Car Culture

Fuel cell cars hit the road

The California Fuel Cell Partnership sponsors an event to drive 12 fuel cell cars from California to Canada.

Chevrolet Equinox Fuel Cell
The Chevrolet Equinox Fuel Cell takes part in the Hydrogen Road Tour. GM

Electric cars have been getting plenty of buzz lately, but the development of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles is still going strong. The California Fuel Cell Partnership, along with Powertech Labs, National Hydrogen Association, and U.S. Fuel Cell Council, will seek to regain the spotlight with a road trip to demonstrate the practicality of these vehicles.

Road tour map
The road tour route runs up the West Coast, from Chula Vista to Vancouver. California Fuel Cell Partnership

Twelve fuel cell cars from seven automakers will drive from Chula Vista, in Southern California, up to Vancouver, Canada, a trip of 1,700 miles. Vancouver was chosen for the destination because it will play host to the 2010 Winter Olympic Games, where a fleet of fuel cell buses will provide transportation.

Fuel cell cars that will be making the trip include the Chevy Equinox Fuel Cell, Mercedes F-Cell, Honda FCX Clarity, Hyundai Tucson FCEV, Kia Borrego FCEV, Nissan X-Trail, Toyota FCHV-adv Highlander, and Volkswagen HyMotion. The cars, which have ranges of 200 to over 500 miles, will be relying on a mobile refueling station for their hydrogen needs.

The tour starts on May 26 in Chula Vista, and ends on June 3 in Vancouver. Stops have been scheduled along the route so the public can get a chance to see these cars. Check the Hydrogen Road Tour '09 Web site to see if there's an event near you.