Fuel Cell Vehicles Compete in California Road Rally

September 11, 2002 by Jeff Shepard

The California Fuel Cell Partnership (West Sacramento, CA) organized a three-day road rally for fuel cell vehicles, which featured seven prototype fuel cell vehicles: the NECAR 4 from DaimlerChrysler Corp. (Auburn Hills, MI), the Focus by Ford Motor Co. (Dearborn, MI), the Zafira from General Motors Corp. (Detroit, MI), the FCX-V3 from Honda Motor Corp. (Japan), the Santa Fe from Hyundai, the Xterra from Nissan and the Highlander from Toyota Motor Corp. (Tokyo, Japan).

The rally, which covered a 300-mile route down California's scenic Highway 1 from Monterey to Santa Barbara, was an important opportunity for the teams involved to collect technical data on the performance of the vehicles, as well as raising public awareness about fuel-cell-powered transport. Of the seven vehicles that started, five made it to the finish line without any hitches. General Motors' Zafira dropped out on the first day, and the NECAR 4 developed a minor electrical fault that forced its withdrawal on the last leg of the rally.