DaimlerChrysler Launches Fuel-Cell Vehicle
Test Program in Japan
DaimlerChrysler has announced that it will join forces with energy-supply companies andother manufacturers in the opening of the first Japanese fuel-cell testingfacility in the Japan Hydrogen & Fuel Cell Demonstration Project. Thefacility will provide a location for companies to conduct fuel-cell vehicletesting as well as infrastructure development.The Japan Hydrogen & Fuel Cell Demonstration Project, which is subsidizedby the Japanese government, is meant to bring fuel-cell technology tomarket maturity by fostering close cooperation between the vehiclemanufacturers, energy-supply companies and government authorities, says the company.DaimlerChrysler will be involved in this test program with itsMercedes-Benz F-Cell, a fuel-cell powered A-Class. These F-Cell vehiclesrepresent the first of 60 which will be driven and tested by customers ineveryday conditions in select world markets, including the United States.“The Japanese demonstration project represents a significant milestonetowards the use of hydrogen as an energy source for the future," said Dr.Andreas Truckenbrodt who is responsible for alternative powertrain andfuel-cell technology at DaimlerChrysler. " We welcome this initiative ofthe Japanese government, because we believe that this technology can onlybe effectively promoted through close cooperation between the automotivemanufacturers and the energy supply sector.”According to the company, the F-cell was first introduced by DaimlerChrysler in October of 2002 asthe world’s first series-produced fuel-cell car. Since the presentation ofthe first NECAR (New Electric Car) in 1994, DaimlerChrysler says it has beeninstrumental in promoting the development of fuel-cell technology and haspresented 20 fuel-cell concept vehicles to date.It has an operating range of approximately 150 kilometers (93 miles) andruns on compressed hydrogen (350 bar). Its electric motor develops 65 kW of powerand 210 N-m torque. It accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h (62.1 mph) inapproximately 16 seconds, and it has a top speed of around 140 km/h (87mph). The vehicle is completely emission-free and is extremely quiet inoperation.DaimlerChrysler is a founding member of the California Fuel CellPartnership, which has been conducting research and testing since 1999.