ExxonMobil Corporation Joins California Fuel Cell Partnership

Firm has partnered with GM and Toyota to develop gasoline fuel cell vehicle which it hopes to demonstrate in next 18 months.

Published: 26-Mar-2001

Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM) announced today that it has joined the California Fuel Cell Partnership.

The Partnership is a public-private venture to demonstrate fuel cell vehicles in California and to explore paths to commercialization of this technology. The Partnership is evaluating fuel options for fuel cell vehicles, including hydrogen, methanol, and gasoline.
"We're pleased to welcome ExxonMobil and their fuels experience to the team," said Dr. Ferdinand Panik, Chairman of the Partnership Steering Committee and Project Director of DaimlerChrysler's fuel cell program. "Together with our other energy members, they will add value to our plans for demonstrating fuel cell vehicle technologies and exploring fuel options."

ExxonMobil sees fuel cells as a technology option that has the potential to significantly improve the efficiency and greatly reduce the emissions from transportation. "ExxonMobil looks forward to adding our energy expertise to this important fuel cell initiative. Together, we can explore fuel solutions that will be environmentally beneficial as well as consumer-friendly," said Bill Innes, President of ExxonMobil Research and Engineering Company.

ExxonMobil has a research collaboration with both General Motors and Toyota to develop an on-board, gasoline processor for fuel cell vehicles. The processor uses gasoline as a fuel to create hydrogen that is used by the fuel cell to power the vehicle. The ExxonMobil/GM/Toyota team has designed, built, and run a gasoline processor and has a target to demonstrate a gasoline-powered fuel cell vehicle in the next 18 months.

"The fuel aspect of the fuel cell vehicle plays a crucial role for the successful deployment of this technology and its acceptance by the consumer," said Mr. Innes. "The motoring public want vehicles that have the same or better performance characteristics and refueling convenience as their current cars. Gasoline fuels for fuel cell vehicles offer the advantage of using an existing and familiar infrastructure that has been fine-tuned over 100 years. We look forward to sharing our knowledge of fuel technology with the Partnership to identify optimum solutions."

The Fuel Cell Partnership -- which formally began in April 1999 -- includes auto manufacturers (DaimlerChrysler, Ford, GM, Honda, Hyundai, Nissan, Toyota, and Volkswagen), energy providers (BP, Shell, Texaco), fuel cell companies (Ballard Power Systems, International Fuel Cells, and XCELLSiS), 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). The team also includes Associate Partners who assist with specific areas of expertise to help meet the Partnership's goals: hydrogen gas suppliers (Air Products and Chemicals, Inc. and Praxair); a methanol fuel supplier (Methanex); hydrogen fueling station developers (Hydrogen Burner Technology, Proton Energy Systems, Inc., Pacific Gas and Electric, and Stuart Energy Systems); and bus transit companies (AC Transit and SunLine Transit Agency).

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