California Fuel Cell Partnership Continues

In another example of California’s leadership role in demonstrating clean vehicles and fuels, collaborative work to encourage fuel cell vehicle commercialization will continue at the California Fuel Cell Partnership through 2007. The group’s original charter called for joint activities through 2003.

West Sacramento, California – July 9, 2003 [] “When we started this demonstration program four years ago, we had eight members involved, including just two automakers and one fuel cell company,” said Alan Lloyd, 2003 CaFCP Chair and Chair of the California Air Resources Board. “Today, we have 30 members on board – all playing integral roles in the development and demonstration of fuel cell technology.” The CaFCP will facilitate and support its members’ placement of fuel cell vehicles and fueling stations into early customer trials, such as fleets. CaFCP members plan to pursue both individual and combined efforts. Over the next four years, the organization will work to facilitate the placement of fuel cell passenger cars operating within the state, primarily focused in the greater Los Angeles region and the San Francisco-Sacramento corridor. Fuel cell buses will operate in regular, daily route operations in at least three transit districts. “The value of working together the past four years is so clear,” said Lloyd. “To successfully bridge from fuel cell vehicle demonstration to commercialization, the fastest way remains through collaboration. The CaFCP remains a powerful force on this path.” Hydrogen fueling stations, featuring innovative technologies, are envisioned to demonstrate early applications of hydrogen fueling technology and to support the collaborative demonstration projects. It is anticipated that, by closely coordinating operational procedures, prototype fuel cell vehicles in fleet use would be able to utilize this growing network of fuel stations, said the CaFCP. CaFCP members will also continue to promote the development of practical codes and standards for fuel cell vehicles and hydrogen fueling stations, and to help prepare local communities for the vehicles and fueling by training local officials, including emergency response personnel. Members will also continue to expand public awareness through education and outreach activities, consistent with the pace of technology development. The next “real world” fuel cell vehicle demonstration takes place September 23-25, 2003, when the partnerships’ fuel cell vehicles will participate in the annual Michelin Challenge Bibendum, held in the San Francisco Bay area. According to the CaFCP, its major accomplishments since its founding in 1999 include: – Automotive members have placed 24 fuel cell vehicles on California roads and highways to date. – Transit agency members have placed orders for seven fuel cell buses to be delivered and begin regular transit service in 2004-2005. – Energy members installed and operated two hydrogen-fueling stations and one methanol fueling station in California, with three other hydrogen stations installed and operated independently by individual partners. Members are expected to install additional hydrogen-fueling stations by the end of 2003. A key objective is to promote fuel station interoperability among all of these stations. – CaFCP members constructed a state-of-the-art testing and demonstration facility in West Sacramento, California. – CaFCP members commissioned and completed in October 2001 a fuel scenarios study through an independent consultant, examining the benefits and challenges of four different fuels for fuel cell vehicles – hydrogen, methanol, gasoline and ethanol. CaFCP automotive members confirmed their first fuel cell vehicles will operate on compressed hydrogen. – CaFCP members initiated a hydrogen vehicle facilities study to examine practical facility design for housing and maintaining hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. This study is expected to be completed in fall 2003. – CaFCP members jointly developed an emergency response guide for fuel cell vehicles. To date, this guide has been used to train six local fire departments and other first responders in the areas of California where fuel cell vehicles are operated; – CaFCP members have coordinated with key stakeholder groups (e.g. environmental, academic and political leaders) and other fuel cell vehicle projects underway worldwide. Members hosted a world-wide fuel cell vehicle project forum in October 2002; – Together the CaFCP has directly reached over 500,000 people with information regarding fuel cell vehicle and fueling technology and the benefits it can provide. Over 5,000 people were able to drive in a fuel cell vehicle; – CaFCP surveys show that awareness of fuel cell technology has increased from less than 25% of Californians knowing about fuel cells in 2000 to about four in ten Californians having heard about the technology in 2003. – Along with these specific accomplishments, the CaFCP has proven its value as a forum where the challenges of fuel cell vehicle commercialization are tackled by a diverse group of industry and government representatives with one common goal – to maximize the potential for fuel cell vehicles and fueling technology to help California and the world achieve a cleaner, more sustainable future.
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