DaimlerChrysler to put fuel cells in Dodge Sprinter in 2004

DaimlerChrysler will collaborate with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and UPS with the goal of creating the first fuel cell delivery vehicle demonstration program in North America -- including a Dodge Sprinter in 2004. "DaimlerChrysler is working on several fronts to put fuel cell powered vehicles on public roads," said Dr. Dieter Zetsche, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Chrysler Group. "We're pleased to be working closely with the EPA and the U.S. Department of Energy to bring substance and tangible progress to President Bush's vision of accelerating the development of hydrogen-powered vehicles."The demonstration program will be based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, at the EPA National Vehicle and Fuel Emissions Laboratory. The DaimlerChrysler fuel cell vehicles will be used in normal UPS delivery operation on an established delivery route, and they will be fueled at a hydrogen refueling station built by the EPA.An F-Cell, a Mercedes-Benz A-Class powered by a Ballard fuel cell, will be delivered in 2003 for use as an express-delivery vehicle by UPS. In 2004, a fuel cell Dodge Sprinter will be delivered as the first medium-duty fuel cell commercial delivery vehicle to be put in service in North America.This program will enable DaimlerChrysler to continue evaluating fuel cell vehicle attributes, such as fuel economy, cold-weather operation and driving performance. It also will allow the EPA, DaimlerChrysler and UPS to gain considerable operational experience with a fuel cell fleet vehicle and hydrogen refueling station.DaimlerChrysler's efforts to put fuel cell vehicles into real-world use, in addition to this agreement, include 60 F-Cell vehicles and 30 Citaro fuel cell buses that the company will have on public roads worldwide by 2004."Fuel cell vehicles are a part of DaimlerChrysler's balanced portfolio of environmental initiatives which includes improved gasoline engines, clean diesels, hybrid vehicles, and a wide array of improved renewable fuels to lessen our nation's dependence on oil and further reduce carbon dioxide emissions," said Bernard Robertson, Senior Vice President, Engineering Technologies and Regulatory Affairs. Robertson also mentioned that DaimlerChrysler has built more than one million flexible-fuel vehicles to date, capable of operating on renewable corn-derived fuel. The company has announced two clean diesel passenger vehicle products -- the Jeep Liberty diesel and Mercedes E-Class diesel -- and a hybrid Dodge Ram pickup truck production program, all launching in the United States next year.

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