Bay Area News Service
December 28, 2005

BERKELEY - Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley are getting just what they wanted for Christmas this year, as they will now get to drive a new hydrogen fuel cell car for the next two years.

The Daimler-Chrysler Corporation handed over the keys to an F-Cell automobile to researchers at UC Berkeley's California Partners for Advanced Transit and Highways (PATH) this week as part of a project to study how the vehicle works in real-life surroundings, the university reported.

One of the major hindrances of hydrogen fuel cell powered vehicles, however, is the limited number of refueling stations available. "Refueling can take up to 10 minutes, and the vehicle has a limited driving range" said Susan Shaheen, PATH program leader. The university reports it will fill up the F-Cell at a station operated by AC Transit in Richmond and at the University of California, Davis. Right now California has 16 hydrogen-fueling stations in operation and another 15 in the planning stage, the university reported.

Another hindrance is the cost of the vehicle. "Our hydrogen fuel cell cars cost over $1 million each to build, but in production, that cost could be cut in half." said a university spokesman.

(Gee, if they can actually cut the cost of these cars in half, then they will ONLY cost $500,000 each! How will Chevy be able to compete with that?!)

  • Back to Berkeley Living