PHOTO CAPTION: California Fuel Cell Partnership is located in West Sacramento

The 'Cars of the Future' In Our Backyard

Despite the critics, the partnership continues to soldier on determined to figure out a way to improve the technology so it won’t have a net energy loss.

Published: 11-Dec-2008

Let’s keep it real here. Californians love their cars, and this mode of transportation is not going away any time soon. After all, what’s better than feeling that rush of adrenaline while hugging the corners of the state’s scenic highways? It brings a sense of freedom that only comes from one thing -- the sweet marriage between human and machine. Along with that, though, comes pollution that contributes to global warming.

“California has some of the worst air quality in the United States, and transportation is responsible for that,” admitted Chris White, communications director of California Fuel Cell Partnership, during a tour of the West Sacramento facility.

CaFCP is a one-of-a-kind collaboration of automobile and energy companies, as well as state and federal agencies, with the goal of promoting hydrogen fuel-cell technology. Hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles might be a virtual panacea to many of society’s issues, leaving the eternal skeptic to wonder if there is a downside to this technology. And, yes, there may be, as opponents note how it takes more energy to produce hydrogen than it actually provides -- what engineers call a poor energy return on energy invested.


The patented Procooler air conditioning system will be installed on all production models and operates more efficiently than traditional air conditioning systems

Mazda RX-8 Hydrogen RE in snow conditions it is likely to encounter in Norway starting in 2009.

Beginning in 2009, Mazda will provide approximately 30 RX-8 Hydrogen RE vehicles for the HyNor project

Top view of Scorpian sports car, versions of which will be powered by blending of gasoline and hydrogen.

The H2 for this blended gasoline/hydrogen system is derived from fracturing water molecules drawn from a small on board water tank.


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