Year 2002 Marked Start of Fuel Cell Vehicle Era, Says Fuel Cells 2000

Fuel Cell 2000 press release.

Published: 03-Jan-2003

WASHINGTON, Jan 2, 2003 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- The auto industry quietly passed its most significant milestone in more than a century in the year just ended.

Honda and Toyota delivered the first customer-operated fuel cell automobiles to customers in California and Japan.

Coupled with these small steps toward commercialization is the developing consensus that fully commercial fuel cell vehicles will be available in the marketplace by 2010, or perhaps even sooner, according to a survey of auto industry statements by Fuel Cells 2000.

The analysis, Automakers On Fuel Cells, was released today. The document is available without charge at www.fuelcells.org. The report focuses on statements made by the CEOs and Project Managers of GM, Ford, DaimlerChrysler, Honda, Toyota, Nissan and others.

"Based on the industry's own public comments, we anticipate an increasing number of first-generation fuel cell vehicles in the hands of consumers over the next two years. Next generation fuel cell vehicles will enter use around 2006 to 2007, with 2010 the target for full commercial capability, which we define as mass production." said Brian Walsh, Technical Manager, Fuel Cells 2000. "If the industry meets these projections, December 2, 2002, the date of Honda's and Toyota's first deliveries, will have marked the beginning of the end for the 100-year-old internal combustion engine."

Fuel Cells 2000 also reports on the progress of all fuel cell vehicles in a series of continuously updated charts of fuel cell passenger cars, specialty vehicles and buses. (These charts are available at www.fuelcells.org/charts.htm).

"It's an interesting race with huge stakes. Every major auto company is involved and every company has its own strategy to win," said Walsh.

Fuel Cells 2000 is a non-profit, educational and outreach activity that seeks to promote the development, demonstration and commercialization of fuel cells, an advanced electrochemical energy generation technology.

CONTACT: Fuel Cells 2000, Washington

Brian Walsh, 202/785-4222

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