Not everyone has much of an interest in hydrogen-powered cars, but what happens when that H2O-fueled car has an interest in you and it's driven by Wayne State Police Sgt. Frank Smith? If you're the driver that Smith stopped earlier this month, you're the proud recipient of the first-ever moving violation handed out by an officer driving a hydrogen vehicle.

The historic (can we call it historic?) event happened on June 5 at Wayne State University in Detroit during a routine traffic stop. The driver in a white late model Nissan failed to stop at a stop sign at Kirby Street and Cass Avenue on the eastern edge of campus, and Smith issued her the ticket.

There are a lot of alternative fuels and vehicles being tested by police around the U.S. (Segways, E85 interceptors - see below), and it's not like those of us on the receiving end of the ticket much care about the cruiser's powertrain (at least not at that particular moment), and Smith told the university media center that the driver didn't mention anything about the car.

But, as you can see in the picture, Smith's vehicle was a Mercedes A-Class powered by the F-Cell. This vehicle is what Wayne State believes to be the only fuel cell police car in the world (and I don't know of any others) and is part of a fleet of 60 DaimlerChrysler vehicles in use in California and Michigan by companies gathering real-world data for the automaker.

The car is refilled at NextEnergy, an alternative energy technology incubator facility north of campus. Even though the fuel cell cop car project is three years old, it hasn't been driven much because until the pump was built at NextEnergy, the closest hydrogen station was 25 miles away (round trip) at the DTE Hydrogen Fuel Energy Park in Southfield.

Related:
[Source: Justyna Konczalska / Wayne State University]


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