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    BP, Ford Open First Hydrogen Station

    Companies laud it as a step forward for hydrogen as a viable alternative motor fuel.

    TAYLOR, Mich. -- BP, Ford Motor Company and the city of Taylor opened a new hydrogen station this week to fuel Ford Focus fuel cells being used as official city vehicles. It's a move they said marks an important milestone in their collective path towards the use of hydrogen as a viable alternative fuel in the future.

    Taylor's four vehicles are part of a 30-car Ford Focus fuel cell demonstration fleet currently on the road in the United States, Canada and Germany. The fleet has accumulated more than 300,000 miles since its inception. Ford said it will begin deliveries of the nation's first hydrogen-powered buses later this year.

    "BP is committed to developing cleaner fuels" said Maria Curry-Nkansah, BP's hydrogen business development manager. "With this station, we will continue our work to gain real-world experience in hydrogen fueling infrastructure and help build public awareness of this developing technology. This program is an example of how government, energy companies and the auto industry are working collaboratively to develop alternative fuels."

    BP, which produces 5,000 tons of hydrogen per day and is a key player in hydrogen demonstration projects across the globe, is working with the Department of Energy and its automotive partners to develop hydrogen fuel stations in Michigan, Florida and California. BP also is involved in refueling infrastructure to support fuel cell buses and cars in a number of cities across the world.

    Ford said both it and BP share a firm belief that "Energy and Car" working together, rather than independently, can develop better products to satisfy customers' desire for responsible, personal mobility. By leveraging each others resources, both companies can deliver products to market that achieve this objective faster, and additionally, can be optimized to perform better together, according to Ford.

    "The opening of this station represents a step forward for hydrogen as a motor fuel," said Gerhard Schmidt, vice president, research and advanced engineering, Ford Motor Company. "We have made much progress in hydrogen propulsion over the past 15 years and this is another excellent milestone to commemorate."

    Ford is moving ahead with a range of technological solutions, including vehicles such as the Ford Escape Hybrid and Mercury Mariner Hybrid, hydrogen fuel cells, hydrogen internal combustion engines, ethanol, clean diesel and refinements to gasoline based powertrains and advanced transmissions. Some of the technologies represent near term solutions. Others, such as hydrogen, must be viewed as long term options.

    Taylor Mayor Cameron G. Priebe, whose city is using four of the Ford Focus fuel cells as full-time city vehicles, praised the partnership with Ford and BP. "Through the use of hydrogen and other alternative fuels, we can reduce our nation's dependency on foreign oil," he said. "In addition, technology related to the development and use of alternative fuels can lead to job creation here in Michigan and add to our state's tax base."

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