Hydrogen-powered Fleet Tours America

If you are interested in what the future holds for hydrogen in the United States, you might be able to see for yourself. Hydrogen Road Tour '08, a two-week, cross-country trek of a fleet of hydrogen-powered vehicles, is currently under way. The fleet began its tour Aug. 11 in Portland, Me., and by the time it crosses the finish line in Los Angeles on Aug. 23 it will have made 31 stops in 18 states.

For a map that includes all the tour stops, go to http://hydrogenroadtour08.dot.gov/.

"These hydrogen vehicles are the non-polluting cars of tomorrow, and they are being demonstrated today on our nation's roads," said Department of Transportation Deputy Secretary Thomas Barrett.

Nine auto manufacturers, the Department of Energy, California Fuel Cell Partnership, National Hydrogen Association, and DOT are sponsoring the tour to show that hydrogen vehicle and fueling technologies are approaching commercial availability, even as new research and development breakthroughs continue. "The technology necessary to put these cars on the road and keep them moving, exists today," said Administrator Paul Brubaker of the DOT Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA). "The question is not if hydrogen-powered vehicles will be available commercially, but when."

Brubaker noted that hydrogen produces virtually no greenhouse gas emissions, leaving behind only water as a byproduct.

Hydrogen vehicles from BMW, Daimler, Ford, GM, Honda, Hyundai-Kia, Nissan, Toyota, and Volkswagen are making the journey, and they are being joined by hydrogen transit buses along the route. Air Products and Chemicals Inc. and Linde are providing mobile refueling stations and hydrogen fuel.

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