Researchers with Hyundai Motors will soon be testing hydrogen-powered vehicles fueled at a site under construction in the Inland Valley, according to the Chino Daily Bulletin newspaper on November 6. Contractors have begun work on a fueling station at the Hyundai America Technical Center in Chino, where a fleet of five SUVs that run on pollution-free fuel cells will be kept. Though hydrogen power technology is still in the early stage of its development, Hyundai spokesman Alfred Gloddeck said the company has made significant strides in building cars that run on fuel cells. "This is actually a second generation of vehicles for us," he said. "This next generation of vehicles will have a more refined fuel cell technology." Hyundai is among dozens of auto and gasoline firms that are involved with hydrogen research in hopes of developing an abundant, pollution-free way to power cars. Calif. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has pushed for more research into fuel cell technology, and earlier this year issued an executive order outlining plans for a network of hydrogen fueling stations to be built along the state's freeways. In addition to the "hydrogen highway," Schwarzenegger wants the state government to add fuel cell-powered vehicles to its fleet, and to encourage automakers to make hydrogen cars available for public purchase by 2010. So far, there are only three retail stations in Schwarzenegger's planned network — one of which is at the South Coast Air Quality Management District headquarters in Diamond Bar — and the Hyundai fueling station in Chino won't be part of that, Gloddeck said. Use of the station will be limited to the five compact SUVs that Hyundai is building to run on hydrogen, Gloddeck said. There are no plans to convert it to a retail station in the future.

Originally posted on Fleet Financials