Release 99-35
October 5, 1999 
CONTACT: Joe Irvin
(916) 327-6247
See Contacts List,
End of Release


     Anaheim, Calif. - A public-private venture to demonstrate fuel cell vehicles in California today welcomed two more automotive companies to the effort.  Automakers Honda and Volkswagen have signed on with the California Fuel Cell Partnership to help commercialize fuel cell technology.

    The Partnership which formally began in April 1999 includes auto manufacturers (DaimlerChrysler, Ford Motor Company), energy providers (ARCO, Shell, Texaco), a fuel cell company (Ballard Power Systems), and the State of California (California Air Resources Board and the California Energy Commission).

    "We are pleased to welcome Honda and VW to the team," said Alan Lloyd, Chairman of the California Air Resources Board.  "With the addition of these new partners, including the first Asian-based company, this gives us a truly global partnership. Together, the shared expertise and commitment to expand our efforts to develop this environmentally-friendly technology will help us reach more consumers and help pave the way to commercialization."

    Ben Knight, vice president,  Honda Research and Development, said, "Honda is planning to make fuel cell powered vehicles available in the year 2003. Cooperative activity with the California Fuel Cell Partnership will be important to the success of fuel cell vehicles by helping create an infrastructure and public awareness and understanding."

    Wolfgang Groth, Director of Volkswagen of America Inc.'s Environmental and Engineering Group, said, "Volkswagen is pleased to join the California Fuel Cell Partnership. We look forward to working cooperatively with the state of California and petroleum company partners to introduce the clean fuels and develop the enabling technologies required for fuel cell vehicles."

    The founding members invited a number of additional automakers to join the Partnership.  To date, Honda and Volkswagen both answered the call and, along with DaimlerChrysler and Ford, will demonstrate fuel cell electric vehicles in California over the next four years.

    Since April, the Partnership has been developing strategies for resolving fueling infrastructure issues and vehicle placement, as well as creating a public awareness plan and implementing administrative functions.

    For more information about the California Fuel Cell Partnership, visit their website at: or contact any of the company spokespersons listed below:

Air Resources Board - Jerry Martin - (916) 322-2990
California Energy Commission - Claudia Chandler - (916) 654-4989
ARCO - Cheryl Burnett - (562) 590-4493
Ballard  - Debby Harris - (604) 412-4740
 USA:  Ann Smith - (248) 512-6502
 Germany: Annette Kliem +49-711-179-3307
Ford  -  Glenn Ray - (313) 248-5994
Honda - Art Garner - (310) 783-3163
Shell - Kitty Borah - (713) 241-4544
Texaco - Tyra Metoyer - (713) 752-4784
Volkswagen - Tony Fouladpour - (248) 340-5064

   The Air Resources Board, one of six agencies of the California Environmental Protection Agency, is California's air pollution control agency.  The ARB's mission is to promote and protect public health, welfare, and ecological resources through effective reduction of air pollutants while recognizing and considering effects on the economy.  The ARB oversees all air pollution control efforts in California to attain and maintain health-based air quality standards.

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