A fuel-cell-powered delivery truck is scheduled to be on the road by the end of the year in Ann Arbor, Mich., through a collaboration of DaimlerChrysler, UPS, Air Products, and EPA. The demonstration project, announced in Michigan last week, will begin with an automobile-size express delivery vehicle and grow to include at least one Dodge Sprint van in 2004.
The idea, the promoters say, is to provide a real-world test to assess fuel-cell vehicles.
Compressed hydrogen for the truck will be supplied at a station to be built by Air Products at EPA's Ann Arbor vehicle-testing facility. It will be similar to the world's first hydrogen station that Air Products opened last year in Las Vegas (C&EN, Dec. 2, 2002, page 24).
Several environmental groups picketed an EPA-organized press event in Michigan to announce the deal, however. They criticized the Bush Administration for backing fuel-cell programs that are years from a payoff while showing little interest in fuel efficiency standards or other immediate technologies.
It was a big week for delivery truck demonstration projects. Another one was announced by Environmental Defense, involving 20 hybrid electric-diesel delivery vans to be used by FedEx Corp. with power systems built by Eaton Corp.