Volkswagen Unveils Its First Fuel-Cell Car At the Grand Opening of the California Fuel Cell Partnership

Germany automaker unveils its first fuel cell-powered Jetta at inaugural event of California Fuel Cell Partnership.

Published: 01-Nov-2000

SACRAMENTO, Calif., Nov. 1 /PRNewswire/ -- Volkswagen, a leader in the development of environmentally friendly technologies in Europe and across the globe, showed the world its first fuel-cell car during the opening of the California Fuel Cell Partnership Headquarters in Sacramento, Calif.

Volkswagen calls the car the Bora HyMotion, which is designed as a genuine "zero emission vehicle." The Bora model is known as the Jetta in the U.S., the top-selling European nameplate.

The HyMotion's engine uses an advanced fuel cell that transforms hydrogen and oxygen into electrical energy for the electric motor. The only by-product from this process is water vapor.

In the HyMotion, the fuel cell's engine works at the core of the car's drive system, which allows it to run at a higher degree of efficiency than that of a typical combustion engine. Further, with this fuel cell system, the most efficient operation is realized at mid throttle, which is the throttle range used the most during driving.

The Bora HyMotion tank has a capacity of 50 litres of liquid hydrogen at minus 253 degrees Celsius. This is an energy equal to 12 litres of petrol covering a range of about 350 kilometres. The electric motor operates quietly, without vibration and ensures a pleasant and relaxed drive. The asynchronous electric motor has a power output of 75 kW and with 240 Nm of torque in a large revving range, the Bora accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in 12.6 seconds reaching a top speed of 140 km/h.

The unveiling of this prototype comes in conjunction with the celebration of the grand opening of the headquarters for the historic California Fuel Cell Partnership, which was formed in April 1999 to pave the way for demonstrating fuel cell vehicles. Private companies and public agencies formed the California Fuel Cell Partnership to help advance this technology that promises practical, affordable, and environmentally friendly transportation solutions for California and the world.

The Partnership includes auto manufacturers (DaimlerChrysler, Ford, Honda, Hyundai, Nissan, Volkswagen, and soon GM and Toyota), energy providers (BP, Shell, Texaco), fuel cell companies (Ballard Power Systems and International Fuel Cells), and government agencies (the California Air Resources Board, California Energy Commission, U.S. Department of Energy, U.S. Department of Transportation, and the South Coast Air Quality Management District).

Volkswagen has been a member of the "Fuel Cell Partnership" since October 1999.

As one of the world leaders in helping make the car industry an environmentally responsible one, Volkswagen is excited to be a part of this historic consortium. With the debut of its HyMotion prototype, Volkswagen hopes to further demonstrate its commitment to the Fuel Cell Partnership and making fuel-cell vehicles a reality and a success.

Founded in 1955, Volkswagen of America, Inc. is headquartered in Auburn Hills, Michigan. It is a wholly owned subsidiary of Volkswagen AG, headquartered in Wolfsburg, Germany. The fourth-largest producer of passenger cars in the world and Europe's largest, the Volkswagen Group's annual sales approach 5 million units. Volkswagen operates some 35 manufacturing facilities in 15 countries across five continents. Brands in the Volkswagen Group include Volkswagen, Audi, Seat, Skoda, and most recently Rolls Royce, Lamborghini, and Bugatti.

In the U.S., Volkswagen has sold more than 12 million cars and has consistently been the top-selling European importer to the United States.

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