Friday, June 19, 2009

Fuel Cell Cars Will Come to Market on Schedule, Say Carmakers

The Obama Administration has cut $100 million from its hydrogen funding budget, but that hasn't led carmakers to put the brakes on their fuel cell programs.

A number of auto manufacturers have said they will maintain or speed up their fuel-cell commercialization schedules. In June 2009, executives connected with the auto industry briefed Congress on the strategic value of hydrogen technologies and the importance of investing in them.

Among the marketing and production announcements by car companies were the following:
  • Daimler will begin producing its Mercedes-Benz B-class F-CELL car this summer. During 2015-2017, it will increase production to tens of thousands of vehicles.

  • In 2010, ten Daimler fuel cell buses will be operating in Hamburg, along with 20 F-CELLs. Shell is adding hydrogen pumps to four gas stations to support the vehicles.

  • The 72-mpg Honda FCX Clarity is being leased in small numbers in Southern California and Japan.

  • Toyota will commercialize its FCH-adv in 2015, and may even move the schedule up to 2014.

  • 110 fuel cell vehicles sporting the General Motors badge are running on U.S. roads.

  • Volkswagen said it is committed to building fuel cells.

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