in California through 2007 under day-to-day driving conditions. The Partnership is exploring the path to commercializing fuel cell electric vehicles by examining such issues as fuel infrastructure requirements, vehicle and fuel safety, market incentives and consumer acceptance.

Tech Tour participants will operate the Hy-wire, the world's first driveable fuel cell vehicle with by-wire technology, along with the HydroGen3.

And, because educating the future users of fuel cell technology is a priority for GM, it will host a group of middle-school science students at a special Tech Tour for Students on Wednesday.

However, fuel cells aren't the only stars of the show. Technical experts will be on hand to demonstrate current and near-term efficient, fuel-saving technologies such as gas-electric hybrids, Displacement on Demand, continuously variable transmissions, alternative fuel vehicles, clean diesels and others.

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