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U.S. Musters Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle Partners

WASHINGTON, DC, May 20, 2013 (ENS) – To foster the adoption of fuel cell electric vehicles, the U.S. Energy Department has embarked on a new public-private partnership to develop the country’s hydrogen infrastructure.

Dubbed “H2USA,” the new partnership brings together automakers, government agencies, gas suppliers, and the hydrogen and fuel cell industries.

The stakeholders will coordinate research and identify cost-effective infrastructure that can deliver affordable, clean hydrogen fuel across the United States.

Fuel cell electric vehicles are powered by hydrogen. FCEVs offer performance, range and refill time similar to combustion vehicles, and the quiet operation, zero emissions and power characteristic of battery electric vehicles.

Mercedes-Benz B-Class F-CELL vehicle (Photo courtesy Mercedes-Benz USA)

“Fuel cell technologies are an important part of an all-of-the-above approach to diversify America’s transportation sector, reduce our dependence on foreign oil and increase our competitiveness in the global market,” said Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy David Danielson.

“By bringing together key stakeholders from across the U.S. fuel cell and hydrogen industry, the H2USA partnership will help advance affordable fuel cell electric vehicles that save consumers money and give drivers more options,” said Danielson.

Current members of the H2USA partnership include the American Gas Association, Association of Global Automakers, the California Fuel Cell Partnership, the Electric Drive Transportation Association, the Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Energy Association, Hyundai Motor America, ITM Power, Massachusetts Hydrogen Coalition, Mercedes-Benz USA, Nissan North America Research and Development, Proton OnSite, and Toyota Motor North America.

“The fact that a number of entities are coming together to work together through this partnership is a very positive sign,” said Morry Markowitz, president and executive director, Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Energy Association.

Recent development of the United States’ shale gas resources is helping to reduce the costs of producing hydrogen and operating hydrogen fuel cells, said the Energy Department in a statement.

H2USA will bring experts together to identify and solve key infrastructure challenges, including leveraging low cost natural gas resources.

Through H2USA, industry and government partners will focus on identifying actions to encourage early adopters of fuel cell electric vehicles, conduct coordinated technical and market analysis, and evaluate alternative fueling infrastructure that can enable cost reductions and economies of scale.

Infrastructure being developed for alternative fuels such as natural gas, as well as fuel cell applications including tri-generation that produce heat, power and hydrogen from natural gas or biogas, may also provide low cost hydrogen for vehicles.


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