CHINO, CALIF. - In a major step toward achieving President George W. Bush's vision for a hydrogen economy, Assistant Secretary of Energy David Garman today joined representatives of ChevronTexaco, Hyundai-Kia and UTC Fuel Cells at the opening of a hydrogen fueling station in Chino, CA. The station is a major part of the Department of Energy's Hydrogen "Learning Demonstration," which brings together automobile makers and energy companies to test fuel cell vehicles and hydrogen fueling systems in real-world conditions.
"Hydrogen fuel cells represent one of the most encouraging, innovative technologies of our era. If you're interested in our environment and if you're interested in doing what's right for the American people, if you're tired of the same old endless struggles that seem to produce nothing but noise and high bills, let us promote hydrogen fuel cells as a way to advance into the 21st century. If we develop hydrogen power to its full potential, we can reduce our demand for oil by over 11 million barrels per day by the year 2040. That would be a fantastic legacy to leave for future generations of Americans," said President Bush.*
In the Chino project, Hyundai Tucson and Kia Sportage SUVs, powered by fuel cells manufactured by UTC Fuel Cells, will operate throughout Southern California and refuel at the ChevronTexaco hydrogen station. Of particular importance is the on-site production of hydrogen from natural gas. Natural gas, with an existing distribution infrastructure, is critical to the eventual transition to the hydrogen economy. This station will also have the future capability to convert other renewable fuel sources, such as ethanol, into hydrogen for refueling fuel cell vehicles.
"Projects like this one are very important. On a day-to-day basis, they will give our researchers and scientists on-the-road experience with hydrogen fuel vehicles and demonstrate what we need to do to make these technologies even better. By doing so, it is our hope that these clean, zero-emission vehicles will become as common as the cars we know today," said Assistant Secretary Garman.
Under President Bush's visionary Hydrogen Fuel Initiative, the Department supports early, high-risk research to overcome the technical barriers to a hydrogen economy and seeks to make it practical and cost-effective for Americans to choose to use clean, hydrogen fuel cell vehicles by 2020. Using hydrogen fuel cell vehicles will dramatically improve America's energy security by significantly reducing the need for imported oil, as well as help clean our air and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
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Mike Waldron, 202/586-4940
Tom Welch, 202/586-5806