National Hydrogen Road Tour kicks off in Portland ME

Yesterday a National Hydrogen Road Tour kicked off in Portland ME. A motley collection of ten hydrogen fueled vehicles from a variety of manufacturers will be making their way from Maine to California over the next two weeks. The cars including the VW Tiguan HyMotion along with cars from BMW, Honda, Toyota, GM and others will be making 31 stops in 19 states along the way. Not all of the vehicles will be driven the entire route. General Motors for example will bring out its Project Driveway Fuel cell Equinox in the cities where that program is running, New York, Washington and Los Angeles. BMW will be using the mono-fuel (hydrogen only) version of the Hydrogen7 and is planning to cover the entire route. The tour is being sponsored by the California Fuel Cell Partnership, the Departments of Energy and Transportation and the National Hydrogen Association to promote hydrogen as a way to promote hydrogen's potential as a fuel. VW's John Tillman is writing a tour blog as they cross the country in the Tiguan. The VW press release is after the jump.

[Source: Volkswagen]

Zero Emission Volkswagen Tiguan will Travel to 31 Cities in 13 Days
HERNDON, Va.– Volkswagen's Hydrogen Fuel Cell concept vehicle, the HyMotion Tiguan, will travel from Portland, Maine to Los Angeles, Calif. over the next 13 days as part of the National Hydrogen Road Tour, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Transportation, the California Fuel Cell Partnership, the U.S. Department of Energy and the National Hydrogen Association. A dedicated Web blog, will provide daily updates and photos from the historic trip.
"Volkswagen is thrilled to join with our federal and state partners and other OEMs to be part of this historic event highlighting hydrogen's potential as a future energy source," said John Tillman program manager, U.S. Advanced Powertrain Research Program, Volkswagen Group of America. "Volkswagen has long been committed to fuel efficient vehicles and this is evident in the research and engineering behind the Tiguan HyMotion. With water as the only byproduct, this incredible vehicle has zero emissions and has a top speed of 93 miles per hour."
The Hydrogen Road Tour will visit 31 cities across the country as part of an effort to raise awareness of hydrogen's potential as a fuel and showcase these concept vehicles in real world driving conditions. The Road Tour demonstrates the united contributions of industry, government and academia in advancing hydrogen technology and meeting driving and infrastructure needs to bring these concept vehicles to market in the coming years.
Volkswagen is particularly pleased that the tour will stop in Chattanooga, Tenn., home of its newly announced U.S. production facility. The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga's Center for Energy Transportation and the Environment (CETE) will host the tour and Congressman Zach Wamp, a proponent of alternative fuel research will attend. The event will take place on August 18th from 10:00am to 12:00 noon at the First Tennessee Pavilion and will provide invited guests, the public, and media with hands-on ride and drive experience of the hydrogen vehicles being displayed on this tour.
"Advanced transportation rolling into Chattanooga on the heels of Volkswagen's historic announcement bodes well for the Tennessee Valley Technology Corridor. The vehicles of the future will be built right here in our region as we lead our nation to greater efficiency and sustainability," said Congressman Zach Wamp.
"The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga College of Engineering is proud to be able to partner with the U.S. Department of Transportation to bring the hydrogen tour to Chattanooga. The effort to heighten the public's awareness of the significant progress made in hydrogen-fueled vehicles is significant as we work to address our dependency on petroleum. The decision to include Chattanooga in this campaign showcases the research achievements of our faculty and students and helps focus attention on the outstanding educational program we offer," said Dr. Will Sutton, dean of the College of Engineering at The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.
Volkswagen will join BMW, Mercedes Benz, General Motors, Honda, Hyundai, Kia and Nissan in the tour. Other participants include Arizona Public Service, Centralina, Clean Cities, Chevron, Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology, The Center for Transportation and the Environment, Las Vegas Valley Water District, Maine Hydrogen Energy Center, Maine Clean Communities, Massachusetts Hydrogen Coalition, Missouri S&T, National Hydrogen Association, Powertech Labs, The PublicGen Companies, Shell Hydrogen, South Carolina Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Alliance, Southern Fuel Cell Coalition Triangle Clean Cities, US Army, US Environmental Protection Agency, Air Products and Chemicals, Inc, HF-150 and Linde/BMW liquid refueling station.
