Hydrogen vehicle fleet to tour the U.S.

Posted on August 13, 2008

A fleet of clean, efficient hydrogen vehicles will embark on an historic two-week cross country tour of the U.S.

Nine auto manufacturers, the U.S. Department of Energy, the California Fuel Cell Partnership, the National Hydrogen Association and the U.S. DOT are sponsoring the Hydrogen Road Tour to show that hydrogen vehicle and fueling technologies are approaching commercial availability, even as new research and development breakthroughs continue.

“The technology necessary to put these cars on the road, and keep them moving, exists today,” said Administrator Paul Brubaker of the U.S. DOT's Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA). “The question is not if hydrogen powered vehicles will be available commercially, but when.”

Brubaker noted that six transit agencies across the country currently operate hydrogen-powered buses, Southern California auto dealers are leasing hydrogen vehicles and hundreds of individuals are driving hydrogen-powered vehicles in demonstration programs across the U.S.  And, he added, hydrogen can be used as a fuel for both a fuel cell vehicle or in a modified internal combustion engine.

In addition, Brubaker said, hydrogen produces virtually no greenhouse gas emissions, leaving behind only water as a byproduct.

The tour will make 31 stops in 18 states, stretching from Maine to California. Hydrogen vehicles from BMW, Daimler, Ford, GM, Honda, Hyundai-Kia, Nissan, Toyota and Volkswagen will be making the journey, and will be joined by hydrogen transit buses along the route. Air Products and Chemicals Inc., and Linde are providing mobile refueling stations and hydrogen fuel.

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