smallRW.gif (2706 bytes) USCAR Announces FreedomCAR Research Partnership with U.S. Department of Energy
Program Committed to Developing Technologies That Will Preserve American Transportation Freedoms

DETROIT, Jan. 9 /PRNewswire/ -- Executives from DaimlerChrysler Corporation, Ford Motor Company, and General Motors Corporation joined Secretary of Energy Spencer Abraham today to announce a new cooperative automotive research (CAR) partnership between the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Council for Automotive Research (USCAR).

The vision of FreedomCAR is petroleum-free cars and light trucks. The program will focus on the high-risk research needed to develop enabling technologies (e.g., fuel cells, the ability to produce hydrogen from domestic renewable sources, etc.) without sacrificing freedom of mobility, freedom of vehicle choice, or affordability.

General Motors Chairman Jack Smith said, "With the FreedomCAR program, we are taking a major step towards creating a future where the vehicle is no longer part of the energy and environmental debate."

USCAR recognizes that altering the overall U.S. petroleum consumption pattern will require a multi-tiered approach, including policy and research programs. The transportation sector has a significant role to play in addressing this challenge, and success from FreedomCAR research initiatives will contribute to broader national goals and objectives.

"FreedomCAR focuses on jointly developing technologies that are important to the entire automotive industry," stated DaimlerChrysler CEO Dieter Zetsche, "This program allows us to continue to work together as an industry in a way that can make a difference."

The long-term transition of vehicles from gasoline to hydrogen is viewed as critical in reducing the environmental impact of the personal transportation sector. This will require the development of breakthrough technologies to enable mass production of affordable hydrogen-powered fuel cell vehicles as well as the hydrogen-fueling infrastructure to support them.

FreedomCAR also will encompass continued support for other technologies that have the potential to dramatically reduce oil consumption and environmental impacts.

"Our companies have made significant progress in reducing the environmental impact of our products," noted Ford Chairman and Chief Executive Officer William Clay Ford Jr. "Our participation in FreedomCAR signifies our commitment to continue that progress."

This transition will require a significant investment by the automotive industry and the federal government, as well as a concerted long-term effort. Mechanisms will be created to facilitate proactive interaction with automotive suppliers, the fuel industry and other appropriate parties. The ultimate vision of success is energy stability, energy security, and a lessened impact of transportation on our environment.

"The transition to hydrogen-powered vehicles is an important step the nation can take towards preserving American transportation freedoms and strengthening U.S. energy security. FreedomCAR paves the way for us to develop the technologies necessary to make that transition a reality, " said Bob Culver, USCAR Executive Director.

USCAR, a cooperative of DaimlerChrysler, Ford and GM, was established in 1992 to assist the domestic auto industry in facilitating pre-competitive research.

SOURCE: U.S. Council for Automotive Research


CO: U.S. Council for Automotive Research; DaimlerChrysler Corporation; Ford Motor Company; General Motors Corporation; U.S. Department of Energy

ST: Michigan, District of Columbia

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Posted January 9, 2002.

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