Tiguan HyMotion
The Tiguan HyMotion concept features a fuel cell system integrated in the engine compartment capable of 107 horsepower. With an assist from the electric motor, the Tiguan HyMotion advances to 134 horsepower. The top speed of the Tiguan HyMotion is 93 mph and it accelerates from 0 to 60 mph in about 14 seconds.
A lithium ion battery with a charge capacity of 6.8 Ampere-hours (Ah) serves as an auxiliary energy storage device with a maximum power output of 22 kW. The battery is charged by recovered braking energy (recuperation) or by the fuel cell. The HyMotion is a full functioning vehicle that makes no compromises on safety or passenger comfort with the addition of its fuel cell powertrain system. The battery system is installed in the trunk beneath the dual cargo floor available on the production Tiguan. The 700 bar hydrogen tank was integrated in the area beneath the floor in the rear bench seat and cargo area. It can hold up to 3.2 kilograms of hydrogen (H2).
Basic operation of fuel cells
The key component of each individual fuel cell - a number of them are combined into a stack - is a proton-conducting membrane. The membrane is located between each anode and cathode pair. Hydrogen flows on the anode side, and oxygen from air flows into the cell on the cathode side. When many of these cells are combined in a stack, enough energy can be generated to drive a vehicle.
In each cell a catalyst assists the reaction of hydrogen with oxygen to form water on the cathode side. The fuel cell thereby converts chemical energy directly into electrical energy in an oxidation, or "cold" combustion process. The generated "exhaust" is clean water vapor.
The fuel cell is supplied fuel from the compressed hydrogen tank and oxygen from the air by an external air inlet and outputs the electrical energy it generates - the power - via a converter and a downstream electrical system rectifier - to one or more electric motors. The Tiguan HyMotion is nearly silent when driven, and it is emissions-free.
About Volkswagen Group of America, Inc.
Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Volkswagen AG, the world's fourth largest automaker and the largest carmaker in Europe. It houses the U.S. operations of a worldwide family of distinguished and exciting brands including Audi, Bentley, Bugatti, Lamborghini and Volkswagen, as well as VW Credit, Inc. Founded in 1955, the company's headquarters are in Herndon, Va.
Volkswagen Group of America brings to the U.S. vehicles that marry the science of engineering and the art of styling, with the goal of offering attractive, safe, and environmentally sound automobiles that are competitive and set world standards in their respective classes.
The company has approximately 2,500 employees in the United States and sells its vehicles through an 800-strong dealer network. With increasing popularity for its brands in the U.S., the company has set the goal of reaching one million car sales in the country by 2018.
For more information, visit
About The Center for Energy, Transportation and the Environment
The Center for Energy, Transportation and the Environment (CETE) is a program of applied research at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga to develop and deploy technologies that utilize clean and secure sources of energy. CETE resides within the College of Engineering and Computer Science, which strives to serve and support the people, businesses, and industries of the greater Chattanooga metropolitan area. The College exists as the region's principal resource for engineering education, applied research, and service programs that are grounded in the application of scientific and mathematical principles and based on a commitment to interdisciplinary study. The College recognizes the importance of developing clean, renewable energy systems for transportation as a critical element in national and global efforts to reduce the harmful effects of engine exhaust gases while promoting energy conservation and independence.
CETE is intended to leverage the technical skills of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga (UTC) and the application knowledge of a wide range of partners such as the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), Chattanooga Area Regional Transportation Authority (CARTA) and others to complete projects encompassing a variety of renewable energy sources as solutions to this nation's energy challenges.

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