Passat Lingyu

We expected to see the hydrogen fuel cell-powered versions of the Passat Lingyu at the Los Angeles Auto Show last fall. We didn't spot any back then, but these fuel cell VWs should be easier to find in California now that Volkswagen Group of America has announced that 16 of them will be used for fleet demonstrations by the California Fuel Cell Partnership in Sacramento. The Partnership believes that hydrogen vehicles are "the best option" for full-function vehicles that also have reduced emissions.

The hydrogen Passat was developed a few years ago by VW engineers working with researchers from Tongji University and was used during the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. It can reach 90 mph and go 146 miles between refills. The 16 Chinese vehicles bring VW's fuel cell fleet at the California Fuel Cell Partnership to 24. More details after the jump.

[Source: Volkswagen Group of America, Inc.]

PRESS RELEASE:

Volkswagen Group of America Announces U.S. Arrival of 16 Passat Lingyu Fuel Cell Vehicles

- Zero Emissions Vehicles to Participate in Fuel Cell Demonstrations in Sacramento -

HERNDON, Va., Feb. 20 /PRNewswire/ -- Volkswagen Group of America announced today that 16 Passat Lingyu vehicles will participate in fleet demonstrations at the California Fuel Cell Partnership in Sacramento, Calif. These prototype vehicles were developed in China and debuted at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.

The Passat Lingyu fuel cell vehicles are being added to the existing fleet of eight Volkswagen fuel cell vehicles also at the California Fuel Cell Partnership. In total, these 24 vehicles create the largest fleet of fuel cell cars from a single manufacturer at one location anywhere in the world.

"The Passat Lingyu prototype reflects Volkswagen Group's long standing commitment to develop new solutions for a clean future," said Professor Dr. Jurgen Leohold, Head of Volkswagen Group Research.

Volkswagen Group worked with scientists at Tongji University to create these fuel cell vehicles that are based on one of China's best-selling Volkswagen platforms. The Passat Lingyu is capable of traveling at highway speeds up to 90 mph and as far as 146 miles on a single tank of fuel. The only byproduct released from the tailpipe is water and oxygen.

"These vehicles logged nearly 50,000 miles in Beijing - with zero harmful emissions. We can think of no better place to next exhibit this environmentally-friendly technology than at the California Fuel Cell Partnership," said John Tillman, program manager for Volkswagen's U.S. Advanced Powertrain Research Program. In addition to working with the California Fuel Cell Partnership, the company also operates a number of university research projects in the state.

In a quest toward sustainable mobility, Volkswagen Group is exploring a number of new technologies to achieve greater fuel efficiency and reduce harmful emissions. The company's commitment to the environment also covers the entire lifespan of a car, from the earliest stages of the manufacturing process to the vehicle's final trip to the recycling yard.

"We will not achieve sustainability alone," said Anna Schneider, director of government-industry relations for Volkswagen Group of America. "We need global solutions to global problems and these international and domestic partnerships are absolutely critical to advancing our environmental objectives."

About Volkswagen Group of America, Inc.

Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Volkswagen AG, the world's third 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 www.volkswagengroupamerica.com.

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