Release 08-08
February 11, 2008

    Dimitri Stanich

San Mateo County merges onto Hydrogen Highway
Air Resources Board provides $250,000 for new hydrogen-powered shuttle

EAST PALO ALTO, Calif.: Saturday's "Ride into the Future" transportation fair in East Palo Alto featured the area's first hydrogen powered shuttle, funded in part by the California Air Resources Board.

A $250,000 grant for the state's Hydrogen Highway program sponsored the shuttle that will take residents to stops between the Palo Alto Caltrain Station and East Palo Alto. The new shuttle, a Ford E-450, is powered by a supercharged 6.8-liter V-10 engine modified to run exclusively on hydrogen.

"As we continue to wean ourselves off petroleum fuels, we will see more and more hydrogen powered shuttles like this on our roadways," said Mary Nichols, Chairman of the California Air Resources Board. "This shuttle illustrates the great potential hydrogen has to power California's vehicles and subsequently its economy. Kudos to San Mateo County for taking the initiative on this important cutting-edge project."

Governor Schwarzenegger created the Hydrogen Highway initiative in 2004 to demonstrate hydrogen as a viable transportation fuel, promote hydrogen transportation technologies and public education, and facilitate California's transition to a hydrogen economy. The program is designed to assure an infrastructure is in place to refuel hydrogen based technologies as they become commercially available. Presently 23 hydrogen stations are available throughout California with more planned.

"Ford is the world's first automaker to deliver commercial vehicles powered by internal combustion engines that are fueled exclusively with hydrogen," said Sue Cischke, senior vice president, Ford Motor Company, Sustainability, Environment and Safety Engineering. "This bus represents part of our strategy and commitment to delivering transportation solutions that emit less CO2 and reduce our dependence on oil. We are honored to have the opportunity to partner with the California Air Resources Board and bring this unique bus to San Mateo County residents." As part of its test fleet, Ford will deliver by year's end 30 buses to customers across North America.

According to City/County Association of Governments Chair, Deborah C. Gordon, "This program provides service to the Palo Alto Caltrain station for the transit dependent community of East Palo Alto in a manner that also advances the technology for clean air vehicles."

For more information on shuttle routes go here, .

For more information on hydrogen and the Hydrogen Highway go here .

The Air Resources Board is a department of the California Environmental Protection Agency. 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.