DaimlerChrysler to Launch First U.S. Fleet
of Fuel Cell Vehicles in 2003
DaimlerChrysler will launch the world'sfirst fleet of fuel cell passenger cars in the United States and Europe in 2003, the company said. The fuel cell vehicles, based on theMercedes-Benz A-Class passenger car, will be called the "F-Cell".Since introducing the first NECAR (New Electric Car) in 1994, DaimlerChrysler says it has led development of fuel cell technology, producing 20 concept vehicles, such as the NECAR series and the Chrysler Town & Country Natrium. These vehicles have been designed to operate on a variety of fuels, including methanol, gasoline, liquid and gaseous hydrogen and sodium borohydride, a borax-like compound. The F-Cell vehicles will be powered by hydrogen.The Mercedes-Benz A-Class F-Cell, the first cars to grow out of the research stage and to go on the road, are being manufactured undernear-standard conditions and will be operated and tested by customers in everyday use within the framework of government-sponsored international cooperative ventures.DaimlerChrysler is currently testing a fuel cell-powered Sprinter van in a delivery fleet and will begin delivering fuel cell-powered Citaro buses to 10 European cities next year.