On April 7, DaimlerChrysler delivered the first fuel-cell powered police car to Wayne State University Police Department as a prototype that could aid in research for fuel cell technology.
"We're pleased to be a driving force in this team effort to develop zero-emissions transportation," said Mark Chernoby of the advanced engineering division of Chrysler Group.
The Mercedes F-Cell has a range of 160 kilometers (100 miles) and a top speed of 135 kilometers (85 miles) per hour. It will be refueled at a newly built hydrogen fueling station.
DaimlerChrysler has already developed fuel cell powered Dodge Sprinter vans and Mercedes-Benz Citaro buses, in addition to 100 fuel-cell vehicles in customer hands. Companies such as GM and Toyota are also experimenting with fuel cell technology.
Japan is currently considered the leader in fuel cell technology, and plans to operate fuel cell powered trains sometime next year. A fuel cell car developed by the Japanese automobile company Honda can start in temperatures as low as 15 below zero (four degrees Fahrenheit).
Fuel cell technology is powered by a reaction between hydrogen, oxygen, and a catalyst, which releases energy into a fuel cell. Because the only byproduct is water, it is seen as a solution to pollution and rising oil costs. However, most experts said fuel cell cars are at least 10 years away from mass production.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2006