May 2, 2007

Fuel cell vehicles gather at Hydrogen & Fuel Cells conference in Vancouver

Ford Focus fuel cell vehicle
Ford Focus fuel cell vehicle. Click image to enlarge

Vancouver, British Columbia – Fuel cell powered vehicles from up and down North America’s West coast are gathered in Vancouver for a demonstration of current hydrogen and fuel cell passenger vehicle technology, part of the international Hydrogen & Fuel Cells 2007 event in Vancouver.

“This is the most diverse gathering of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles in Canada’s history,” said Alison Setton, manager of British Columbia’s Hydrogen Highway program and of Ford’s Vancouver Fuel Cell Vehicle Program. “In part, our intention is to foster stronger ties between B.C. and California, since both areas have strong and innovative hydrogen and fuel cell industries.”

The five auto makers represented at Hydrogen & Fuel Cells 2007 currently have more than 100 vehicles on the road in pilot programs around the world. The two Ford vehicles at the event are part of Ford’s five-vehicle Vancouver Fuel Cell Vehicle Program. Vehicles from General Motors and Toyota are based at the Fuel Cell Partnership in Sacramento, California, and vehicles from Nissan and Daimler/Chrysler are based in the Los Angeles area.

“It’s exciting for us to be here to share our experience and learn from our Canadian counterparts,” said Catherine Dunwoody, executive director of the California Fuel Cells Partnership. “Through this kind of exchange we can move closer to the hydrogen fuel cell vehicle future.”

The fuel cell vehicles took part in a road rally to the mountain ski resort of Whistler on the weekend to demonstrate the long-distance capability of the fuel cell engine and fuelling system.

“Each of these cars traveled from Vancouver to Whistler and back this week over more than 240 kilometres (150 miles),” said John Tak, president and CEO of Hydrogen & Fuel Cells Canada, the Canadian industry association. “The quality of these entries shows that major vehicle manufacturers have the technology to meet consumer demand.”

On their return trip to Whistler and back, the vehicles were fuelled by a mobile fuelling station assembled by Powertech of Vancouver with technology from The Linde Group and Dynetek. The completion of a permanent hydrogen fuelling station in Whistler is pending.

Hydrogen & Fuel Cells 2007 is jointly organized by Hydrogen & Fuel Cells Canada, the Government of Canada and the Government of British Columbia. Sponsors include BC Hydro, the NRW Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Network, The Linde Group, Ballard, BC Transit, Canadian Nuclear Association, CellexPower, Hydrogenics, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, and UK Trade & Investment.

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