Fleet News

Ford prepares fuel cell fleet for long-term road tests

FORD is to spearhead the first demonstration programme in the world to place hydrogen fuel cell-powered cars on the road for long-term testing. A fleet of 45 cars and buses will take to the roads of California between 2000 and 2003 in a project whose other members include Ballard Power Systems and DaimlerChrysler - Ford's partners in a fuel cell alliance along with ARCO, Shell, Texaco, California Air Resources Board and California Energy Commission.

The partnership will test the technology and market-readiness for fuel cell vehicles, along with researching infrastructure issues following the launch of the 'California Fuel Cell Partnership - Driving for the Future'. Five fuel cell cars will operate in California in 2000 and 2001 based on Ford's P2000 research programme. The first P2000 driveable fuel cell car debuted at this year's international motor show in Detroit and will now be put on the road in Sacramento.

Fuel cells generate electricity by combining hydrogen and oxygen without combustion: the only emission is water vapour. 'Our future depends on our ability to provide environmentally-advanced vehicles at affordable prices without sacrificing utility and other customer needs,' said Ford chairman Bill Ford. The P2000 programme also includes vehicles powered by an all-aluminium lightweight direct injection engine and hybrid electric systems.

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