This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

June 12, 2002

Fuel-Cell-Powered Car Completes Cross-Country Trip

DaimlerChrysler recently completed a cross-country drive in its fuel-cell-powered NECAR 5, achieving a milestone in performance for fuel cell vehicles. The NECAR 5 left San Francisco on May 20th and arrived in Washington, D.C., on June 4th. Methanol was delivered at 300-mile intervals along the 3,000-mile route to refuel the vehicle. Although the 16-day trip was hardly a record breaker for speed, it does represent a performance achievement for fuel cell vehicles. But with the accompaniment of two sport utility vehicles and a van, plus the pre-delivery of the methanol fuel, the trip also demonstrates how far we need to go before fuel cell vehicles become a practical reality. See the DaimlerChrysler press release.

There's at least one place in the country where methanol fuel is available from a pump: at the fuel cell vehicle demonstration center in West Sacramento, California, which is operated by the California Fuel Cell Partnership (CaFCP). The methanol fueling station, installed in April, features new fueling technology, including an anti-siphoning device and a locking mechanism between the vehicle and the fuel nozzle. The CaFCP intends to operate 20 fuel cell vehicles (including the NECAR 5) in 2002, accumulating 60,000 road miles, and plans to install three hydrogen fueling stations at locations throughout California. See the April 25th and May 31st press releases from the CaFCP.

The Ford Motor Company's entry to the CaFCP, the Ford Focus FCV (for "Fuel Cell Vehicle") is being tested both in California and at Ford's Arizona Proving Grounds this summer. Stuart Energy Systems Corporation is providing its portable hydrogen fueling equipment for the Arizona tests. See the Stuart Energy press release.

The entry from the General Motors Corporation (GM), the HydroGen 1 fuel cell vehicle, was shipped to the CaFCP in April. See the GM press release.