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