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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.

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