Bush Budget Puts $150 Million into Fuel-cell Vehicle Chase

Freedom CAR program considered "fresh coat of paint" on PNGV program that won't address immediate need for fuel efficiency improvements.

Published: 08-Feb-2002

WASHINGTON -- An ambitious effort to wean the auto industry from gasoline by developing hydrogen-powered vehicles will get a $150 million kick-start from the U.S. Department of Energy.

The funding was included in a 2003 budget proposed Monday by the Bush administration, which said its partnership with automakers on fuel-cell vehicles could eventually help end U.S. dependence on foreign oil.

"This is the first step and the first budget in what I think will be a long-term commitment to these kinds of technologies," said U.S. Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham. "We're very optimistic about it."

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