The California Fuel Cell Partnership

The California Fuel Cell Partnership (CFCP) includes auto manufacturers DaimlerChrysler, Ford Motor Co., Honda,

Hyundai, Nissan, Volkswagen, General Motors and Toyota; energy providers BP, Shell, Texaco and Methanex (as an associate member); fuel cell companies Ballard Power Systems and International Fuel Cells; and governmental agencies CARB, California Energy Commission (CEC), South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD), DOE and the U.S.

Department of Transportation (DOT). The Partnership will place nearly 70 fuel cell passenger cars and buses on the road between 2000

and 2003. In addition to testing the fuel cell vehicles, the Partnership will identify fuel infrastructure issues and prepare the California market for this new technology. CFCP will focus on the use of hydrogen and methanol in its fleet of fuel cell demonstration vehicles.

engine with a methanol reformer. In October 2000, Ford debuted the world s first production-prototype direct-hydrogen fuel cell vehicle the Ford Focus FCV. The automaker plans to put up to 50 fuel cell vehicles on the road between 2000 and 2003.

While Toyota remains fuel neutral, the company has showcased a prototype MFCV based on the popular RAV4 SUV, with a range of 500 kilometers (310 miles). Toyotas fuel cell RAV4 employs a 25-kW fuel cell that works in conjunction with a downsized electric vehicle battery pack. The batteries are constantly recharged from the fuel cell. Regenerative braking provides additional electric power to charge the batteries. Toyota s design draws extra power from the batteries to supplement the fuel cell during acceleration. The batteries also enhance the vehicle by providing instant power, avoiding the short warm-up that prototype fuel cell reformers require to reach maximum power output. Due to its high fuel economy, Toyota believes that once in production, the fuel cost to the consumer will be half that of conventional gasoline vehicles, and it is likely this estimated cost will decline even further with improved design and manufacturing experience.

Through its German subsidiary, Opel, General Motors Corp. (GMC) introduced a methanol fuel cell-powered car in 1998, based on the Zafira. The car is a four-seater, with a 50-kW electric motor. GMC is focusing much of its fuel cell research and development at Opel s Global Alternative Propulsion Center in Germany. In March of 2000, Opel unveiled the latest version of the Zafira, running on hydrogen. Powered by its seventh-generation fuel cell system, the Zafira now achieves full power nearly 12-times faster in freezing conditions than its predecessor. Opel also announced that the Zafira was chosen to be the marathon pace vehicle at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, Australia.

In November 2000, General Motors displayed the HydroGen1, its latest road-going hydrogen-powered fuel cell vehicle. The HydroGen1 is a five-seat concept vehicle, based on Opel s Zafira compact van. Its hydrogen-fueled fuel cell unit powers a 75-horsepower electric motor that attains speeds of nearly 90 miles per hour and a range of about 250 miles per tank of hydrogen.

GMC announced plans to begin high-volume production of fuel cell vehicles before 2010, initially planning to use gaseous hydrogen in its fuel cell vehicles. To speed up the innovation process, GMC has teamed up with Toyota Motor Corporation and Giner, Inc., a research and development firm with extensive experience in developing direct methanol and other fuel cell technologies.

Germany s Volkswagen has developed a MFCV in partnership with Johnson Matthey (United Kingdom), Volvo (Sweden), and the Energy Research Foundation Netherlands ECN, supported by the European Union. In November 2000, Volkswagen showed its fuel cell vehicle, the Bora HyMotion, based on the popular Jetta. The HyMotion runs on liquified hydrogen.

Honda has introduced two fuel cell cars the FCX-V1 and FCX-V2. The V2 has a 60-kW PEM fuel cell and a methanol reformer, both built by Honda. The automaker plans to build 300 fuel cell-powered vehicles a year beginning in 2003 for sale in Japan and the United States.

Nissan is testing a fuel cell/battery hybrid vehicle first


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