– Following the visit of President Bush to the California Fuel Cell Partnership (CAFCP) two weeks ago, DaimlerChrysler has completed the first portion of the $88 million Department of Energy Hydrogen Learning Demonstration Program by delivering on a 30 fuel-cell vehicle commitment. The project takes fuel cell technology out of the hands of engineers and puts it into the hands of customers.The CAFCP becomes the 17th United States customer for a DaimlerChrysler fuel-cell vehicle. Through daily operation, the employees of the CAFCP will log miles on the zero-emissions F-Cell, providing valuable data for future vehicle design. The dry climate of Sacramento in Northern California is one of three distinct environments that DaimlerChrysler will utilize to test fuel-cell vehicle performance. DaimlerChrysler has spent more than $1 billion in fuel-cell vehicle research and development. No other manufacturer has accumulated more data or driven more zero-emissions miles — more than 1.2 million. The Mercedes F-Cell system is housed in the floor of the vehicle, leaving full use of the passenger and cargo spaces. It has a range of approximately 100 miles and a top speed of 85 mph. The electric motor develops 88 hp (65 kw), enabling acceleration from 0 to 60 mph in 16 seconds. The stack has been developed by the DaimlerChrysler cooperation partner, Ballard Power Systems. The DaimlerChrysler fuel-cell vehicle fleet includes medium-duty fuel-cell Dodge Sprinter vans and more than 35 Mercedes-Benz Citaro fuel-cell buses, which operate in Europe, the United States, Japan, Australia, and Singapore. DaimlerChrysler has more than 25 fuel-cell vehicles with customers in California and more than 100 around the world.The California Hydrogen Highway Network — in addition to other programs the company is involved with, including those with the DOE and the Environmental Protection Agency — enables DaimlerChrysler and its partners to gain extensive operational familiarity with fuel-cell vehicles and hydrogen refueling stations.