Car Maker to Focus on Alternative Fuels

DaimlerChrysler’s programs to develop advanced technology vehicles for the future will continue to record major milestones in the coming months, according to a senior company official.

New York, New York – November 26, 2002 [] The company will bring a fleet of clean, efficient, hydrogen-fueled fuel cell cars to the United States beginning in 2003 as part of a worldwide test program, said Bernard I. Robertson, senior vice president for Engineering Technologies and Regulatory Affairs. The company will also develop a second generation fuel cell vehicle running on sodium borohydride, a clean, nonflammable and recyclable fuel derived from borax, Robertson said. Robertson, in speaking at DaimlerChrysler’s North American Innovation Symposium in New York on November 25, said at the same time, the company will continue to explore innovative ways to enhance the efficiency, performance and emissions control of the internal combustion engine and related technologies, such as hybrid electric vehicles, he said. The benefits of these new powertrains and fuels could be enormous — reduced fuel consumption, zero or near-zero emissions and enhanced vehicle performance, utility and convenience, Robertson said. However, the full potential of these new technologies will not be realized without improvements in the quality of the fuels used for personal transportation. A critical element will be the availability of clean, low- sulfur fuels (sulfur significantly reduces the efficiency of emission control systems. Renewable fuel sources are also expected to play an increasing role). “We will need to work together as an industry, as a transportation community and as a society to define our environmental and transportation goals and to develop and implement the advanced technologies that will enable us to achieve those goals,” Robertson said.
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