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Hydrogen Highway Promoted in San Diego

Audio

Aired 5/26/09

A road trip to show the viability of hydrogen fuel cell cars took off from Chula Vista this morning. KPBS Environment Reporter Ed Joyce says the nine-day tour to Canada is intended to promote zero-emission vehicles.

A road trip to show the viability of hydrogen fuel cell cars took off from Chula Vista this morning. KPBS Environment Reporter Ed Joyce says the nine-day tour to Canada is intended to promote zero-emission vehicles.

Twelve high-tech fuel cell cars and SUVs from seven manufacturers are on their way to Vancouver British Columbia.

Todd Suckow, a senior engineer with Hyundai, is driving the company's SUV.

He says the advantage of hydrogen is that it can be made from renewable sources and there are no tailpipe emissions.

"So the equivalent amount of energy in a gasoline vehicle, we can go that same, get two to three times the distance in," Suckow said.

The California Fuel Cell Partnership wants to put 50,000 Californian drivers in zero-emission vehicles by 2017.

San Diego Congressman Bob Filner says government has a role in making that happen.

"You've got to build up that infrastructure so the cars can fuel up and the cars can get the hydrogen they need," Filner says. "I think that's where the federal government's going to come in."

He says the hydrogen cars should be part of the effort to reduce the country's dependence on imported oil.

Ed Joyce, KPBS News.

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