Chrysler Joins California Fuel Cell Partnership

Multiple hydrogen fuel cell-powered concept vehicles have been built by Chrysler engineers.

Published: 01-Dec-2007

SACRAMENTO, Calif., Nov. 28 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Chrysler is the newest member of the California Fuel Cell Partnership (CaFCP) -- the 34th member of the public-private partnership.

"Of the fuel sources on the table for long-term future use in transportation, hydrogen holds the greatest promise," said Mark Chernoby, Vice President -- Advance Vehicle Engineering, Chrysler LLC. "Collaborations such as the California Fuel Cell Partnership will help engineers develop solutions for this technology at an accelerated rate."

The CaFCP is a collaboration of 34 organizations including auto manufacturers, energy providers, fuel cell technology companies and government agencies working together to promote the commercialization of hydrogen powered fuel cell vehicles.

"We are pleased to welcome Chrysler as the California Fuel Cell Partnership's ninth automotive member," said Catherine Dunwoody, CaFCP's executive director. "We're looking forward to the new perspectives and ideas Chrysler will bring to the table as we all work together to commercialize this important transportation solution."

Chrysler has a long history of fuel cell research. In 1998, Chrysler built the Natrium concept. The Natrium was the first functional fuel cell- powered vehicle with on-board hydrogen reformation. The concept car was based on the popular Chrysler Town & Country minivan. The on board reformation system addressed the issues with range and storage of hydrogen gas by accumulating hydrogen in a solid form and releasing it when needed.

Multiple hydrogen fuel cell-powered concept vehicles have been built by Chrysler engineers. When Chrysler and Mercedes-Benz merged in 1998 to become DaimlerChrysler the two companies combined efforts on fuel cell technology. Together, they operated the largest fuel cell vehicle fleet in the world -- more than 100 fuel cell vehicles gaining valuable practical experience through day-to-day operations.

Chrysler supports the California Hydrogen Highway and the Department of Energy Hydrogen Learning Demonstration Program. These collaborations enable Chrysler and its partners to gain extensive operational familiarity with fuel cell vehicles and hydrogen refueling stations.

Chrysler pioneered fuel cell vehicle technology more than 10 years ago. Fuel cells release energy from the reaction of hydrogen with a catalyst and oxygen. This clean technology operates at a high level of efficiency and is true zero-emission. Hydrogen-powered fuel cell vehicles emit only pure water vapor as exhaust. Fuel cell systems are part of Chrysler's advanced- propulsion technology umbrella, which includes efficient gasoline engines, advanced diesels and hybrid powertrain systems.

Founded in 1999, CaFCP members have placed 188 fuel cell passenger vehicles and transit buses on California's roads. In addition, CaFCP members have built 27 hydrogen stations, with 11 more planned, forming the largest hydrogen infrastructure in the world.

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