The First Wave of Electric Vehicles Compared

(Washington, DC - December 10, 2010). On Saturday, Nissan is set to deliver its first battery-powered Leaf to a customer in Northern California, helping bring the nation one step closer to a future in which our cars, trucks and buses will be electric drive. That future will include a mix of electric vehicles: battery vehicles (BEVs) like the Leaf, plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEVs) like Chevrolet's Volt and fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) like the Honda FCX Clarity and Mercedes B-Class F-CELL.

For Immediate Release Press Contact: Elizabeth Delmont

Friday, December 10, 2010 (202) 785-4222

The First Wave of Electric Vehicles Compared
Fuel cells offer reduced emissions, without compromising on comfort


(Washington, DC - December 10, 2010). On Saturday, Nissan is set to deliver its first battery-powered Leaf to a customer in Northern California, helping bring the nation one step closer to a future in which our cars, trucks and buses will be electric drive. That future will include a mix of electric vehicles: battery vehicles (BEVs) like the Leaf, plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEVs) like Chevrolet's Volt and fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) like the Honda FCX Clarity and Mercedes B-Class F-CELL.

All four vehicles are or soon will be in customer hands in limited numbers in California. In fact, the first FCEVs were delivered to California customers back in 2008. With the Leaf to be delivered tomorrow, and the Chevy Volt soon to follow, it's not too early to begin asking how these vehicles stack up. Fuel Cells 2000 has done just that, using company or government data to compare in comfort, range, performance, cargo space and other customary measures. The resulting chart is available at: http://www.fuelcells.org/info/ElectricVehicles.pdf

"The results may surprise people who think fuel cell electric vehicles are still laboratory experiments," said Elizabeth Delmont, Program Assistant, at Fuel Cells 2000. "Fuel cell electric vehicles stack up well against the alternatives, providing the styling, comfort, and drivability customers are accustomed to. Fuel Cell electric vehicles have by far the best all-electric range, and they refill in just a few minutes, while batteries need hours to achieve a full charge."

FCEVs have surpassed three million miles in real-world driving in the US and major automakers have pledged full scale commercialization alongside other EVs.

Recent news helps make the case for fuel cell vehicles:

The Department of Energy's latest Well-to-Wheels analysis of energy efficiency and environmental performance shows fuel cell electric vehicles reduce greenhouse gas emissions by about 41% compared to traditional vehicles, and provide superior environmental performance regardless of the fuel source.
A recent report from McKinsey and Company concluded, based on extensive interviews with industry, that FCEVs are ready for commercialization. While there will be room for all electric vehicle technologies, FCEVs are the best EV option for medium to large cars and long trips - fitting the profile of the U.S. vehicle fleet.
Commercial volume production is expected around 2015. Lucky California drivers didn't have to wait that long: Honda leases limited numbers of FCEVs in California; GM has provided cars on loan and Mercedes-Benz began leasing a few F-CELLs in San Francisco and Los Angeles last month. Other manufacturers aren't far behind.

Fuel Cells 2000 is a non-profit, independent education and outreach organization that promotes fuel cells and hydrogen from the public interest perspective. We are an objective resource for interviews, articles, quotes and spokespersons; we offer by-line articles and facilitate reporting on fuel cells.

Contact us at: elizabeth@fuelcells.org, 202-785-4222, ext. 31

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