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Wayne State to Receive First Known Hydrogen Fuel Cell Police Car

Wayne State to Receive First Known Hydrogen Fuel Cell Police Car

Automaker DaimlerChrysler has produced the first known hydrogen fuel cell-powered police car. The Mercedes F-Cell will see its first service as a supervisor’s vehicle for the Wayne State University Police Department in Detroit.

The F-Cell represents a pioneering development for the emerging fuel cell-powered auto industry. Hydrogen-based fuel cells are still in their early stages, say DaimlerChrysler officials, and the F-Cell will help provide valuable real-world data that will aid development of other fuel cell systems.

“We’re pleased to be a driving force in this team effort to develop zero-emissions transportation,” says Mark Chernoby, vice president, Advance Vehicle Engineering for the Chrysler Group. “This event exhibits how DaimlerChrysler is taking on the challenge for industries and governments to create viable alternative-fuel solutions.”

Wayne State’s F-Cell police car will be refueled at a dedicated fueling station. The car will serve as a learning laboratory for students in WSU’s College of Engineering Alternative Energy Technology, reportedly the nation’s first master’s program in alternative energy.

The Mercedes F-Cell has a range of approximately 100 miles before refueling and a top speed of 85 mph. The electric motor generates 88 horsepower, enabling acceleration from 0 to 60 miles per hour in 16 seconds. The fuel cells release energy from the reaction of hydrogen with a catalyst and oxygen. This technology operates with high efficiency and has zero emissions.

To date, DaimlerChrysler has invested more than $1 billion in fuel cell vehicle research and development. The company’s fuel cell fleet currently includes Dodge Sprinter vans and more than 35 Mercedes-Benz Citaro fuel cell buses, which operate in Europe, the United States, Japan, Australia and Singapore. More than 25 DaimlerChrysler fuel cell vehicles are privately owned in California and more than 100 around the world, company officials say.

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