Saturday, December 23, 2006

A Look Down the Road (Let's Hope We Get There)

The Environmental Protection Agency has cleared the way for major automakers to produce hydrogen-powered fuel-cell cars to meet zero-emission vehicle requirements in California and 10 other states, officials said.

The EPA approved regulation amendments adopted by the California Air Resources Board in 2003 that allow manufacturers to produce fuel cells as an alternative to the battery-powered cars and light trucks previously required by the state. California regulations call for 2% of the six biggest automakers' new cars and trucks to be zero-emission vehicles, 2% to be gasoline-electric hybrids and 6% to be super-low-polluting gasoline vehicles known as PZEVs. The 2% requirement for fuel-cell or battery-powered vehicles starts in 2009 with a ramp-up period requiring the industry to market at least 2,500 nationwide in the first three years.

Shown above is the General Motors hydrogen-powered car called the “Hy-Wire” which uses hydrogen fuel cell technology. When Hydrogen is mixed with oxygen inside the fuel cell, the electricity produced by the reaction, powers an electric motor which in turn propels the car, the only by-product being steam or water. (From the Associated Press)

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