Hydrogen-Fueled Cars Previewed at West Sacramento Facility

California Fuel Cell Partnership hosts media day.

Published: 12-Feb-2003

may very well be the future of American automobiles was previewed in West Sacramento on Monday, as the media and prospective corporate partners got the opportunity to drive hydrogen fuel cell cars.

The California Fuel Cell Partnership displayed a two of its ready-for-the road fuel cell vehicles. The Partnership's West Sacramento facility is home to a state of the art research and development facility for fuel cell cars.

The Partnership showed off its top of the line Hy-wire, as well as a more basic model. Both vehicles are powered by gaseous hydrogen mixed with oxygen in a fuel cell. The energy of a chemical reaction between the two substances creates electricity, which then drives motors powering the vehicle.

The fuel-cell vehicles compare favorably to gasoline powered cars in terms of range, drivability and speed. Where they don't compare is in terms of emissions. Fuel cell vehicles are virtually pollution free, producing almost no greenhouse gases. The primary by-product of a fuel cell-powered car is water.

So why aren't fuel cell vehicles already gracing California freeways? One of the biggest obstacles to alternative-fuel vehicles is a lack of fueling stations. West Sacramento has one only a handful in the state.

The Partnership plans to have 60 of the emission-free, basic Hy-wire models on California roads by year end.



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