DaimlerChrysler Minivan Featured at Pentagon

April 28, 2003 by Jeff Shepard

DaimlerChrysler Corp. (Auburn Hills, MI) reported that its Chrysler Town and Country Natrium, a fuel cell concept vehicle running on clean, nonflammable and recyclable sodium borohydride fuel, participated in a ride-and-drive display program at the Pentagon. The program took place April 21 as part of Earth Day celebrations. The US armed forces have expressed interest in alternative-fuel vehicles in order to stretch the military's mobility into the future with improved fuel economy and range.

The Natrium is the first fuel-cell-powered vehicle built to operate on sodium borohydride, a fuel made from borax. In the Natrium minivan, the technology delivers the environmental benefits of a fuel cell vehicle without the loss of cargo or passenger space, while providing a range of 300 miles. Hydrogen is extracted from sodium borohydride to power the fuel cell. Sodium borohydride is a compound chemically related to borax, the naturally occurring substance commonly used in laundry soap.