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Bush Administration Issues First Certification of a Fuel Cell Vehicle

Release Date: 02/11/2003
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Contact: Cathy Milbourn 202-564-7824/milbourn.cathy@epa.gov


(02/11/03) The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today announced the first certification for fuel economy and emissions of a U.S. hydrogen fuel cell zero emission vehicle. This comes shortly after a Presidential commitment to further the progress of hydrogen fuel cells as a way to make the air significantly cleaner, and our country less dependent on foreign sources of energy.

“In his State of the Union address, the President called on Congress to, ‘protect our environment in ways that generations before us could not have imagined,’said EPA Administrator Christie Whitman. “Among the measures he called for are several far-reaching proposals to make America=s air cleaner and healthier. Included is a strong commitment to the progress of hydrogen fuel cells. I am pleased that EPA is ready and able to help in this important effort.”

The President’s commitment includes a $1.2 billion hydrogen fuel initiative to develop the technology for commercially viable hydrogen-powered fuel cells to power cars, trucks, homes and businesses with no pollution or greenhouse gases. The hydrogen fuel initiative will include $720 million in new funding over the next five years to develop the technologies and infrastructure to produce, store, and distribute hydrogen for use in fuel cell vehicles and electricity generation. Building on the FreedomCAR (Cooperative Automotive Research) initiative, President Bush is proposing a total of $1.7 billion over the next five years to develop hydrogen-powered fuel cells, hydrogen infrastructure and advanced automotive technologies.

Engineers and scientists at the EPA’s National Vehicle and Fuel Emissions Laboratory in Ann Arbor, Mich., are applying their unique technical expertise to selected fuel cell-related challenges. EPA’s Ann Arbor Lab is the first federal facility capable of testing and certifying a fuel cell vehicle for emissions and fuel economy. As a result, the 2003 Honda FCX was the first to be certified as a U.S. hydrogen fuel cell zero emission vehicle. As with any new motor vehicle that will be sold in the U.S., EPA has responsibility to certify each model as complying with all emission standards.

EPA is also working with DOE, the fuels industry, the auto industry and states to address the many infrastructure challenges to make hydrogen affordable and easily accessible as fuel cell vehicles of all types begin to be more broadly available.

Further study of fuel cell technology will be an important aspect of EPA’s partnership with the Department of Energy and its national FreedomCAR program as well as the California Fuel Cell Partnership and the Society of Automotive Engineers’ Fuel Cell Committee. Vehicle manufacturers worldwide are demonstrating progress in moving this very clean, very efficient technology toward commercial use. For additional information, visit: www.epa.gov/fuelcell Also visit www.eere.energy.gov/hydrogenfuel/