Ford Opens Advanced Research Center in Germany / World

Ford has opened an advanced research center in Aachen, Germany, bringing commercialization of fuel cell vehicles another step closer to reality, the World Fuel Cell Council reported. During the opening event, Ford Motor Company Chairman William Clay Ford, Jr. with reference to his great grandfather's famous quote, declared, "customers can have any vehicle they want, as long as it is green. " Marcus Nurdin, executive director of the World Fuel Cell Council, adds, "I foresee a future where customers will be able to have any vehicle they want, as long as it's a fuel cell vehicle." The Ford Forschungszentrum Aachen (FFA) work will include research related to alternative powertrain technologies, such as fuel cell technology. Mr. Ford noted, "We believe fuel cells offer great promise ... and we intend to lead the way in delivering on that promise for the next generation family vehicle. We plan to have a version of the fuel cell car in production in 2004." Earlier this year, Ford Motor Company unveiled its 100- horsepower P2000 HFC (hydrogen fuel cell) vehicle, which uses three Ballard fuel cell stacks and the same electric drive system as the DaimlerChrysler NECAR 4. The P2000 made its first European appearance at the FFA opening. Nurdin was on hand to drive the vehicle, and expressed his excitement about the project. "With this European presence, Ford is making a great commitment to the future of environmentally superior vehicles, especially through highly efficient fuel cell cars." Nurdin notes that in Europe, it is not uncommon to pay the equivalent of US$5.00 per gallon for petrol. "Ford understands that we are nearing the end of this Era of the Internal Combustion Engine, and that fuel cells will help take us into the new century of efficiency, weaning us away from dirty fossil fuels. I applaud their efforts." The World Fuel Cell Council was founded in 1991 to promote the most rapid commercialization of this benign technology worldwide. Members of the Council include companies involved in the development of a variety of fuel cell technologies for both stationary and mobile applications. ots Original Text Service: World Fuel Cell Council Internet: Contact: Marcus Nurdin of the World Fuel Cell Council, Frankfurt, Germany, 49-69-283-851 Web site:

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