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EPA, UPS and Daimlerchrysler Test Fuel Cell Vehicles for Real World Use on City Streets

Release Date: 05/19/2003
Contact Information:


Cathy Milbourn 202-564-7824 / milbourn.cathy@epa.gov / cell phone 202-309-9448


(05/19/03) EPA Administrator Christie Whitman today joined senior executives from DaimlerChrysler and UPS to announce a new government-industry partnership to put hydrogen-powered fuel cell delivery vehicles on the road. For the first time, fuel cell delivery vehicles will be tested in a real-world driving environment on the nation’s streets. Whitman unveiled this initiative at EPA’s National Vehicle and Fuel Emissions Laboratory in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

“Working together we are making an important new delivery,” said Administrator Christie Whitman. “This commitment to bring the first fuel cell vehicle into a commercial delivery fleet, is a joint effort that will be delivering something to all Americans – something that will help make the air we breathe cleaner and our skies clearer.”

This will be the first time zero emission medium-duty fuel cell delivery vehicles are introduced as a part of a commercial vehicle fleet in the United States. This fuel cell test program announced by EPA, DaimlerChrysler and UPS will be based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, at EPA’s National Vehicle and Fuel Emissions Laboratory.

Later this year, a passenger-sized fuel cell test vehicle based on the DaimlerChrysler Mercedes-Benz
A-Class will be available for use as an express-delivery vehicle by UPS. In 2004, one or more fuel cell powered Dodge Sprinter vans will be delivered as the first medium-duty fuel cell commercial vehicle to be put in service in the United States.

These DaimlerChrysler fuel cell vehicles will be used in a typical UPS delivery operations on established routes. This program will enable EPA and the partner companies to continue evaluating fuel cell vehicle attributes such as fuel economy and driving performance under varying weather conditions.

EPA’s Ann Arbor lab will provide a hydrogen refueling station to fuel the UPS delivery vehicles for the fuel cell vehicle initiative. Air Products and Chemicals, Inc., of Allentown, Pennsylvania, will design and build the hydrogen fueling station. This will allow the EPA, DaimlerChrysler and UPS to evaluate the operations of fuel cell fleet vehicles and the new hydrogen refueling station.

This partnership and the promising technologies of fuel cells and hydrogen fuel fit together with EPA’s overall strategy of protecting public health and the environment while reducing greenhouse gas emissions. This strategy includes the Clear Skies Act of 2003, the historic recent proposal for nonroad diesel engines, the Clean School Bus USA Initiative, and the SmartWayK Transport program.

In his 2003 State of the Union address, President Bush challenged America to move the country toward greater use of hydrogen as an energy source. His request for $1.2 billion to support research into the development of efficient, affordable hydrogen fuel cells represents a significant investment in both energy
self-sufficiency and environmental protection.

Information on this initiative and other fuel cell projects is available at: www.epa.gov/fuelcell