California Fuel Cell Partnership Issues Progress Report

1999-2003 Accomplishments and Vision for the Future

The California Fuel Cell Partnership ( has published its first progress report capturing highlights of its accomplishments to date, and providing its vision for the future direction of fuel cells and hydrogen in transportation applications.

"This report highlights the progress of the California Fuel Cell Partnership in demonstrating the impressive progress in the development of fuel cell vehicles and hydrogen fueling," said Firoz Rasul, 2004 Chairman of the California Fuel Cell Partnership (CaFCP) and Chairman of Ballard Power Systems. "The report also highlights the key issues to be addressed to successfully transition to the widespread use of fuel cells and hydrogen fuel."

The report includes sections on fuel vehicle (cars and buses) and hydrogen fueling station deployments, joint studies, training, case studies, and lessons learned.

Through the report, the CaFCP's Steering Team of executives issued seven key principles that provide the underpinnings for future advancements:

1) New technologies like fuel cells and hydrogen production must be nurtured; participating companies are "pioneers" blazing a new trail into the future. Success relies
upon gaining more experience with practical demonstration and cooperative learnings.
2) Government has an important role in providing dedicated, coordinated long-term funding to support research and demonstration projects, and in building public interest
and support.
3) The partnership strongly supports a sustained level of research and development to maximize the availability of clean and renewable hydrogen sources. In the near term,
the use of conventional fuels to produce hydrogen can provide a transition to a renewable hydrogen future. By developing both vehicles and their associated infrastructure, the necessary elements can be readied to use hydrogen produced from renewable and clean sources when it becomes widely available.
4) It is important to keep a realistic "expectations perspective": the timeline to the broad commercial market introduction is 10 to 20 years. Earlier introductions will
take place in fleet and transit applications.
5) Using hydrogen as a transportation fuel introduces new challenges; safety, liability and insurance concerns must be addressed and accepted before true expansion can
begin to take hold.
6) More public awareness must be cultivated now in order to gain marketplace acceptance in the future.
7) Customer understanding is vital to market success, and must be emphasized - the public and private sectors should highlight and advance the favorable attributes of fuel
cell vehicles and hydrogen fueling infrastructure.

"As we move forward, the CaFCP will continue to set the standard for real-world demonstration through its unique collaboration," said CaFCP executive director Catherine Dunwoody. "Our overarching goal remains the same: to build momentum for fuel cell vehicles and hydrogen fueling technology - and help California and the world achieve a cleaner, more sustainable future."

The Progress Report is available online at Hard copies are available upon request by calling the CaFCP's main number (916-371-2870) or by email (

1999-2003 Accomplishments
Highlights of CaFCP's key achievements over the past four years include:
* Automotive members placed 55 fuel cell vehicles on California roads and highways;
* Transit agency members have tested two fuel cell buses on city streets, and have placed orders for seven fuel cell buses to begin regular transit service in 2004;
* Energy members installed and operated two hydrogen-fueling stations and one methanol fueling station in California, with nine other hydrogen stations installed and operated
independently by individual members. A key objective is to promote fuel station interoperability among all of these stations;
* CaFCP members constructed a state-of-the-art testing and demonstration facility in West Sacramento, California;
* CaFCP members jointly developed an emergency response guide for fuel cell vehicles. This guide is used to train local fire departments and other first responders. Over 230
emergency response agencies have been trained to date;
* CaFCP members jointly commissioned and completed a fuel scenarios study through an independent consultant. This study examined the benefits and challenges of hydrogen,
methanol, gasoline and ethanol;
* CaFCP members initiated a hydrogen vehicle facilities study to examine practical facility design for housing and maintaining hydrogen fuel cell vehicles;
* Together the CaFCP has reached over 500,000 people with information regarding fuel cell vehicle and fueling technology. Over 10,000 people have driven in a fuel cell vehicle;

* CaFCP surveys show that awareness of fuel cell technology has increased from less than 25% of Californians knowing about fuel cells in 2000 to about four in ten Californians
having heard about the technology in 2003.

About the CaFCP
The Partnership -- which started in April 1999 -- includes auto manufacturers (DaimlerChrysler, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Hyundai, Nissan, Toyota and Volkswagen); energy providers (Air Products, BP, ChevronTexaco, ExxonMobil, Methanex, Pacific Gas and Electric Company, Praxair, Proton Energy Systems, Shell Hydrogen, Stuart Energy, and Ztek); fuel cell technology companies (Ballard Power Systems and UTC Fuel Cells); government agencies (California Air Resources Board, California Energy Commission, South Coast AQMD, US Department of Energy, US Department of Transportation and US Environmental Protection Agency); and bus transit agencies (AC Transit, Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority, and SunLine Transit Agency).

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