As Ford gave a world debut to its Ka and Focus design-inspired fuel cell FC5 at Frankfurt and Vauxhall revealed that it was testing a fuel cell concept vehicle based on a Zafira, both manufacturers called on the UK Government and European governments to back them with incentives for a 'clean revolution'. Ford, which says it will have Focus and Mondeo-sized fuel cell cars on sale in 2004, called on European governments to introduce harmonised incentives and standards throughout the European Union to boost the rapid introduction of environmentally-friendly alternative-fuelled vehicles - gas, electric and ultimately fuel cell models.
It claims that customers, particularly fleets, want to demonstrate their support for environmentally-friendly motoring but are discouraged by inconsistent levels of relevant infrastructure and tax incentives from country-to-country. Ford of Europe president Nick Scheele said: 'We have the ability to develop and manufacture these vehicles, but we cannot create the optimum conditions for the widespread entry of AFVs without consistent support from governments. Governments can offer tax breaks and financial incentives to encourage AFVs.'