by Michael dEstries
Categories: People, Transport.

mob121_1174057535.jpgThere have been a smattering of interviews with actor George Clooney over the past couple weeks and almost every one has featured this sentence, “Plus, as part of his contract with Omega watches, he’s working with them on the development of a fuel cell, not to mention presenting himself as the pin-up boy for eco-friendly electric cars.”

Which got me to thinking, what the hell is Omega Watches doing with fuel cells? After a little digging, I’ve discovered that Swiss industrialist Nicolas Hayek, President of Swatch Group (which owns Omega) is working on a not-so-secret project to to develop an ultra-efficient and cheap fuel cell engine. Hayek is partnering with a division of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology,  a Swiss regional utility, and other groups. Apparently, the aim is not to develop a car, but sell an off-the-shelf fuel cell engine as a component to automakers.

Clooney, who has long championed the development of renewable sources to wean the nation off of foreign oil, will be one of the public faces of the new company. I’m unsure whether this is in conjunction with his contract at Omega or an entirely new rep deal.

As an aside, Hayek also helped co-develop the SMART car with DaimlerChrysler.  Swatch ultimately pulled out of that deal because Hayek wanted a hybrid, while DC wanted a gasoline-fueled vehicle. Go figure.

About Michael dEstries

Michael has been blogging since 2005 on issues such as sustainability, renewable energy, philanthropy, and healthy living. He regularly contributes to a slew of publications, as well as consulting with companies looking to make an impact using the web and social media. He lives in Ithaca, NY with his family on an apple farm.

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  • RemyC

    Please, please oh please, don’t tell me George has been swayed by the Hydrogen economy red-herring! George, please… ask around… stick to your better battery scheme… Fuel cells are a sink hole… Hydrogen is not a fuel, unless they build dozens of new nukes to make the stuff… Come back to us… we beg you… don’t sell out to the pro-nuclear crew! Remember, Killer Tomatoes, one for all and all for one! And what the heck is green about Omega watches… To quote a friend quoting Gandhi… Live simply so others may simply live… This ad campaign is the first false note I’ve heard you make since you started. Don’t let them get to you…

  • Matt USA

    HYDROGEN H2 fuel cells ROCK
    They don’t stink and they don’t pollute, caustic crap : ) and I guess will end the global warming stuff.
    US Politicians are too wimpy and afraid to support HYDROGEN H2 fuel cells stuff
    USA U Suck Ass big oils Ass : (
    USA wins brown nose award for sucking big oils oily but.
    Too bad and it is saddening that US Politicians are too wimpy and afraid to support HYDROGEN H2 fuel cells stuff:(
    What could be done to stop these Politicians sucking big oils oily but.
    Excuse me while I throw up : )

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