Volkswagen AG Completes First Long-Range Test Drive of Its Hydrogen Fuel Cell Car

The automaker, together with the Paul Scherrer Institute in Zurich, Switzerland, developed a low-cost hydrogen fuel cell with high performance "supercaps."

Published: 06-Feb-2002

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) -- Volkswagen AG completed the first long-range test drive of its HY.POWER fuel cell vehicle, the company announced Wednesday.

The automaker said it also successfully tested a Jetta Turbo Direct Injection diesel using a super clean synthetic diesel called SunFuel -- which is a low sulfur fuel that can be made from renewable resources such as plants or waste products.

Both cars were driven over the mountainous Simplon Pass, which connects Switzerland and Italy, during a period of below freezing temperatures.

Volkswagen officials said in a news release that both of the test vehicles tackled the mountain pass as successfully as a similar traditionally powered vehicle.

The HY.POWER prototype obtains its energy from on-board hydrogen to create a hydrogen fuel cell. First used by NASA in the space program, fuel cells create electricity through a chemical reaction between hydrogen and oxygen. If pure hydrogen is used as a fuel, the only emission is water vapor.

The automaker, together with the Paul Scherrer Institute in Zurich, Switzerland, developed a low-cost hydrogen fuel cell with high performance "supercaps" that can store a fuel cell's energy for use during strenuous energy. They also allow the elimination of energy storage batteries.

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