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President's Fuel Cell Initiative Will Speed Development

February 7, 2003

The fuel cell initiative announced by President Bush in his State of the Union address will expedite the development of fuel cell technologies and supporting infrastructure, a Toyota executive said in a ceremony at the National Building Museum in Washington, DC. "Bringing together the global leaders in automotive fuel cell technology will help speed development and harmonise issues such as fuels and infrastructure," said Jim Press, executive vice president and COO of Toyota Motor Sales, USA, Inc. "This is an important step on the long road to bringing fuel cell vehicles to mass market." Press reviewed Toyota's fuel cell hybrid vehicle (FCHV) with President Bush. The Toyota FCHV is based on the Toyota Highlander, a five-passenger, mid-size sport utility vehicle. Toyota has been working on its own fuel cell program since 1992. Last December it delivered two market-ready Toyota FCHV hydrogen-powered fuel cell vehicles, one each to the University of California, Irvine (UCI) and the University of California, Davis (UC Davis), in an initiative designed to establish a fuel cell "community" partnering government, business and higher education to help develop products and infrastructure and consumer acceptance. Toyota is also a member of the California Fuel Cell Partnership. "A common infrastructure support system is important for fuel cell technology to reach its fruition," Press added. "Toyota is committed to working with other members of the global auto industry to reach this goal."
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