March 6, 2003


Shell and GM to partner on fuel cell refilling station

Washington, D.C. – GM and Shell Hydrogen are combining resources to help commercialize fuel cell vehicles.

The centerpiece of the partnership will be a real-life demonstration of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles and fueling infrastructure technology in the Washington, D.C. area between GM and Shell Hydrogen (U.S.). The demonstration will feature the nation’s first hydrogen pump at a Shell retail gas station to support a General Motors Corp. fleet of fuel cell vehicles.

With the combined hydrogen vehicle-fueling station demonstration in Washington as the foundation of the partnership, GM and Shell will together focus on three key areas:
Increased awareness and understanding on the part of policymakers, regulators and the general public – via demonstrations of the combined hydrogen technologies in our nation’s capitol
Knowledge sharing – to combine the expertise from both the vehicle and fueling infrastructure sides, and

“GM and Shell share a vision that has been made a national priority by President Bush in his State of the Union address,” said Larry Burns, GM’s vice president of research and development and planning. “To get there, GM and Shell will provide an entire system – from the generation and distribution of hydrogen to a retail station, and the storage of hydrogen on a vehicle to the actual vehicle itself.

Under the terms of the MOU between GM and Shell Hydrogen (U.S.), Shell’s hydrogen station is expected to be operational by October, 2003, with GM’s commitment to use the station for support of its vehicle fleet, which will arrive in Washington DC in May of this year.

“Hydrogen holds great promise as the ultimate fuel,” said Shell Hydrogen CEO Huberts. “This clean and abundant energy carrier can be extracted from water or from natural gas. When used in a fuel cell vehicle, the only exhaust is water.

“We want to demonstrate the practical and everyday use of hydrogen fuel,” Huberts continued. “Shell’s work with GM will show that filling up the car with hydrogen is as simple and safe as filling up with gasoline.”

The partnership builds upon Shell’s commitment to hydrogen and other renewable energies. In 1999, Shell Hydrogen was established to pursue and develop business opportunities related to hydrogen and fuel cells. Today, the Shell Hydrogen companies are leading hydrogen producers and innovators in the development of technologies to create a hydrogen fueling infrastructure.
Recent Shell and GM initiatives include participation in the California Fuel Cell Partnership, a unique collaboration between the state of California, energy companies and automobile manufacturers to advance hydrogen-fueled vehicles. In addition, Shell Hydrogen recently announced plans for the first hydrogen fueling station in Tokyo, as well as a major hydrogen fuel initiative in Iceland.

Fuel cells use an electrochemical reaction that uses hydrogen and oxygen from air to create electricity to move a vehicle. The demonstration vehicles are GM’s HydroGen3 minivan, which is based on the GM’s Opel Zafira. The HydroGen3 is powered by a 94-kilowatt fuel cell stack and has enough power to reach 100 miles per hour with crisp acceleration.

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