DaimlerChrysler Commits to Putting More Fuel Cell Vehicles on the Road

by Freddie Mooche

Oct 25, 2004 Auburn Hills MI - DaimlerChrysler has committed to putting 100 hydrogen fuel cell vehicles on the road in 2004 following the news of California's first hydrogen refueling station last week.

DaimlerChrysler (NYSE: DCX) said it already had 40 vehicles in the hands of consumers globally and was committed to uping that number to 100 yet this year.

"These events exhibit how DaimlerChrysler, BP, Praxair and LAX are taking on the challenge for industries and governments to create viable alternative fuel solutions," said Mark Chernoby, Vice President, Advance Vehicle Engineering - Chrysler Group. "We're pleased to be a driving force in this team effort to develop fuel cell technology."

The company said it supported governor Schwarzenegger's commitment to lower vehicle emissions and curb the dependence on foreign oil.

The California Hydrogen Highway Network, in addition to other programs the company is involved with -- including those with the Department of Energy (DOE) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) -- enables DaimlerChrysler and its partners to gain extensive operational familiarity with fuel cell vehicles and hydrogen refueling stations.

By operating this vehicle in California, LAX will provide DaimlerChrysler and its partners with valuable feedback that will affect future vehicle design. This fueling station bears the commitment of the cooperative efforts to build a much needed hydrogen infrastructure.

In the State of the Union address last year, President Bush declared his revolutionary hydrogen fuel plan, which searches for a new day in which America's cars and light trucks are fueled by clean hydrogen-powered fuel cells. President Bush stated, "the first car driven by a child born today could be fueled by hydrogen and pollution free."

Based on a Mercedes-Benz A-Class, the F-Cell is a reflection of DaimlerChrysler's leadership in fuel cell technology. The entire fuel cell system is housed in the floor, leaving full use of the passenger and cargo spaces. It has a range of approximately 100 miles and a top speed of about 85 mph.

The vehicle LAX plans to use will be one of 60 Mercedes-Benz F-Cells in the DaimlerChrysler fuel cell vehicle armada. The fleet is diverse, and in addition to several research vehicles, it also includes three medium-duty fuel cell Dodge Sprinter vans and 33 Mercedes-Benz Citaro fuel cell buses are operated in Europe, the United States, Japan, Australia and Singapore. Already, over 40 of these vehicles are in use by customers today.

Partnerships are an important part of fuel cell technology development. DaimlerChrysler has the pleasure of sharing goals with other companies and government entities such as the EPA and UPS as well. Earlier this week in Detroit, DaimlerChrysler and BP, partners in the Department of Energy's fuel cell vehicle and infrastructure validation program dedicated the first hydrogen station in the plan. These partnerships and the common goal will propel fuel cell transportation to maturity.

DaimlerChrysler pioneered fuel cell vehicle technology over 10 years ago. Fuel cells release energy from the reaction of hydrogen with a catalyst and oxygen. This clean technology operates at a high level of efficiency and is true zero emission. Hydrogen-powered fuel cell vehicles emit only pure water vapor as exhaust. Fuel cell vehicles are part of DaimlerChrysler's advanced propulsion technology umbrella, which includes efficient gasoline engines, advanced diesels and hybrid powertrain systems.

Source: DaimlerChrysler