US government invests 1 billion dollars in hydrogen fuel development

Publish date: April 12, 2005

General Motors and DaimlerChrysler sign deals to develop fuel cell vehicles and receive $88 million grant from American state budget.

These grants are a part of American state program of hydrogen transport research. The USA allocated 1.2 billion dollars for this program. General Motors Corporation and Daimler Chrysler announced they have signed deals with the US Department of Energy to develop hydrogen fuel cell vehicles over the next five years.

GM and the Energy Department will pay half-and-half for their 88 million-US dollar deal. The world’s largest automaker will build 40 hydrogen fuel vehicles for demonstration in Washington, New York, California and Michigan. The German-American Daimler Chrysler, which has the world’s largest fleet of fuel cell vehicles, will spend more than 70 million dollars in its partnership with the Energy Department.

Under the deal, it will place fuel cell vehicles with consumers who will report on the vehicles’ performance. The company said it is already testing 100 fuel cell vehicles around the world. GM said Shell Hydrogen LLC would build five hydrogen-refueling stations in Washington, New York, California and on the East Coast. The fuel cell produces energy when hydrogen and oxygen are mixed, and its only byproduct is water. The environment-friendly technology has been used in experimental vehicles and in some buildings as a power source.

The US government plans to develop hydrogen as America’s next energy source. President George W. Bush envisioned hydrogen-powered vehicles on American roads within two decades. Hydrogen-powered vehicles are at present not popular at the market due to the high costs and a lack of fueling stations.