Bush Shifts Focus To Fuel Cells

Freedom Car fuel cell program to supersede the new-generation vehicle partnership program.

Published: 09-Jan-2002

WASHINGTON (AP) - After nearly $1.5 billion in subsidies, the Bush administration is ending an eight-year program to help automakers develop high-mileage, family size cars. Instead, it wants to spur the growth of hydrogen fuel cells to power the next generation of motor vehicles.

Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham, addressing an auto show in Detroit, planned Wednesday to tout hydrogen fuel cell development as part of a broader strategy to reduce the country's dependence on foreign oil and help the environment by reducing carbon dioxide emissions and other automotive pollution.

Department officials said Abraham would be joined by auto executives in unveiling the new program, called "Freedom Car." It is expected to emerge as the Bush administration's response to critics who are calling for a phase-out of gas-guzzling cars and sport/utility vehicles.

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