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Post Office to Use Hydrogen Fueled Minivans to Deliver Mail in D.C.

June 15, 2004, (General Motors Press Release) The United States Postal Service will lease a fuel cell vehicle from General Motors Corp. to deliver mail in and around the nation's capital, according to a joint agreement announced today.

As part of the two-year agreement, the U.S. Postal Service will use a GM minivan, powered by a fuel cell. This is the first commercial application of a GM fuel cell vehicle in the U.S.

"The Postal Service sees this as an important test for GM's fuel cell vehicle. The ever-increasing cost of fuel and the need to protect our environment highlights the need to move forward with this initiative," said Thomas G. Day, Vice President, Engineering. "We are delighted to add this vehicle to the 30,000 alternative fuel vehicles already delivering the mail."

Other applications of GM fuel cells are with Federal Express Corp. (FedEx) and Dow Chemical Co. FedEx has been using a GM minivan to deliver packages in Tokyo for the last year. Dow Chemical is using a GM fuel cell to help power up one of the world's largest chemical plants at a 30-square-mile site in Freeport, Texas.

"The U.S. Postal Service is a perfect partner at this stage in fuel cell development," said Larry Burns, GM vice president of research & development and planning. "Unlike many fleets, USPS uses retail gas stations, yet provides new opportunities to prove out durability and performance. The Postal Service operates everywhere in the U.S., giving us maximum flexibility to expand the relationship in areas or regions where a hydrogen infrastructure gets kicked off."

Routine delivery of the mail in local neighborhoods also will help confirm the safety of fuel cell vehicles to the public, Burns said.

The U.S. Postal Service will begin using the fuel cell vehicle in September, which will coincide with the opening of the nation's first hydrogen pump at a retail gas station. Last year, GM and Shell Hydrogen announced a partnership to provide hydrogen for a GM fleet of fuel cell vehicles operating around Washington, D.C.

General Motors Corp. (NYSE: GM - News), the world's largest vehicle manufacturer, employs about 325,000 people globally. Founded in 1908, GM has been the global automotive sales leader since 1931. GM today has manufacturing operations in 32 countries and its vehicles are sold in 192 countries. In 2003, GM sold nearly 8.6 million cars and trucks, about 15 percent of the global vehicle market. GM's global headquarters are at the GM Renaissance Center in Detroit. More information on GM and its products can be found on the company's corporate website at www.gm.com .

Since 1775, the U.S. Postal Service has connected friends, families, neighbors and businesses by mail. It is an independent federal agency that visits 142 million homes and businesses every day and is the only service provider delivering to every address in the nation. The Postal Service receives no taxpayer dollars for routine operations, but derives its operating revenues solely from the sale of postage, products and services. With annual revenues of more than $68.9 billion, it is the world's leading provider of mailing and delivery services, offering some of the most affordable postage rates in the world. The U.S. Postal Service delivers more than 46 percent of the world's mail volume -- some 202 billion letters, advertisements, periodicals and packages a year -- and serves seven million customers each day at its 40,000 retail locations nationwide.

 Attention Educators

How do your students envision the future of the Hydrogen Highway?

We welcome essays and pictures from all ages elementary school to graduate school. Our favorites will be posted.

 Our Mission:

• Excite the imagination of the American and world-wide public to envision a future in which the majority of our energy needs are provided by a clean, renewable resource.

• To encourage investment in hydrogen fuel cell technology and the infrastructure needed to create a hydrogen-based economy.

•To hasten consumer acceptance of these new technologies because they will result in a better future for us all.

 
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