Fuel Cell Vehicle Pilot Fleet Planned for California /

Partnership Includes DaimlerChrysler, Ford, Ballard, Three Oil Companies Frankfurt, Germany (ots-PRNewswire) - A new California Fuel Cell Partnership confirms the extraordinary progress in fuel cell vehicles, and provides a model for pilot fleets worldwide, the director of the World Fuel Cell Council said today. The Partnership involves Ford, DaimlerChrysler, Ballard Power Systems, Arco, Shell, Texaco and two California government agencies. It was announced in Sacramento, California, by the governor and senior corporate executives. The partnership aims to test 45 to 50 fuel cell powered cars and buses between 2000 and 2003 on California roads. "The partnership is remarkable not only because it provides the first test of fuel cell cars in real world conditions, but also because it involves all the sectors necessary for commercial success," said WFCC Director Marcus Nurdin. "The partnership includes the auto industry, suppliers, three oil companies and two government agencies, with room for more participants. This is no mere demonstration, but a genuine pilot fleet testing exercise, and thus another milestone for fuel cell vehicles." Ford and DaimlerChrysler will provide the automobiles, beginning with five hydrogen powered vehicles each by 2001. Fuel cell vehicles from other fuels including methanol will be tested between 2002 - 2003. The Partnership will work with California transit agencies to demonstrate 20 fuel cell buses. The vehicles will be powered by fuel cells from Ballard. Arco, Shell and Texaco will provide test fuels for the vehicles. The California Air Resources Board and Energy Commission will participate. They hope to attract additional participants such as Toyota and General Motors, who announced this week a collaborative research effort on fuel cells and other electric drive vehicles. "It is also significant that the pilot fleet testing will be conducted in public view," Nurdin added. "This should increase the confidence level of all parties in the progress of fuel cells. I congratulate all involved." Nurdin noted several "firsts" for the partnership: * First commitment to real world testing for fuel cell passenger cars. * First public operation of the Ford P2000 fuel cell vehicle, and thus the first such demonstration in the U.S. by an American manufacturer. * First pilot fleet test for fuel cell vehicles. * First public collaboration between the auto industry and oil industry on fuels for fuel cells. ots Original Text Service: World Fuel Cell Council Internet: http://www.newsaktuell.de Contact: Marcus Nurdin of the World Fuel Cell Council, in Frankfurt, 49-69-283-851

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