The California Fuel Cell Partnership has concluded its 2003 “Rally Thru The Valley,” a caravan of advanced fuel cell vehicles.Los Angeles, California – May 21, 2003 [SolarAccess.com] The Road Rally traveled through the State’s Central Valley, a region plagued by poor air quality, to validate the potential for this near- to zero-emission transportation technology. Zero-emission fuel cell vehicles from six of the partnership’s eight automakers – DaimlerChrysler, Ford, Honda, Hyundai, Nissan and Toyota – demonstrated the road-worthiness of fuel cell technology. Other partners participating in the three-day, 400-mile Road Rally include BP, ChevronTexaco, Shell Hydrogen, Ballard Power Systems, Stuart Energy, Air Products, Praxair, the California Air Resources Board and the South Coast Air Quality Management District. “This year’s Road Rally was an extraordinary success,” said California Fuel Cell Partnership Chairman Alan Lloyd. “The Road Rally was an opportunity to showcase innovative fuel cell technology that if commercialized, can create an environment of energy diversity and efficiency. Californians in 10 counties became more familiar with the potential of fuel cell technology by seeing these vehicles up close. And it’s significant that this year’s event took place during Clean Air Month, reinforcing the positive impact zero-emission fuel cell vehicles can make on areas struggling to improve air quality.” Fuel cell vehicles can run on hydrogen and do not emit pollutants or greenhouse gases associated with combustion engines, a point important to the region where the Road Rally traveled through. In addition to helping remedy air quality issues, fuel cell technology can lead to greater diversity of the nation’s energy supply, with little environmental impact. Fuel cell vehicles run on hydrogen – the most abundant element found in the universe – that combines with oxygen to power a vehicle. Hydrogen can be made from Renewable Energy sources, providing a viable option for a sustainable energy supply in the future. After a checkered flag start at the California Fuel Cell Partnership’s West Sacramento headquarters, this year’s Road Rally traveled from the State’s Capitol to Southern California, making stops in air quality hot spots including Fresno and Bakersfield. In addition to public test drives, the fuel cell vehicles made refueling stops and held public vehicle displays in the cities of Stockton, Ripon, Merced, Tulare and Valencia. In each city, the Road Rally was greeted by public officials and scores of citizens eager to test drive the alternative fueled vehicles.