Project Description

Alternative Fuel cells

Project Abstract

The California Fuel Cell Partnership is a voluntary effort to advance fuel cell technology that could move the world toward practical and affordable environmental solutions. CaFCP is demonstrating fuel cell-powered electric vehicles under real day-to-day driving conditions; testing alternative fuels and demonstrating the viability of an alternative fuel infrastructure technology; exploring the path to commercialization; and increasing public awareness of fuel cell electric vehicles. The Partnership expects to place about 60 fuel cell passenger cars and fuel cell buses on the road by the end of 2003. Additional fuel cell buses are expected in 2004.

The California Fuel Cell Partnership’s 2003 goals are as follows:

- Begin to place FCVs with fleet customers in California;
- Operate up to 60 fuel cell vehicles, which together will accumulate up to 265,000 miles;
- Install additional hydrogen fuelling stations;
- Promote fuelling station inter-operability (i.e., common fit and use among vehicles);
- Develop and implement a First Responder training program targeting vehicle and fuelling demonstration communities;
- Co-ordinate efforts with other fuel cell vehicle programs world-wide, and begin to promote consistent data collection and evaluation for bus programs;
- Expand outreach to the California public through multiple public events and activities, directly familiarizing at least 500,000 people with fuel cell vehicle and fuelling technology opportunities and challenges;
- Distribute 1000 teacher learning kits to middle and high school science teachers;
- Prepare for a broader roll-out of vehicles and fuelling facilities in real-world fleet operations during 2004 and beyond;
- Work closely with the environmental community through the CaFCP E-Team to promote common goals.

CaFCP members expect to continue their joint activity beyond 2003 with vehicles in the hands of real-world users, continued demonstration of fuel alternatives, and a continuing emphasis on public outreach. The partnership expects to announce its post-2003 plans by April 2003.

Highlights of 2002 include placing twenty fuel cell vehicles into testing and demonstration; installing a hydrogen fuelling station in Richmond, California; providing a methanol fuelling station at a West Sacramento demonstration center; conducting a Technology Forum; training several emergency response agencies; leading a summit meeting of fuel cell organizations from around the world; conducting fuel cell awareness events that reached more than 200,000 people, including a three-day, 300-mile road rally along California’s Central Coast; and distributing 1,000 fuel cell learning kits to middle and secondary school teachers.

The Partnership began in April 1999 and includes auto manufacturers (DaimlerChrysler, Ford, GM, Honda, Hyundai, Nissan, Toyota, and Volkswagen); energy providers (BP, ChevronTexaco, ExxonMobil, and Shell Hydrogen); fuel cell companies (Ballard Power Systems and UTC Fuel Cells); and government agencies (California Air Resources Board, California Energy Commission, South Coast AQMD, US Department of Energy, US Department of Transportation, and the US Environmental Protection Agency).

Additionally, there are nine Associate Partners who assist with specific areas of expertise to help meet the Partnership's goals: hydrogen gas suppliers (Air Products and Chemicals, Inc. and Praxair); hydrogen fuelling stations (Pacific Gas & Electric, Proton Energy Systems, Inc., and Stuart Energy Systems); a methanol fuel supplier (Methanex); and bus transit agencies (AC Transit, operating in the San Francisco Bay area, SunLine Transit Agency in the Palm Springs area, and Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority in San Jose).

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