NEW YORK CITY — Virgin Atlantic Airways will start using General Motors zero-emission fuel cell cars as limousines for VIP passengers in the U.S., the latest move by Virgin founder Richard Branson to present his airline as the greenest in the market. The program will put three of GM's Chevrolet Equinox hydrogen fuel cell cars into Virgin's limousine fleet in Los Angeles this month, ferrying its first class passengers to and from the airport. Three more are set to be introduced in New York later this year.
"Our mission to be the sustainable airline is clear, both on the ground and in the air," said Branson. Last month, Virgin made the first commercial airline flight partly using a biofuel mix made from oils of nuts and coconuts.
GM is currently testing 100 of its Chevrolet Equinox fuel-cell vehicles around the U.S., and is looking to get them in showrooms by 2012. "GM sees this partnership as an important endorsement of our fuel cell and electric vehicle technology," said Larry Burns, GM's vice president of research and development.