California isn’t the only hub for hydrogen auto development and deployment. New York State is fast becoming a hub as well.
For instance, General Motors has a plant in Honeoye Falls, (which is near Rochester) where several hundred engineers are working on Chevy Equinox Fuel Cell vehicles. For the past couple of years GM has been conducting its Project Driveway program that let’s average people drive their hydrogen fuel cell vehicles (FCVs) in exchange for user feedback.
Now, once again, not only is GM asking for feedback but marketing advice. MBA students at the University at Buffalo School of Management are being asked to come up with a marketing plan to launch 100,000 FCVs in the year 2015.
According to professor Arun Jain, “So the challenge is to identify where they should be selling it, what should be the market segment they should focus on, and how should they position the auto.”
GM brought in an Equinox FCV on campus for some of the students to drive to give them a feel for what the project would be all about. An even better idea in my opinion is to bring the students and guiding faculty members into the Project Driveway program at this point, so that they have access to the past couple year’s worth of consumer feedback on the vehicle.
GM started Project Driveway after all in order to first, test the vehicle, but second, test consumer acceptance of the vehicle. This data would serve the students well in coming up with a plan of action going forward.