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Toyota, Honda Deliver Hydrogen Cars

December 3, 2002

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IRVINE, Calif. (AP) _ Toyota and Honda on Monday delivered their first market ready zero-emission hydrogen-powered fuel cell vehicles.

The University of California got the first two Toyota hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles, which have a range of 180 miles and a top speed of 96 mph.

In Los Angeles, Honda Motor Co. delivered its first street-certified hydrogen-powered fuel cell car to Mayor James K. Hahn. The City of Los Angeles is leasing five Honda fuel cell test vehicles for ``real world″ driving by city staff.

UC Irvine and UC Davis got the Toyotas in what was described as the first step in a plan to establish California fuel-cell ``community″ partnerships of government, business and higher education that will tackle product, infrastructure and consumer-acceptance challenges.

The vehicles delivered Monday were the first of six Toyota fuel-cell cars leased to the two campuses as part of the program to bring refinements and improvements. Four additional vehicles will arrive next year with each car leased for 30 months.

The vehicles are based on the Toyota Highlander five-passenger mid-size sport utility vehicle. Its hydrogen fuel-cell system features four 5,000-psi hydrogen fuel tanks.

Hydrogen gas feeds into the fuel-cell stack where it is combined with oxygen, and the chemical reaction of combining hydrogen and oxygen to form water generates a peak of 90 kilowatts of electricity. The electricity powers a 109 horsepower electric motor to charge the vehicle’s nickle-metal hydride batteries.

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