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Automotive company DaimlerChrysler’s NECAR 5, a fuel cell Mercedez-Benz, left San Francisco on May 20 and arrived at its destination, Washington, D.C., on June 4. The company say theirs’ was the first ever attempt to drive a vehicle run on electricity generated from hydrogen such a distance.

“Our goal was to make it to Washington, D.C. to deliver the message that fuel cell technology is rapidly advancing,” commented head of DaimlerChrysler’s fuel technology project Dr. Ferdinand Panik. The achievement marks the ninety-ninth anniversary of the first automotive transcontinental drive, which took the Winton Touring Car 63 days to travel over 5000 miles.

Dr. Panik says, like the Winton car, the NECAR 5 has created “automotive history”, pointing towards future transportation possibilities.

The trend to introduce hydrogen into its business has also spread to the US Postal Service, who, this week, purchased 40 electric powered people transporters, to ease the work of pedestrian postal workers. It is thought such investment will increase efficiency of the Postal Service in an environmentally sustainable manner.

Many countries world wide are endorsing alternative fuel vehicles; Singapore are currently testing the NECAR on their roads in the hope that it can be sold in future to maximise economic and social growth with minimal environmental damage. In the UK Budget earlier this year, Gordon Brown announced the introduction of a fuel duty incentive for sulphur-free fuel.

Story by Sorcha Clifford

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