DETROIT, April 7, 2006 - The Daimler Chrysler Corporation has introduced the first fuel cell powered vehicle in the world. The Wayne State University Police Department will operate the Mercedes F-Cell as a supervisor’s vehicle on and in the immediate vicinity of the campus, located in Detroit’s Cultural Center.
Outfitted with a third-generation police radio, decals, lights and sirens, the Wayne State University Police Department F-Cell is a look into the future use of fuel cell vehicles. The demanding operation of a police car will produce valuable data to help develop fuel cell technology.
The car will also serve as a learning laboratory for students in the College of Engineering’s Alternative Energy Technology program, the nation’s first master’s-degree program in alternative energy.
"This event exhibits how DaimlerChrysler is taking on the challenge for industries and governments to create viable alternative-fuel solutions," said Mark Chernoby, Vice President, Advance Vehicle Engineering - Chrysler Group. "We're pleased to be a driving force in this team effort to develop zero-emissions transportation."
The WSU F-Cell police vehicle will go into full operation upon the completion of NextEnergy’s new hydrogen refueling station this spring. NextEnergy is a non-profit alternative energy development incubator located in TechTown, Wayne State’s technology park.
The entire fuel cell system of the Mercedes F-Cell is housed in the floor of the vehicle, leaving full use of the passenger and cargo spaces. It has a range of approximately 100 miles and a top speed of 85 mph. The electric motor develops 88 hp (65 kW), enabling acceleration from 0 to 60 mph in 16 seconds. The stack has been developed by the DaimlerChrysler cooperation partner, Ballard Power Systems.
Fuel cells release energy from the reaction of hydrogen with a catalyst and oxygen. This clean technology operates at a high level of efficiency and is true zero-emissions. Hydrogen-powered fuel cell vehicles emit only pure water vapor as exhaust.
DaimlerChrysler has spent more than $1 billion in fuel cell vehicle research and development. The DaimlerChrysler fuel cell vehicle fleet is diverse -- in addition to several research vehicles, it also includes medium-duty fuel cell Dodge Sprinter vans and more than 35 Mercedes-Benz Citaro fuel cell buses, which operate in Europe, the United States, Japan, Australia and Singapore. As part of the world’s largest fleet of fuel cell vehicles, DaimlerChrysler has more than 25 fuel cell vehicles in customer hands in California and more than 100 around the world.
Wayne State University is a premier institution of higher education offering more than 350 academic programs through 11 schools and colleges to more than 33,000 students in metropolitan Detroit. For more information, please visit www.wayne.edu. The College of Engineering, with more than 2,600 undergraduate and graduate students, offers a wide range of fully accredited engineering disciplines. Its well-respected graduates represent a large force in Michigan industry and the engineering field.