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GOVERNOR JEB BUSH BREAKS GROUND ON FLORIDA’S “HYDROGEN HIGHWAY”

--Public-private collaboration builds state’s first hydrogen energy station--

Orlando, February 18, 2005 /Florida Energy Office/

Florida’s “hydrogen highway” surged forward today as Governor Jeb Bush joined Ford Motor Company Chairman and CEO Bill Ford and executives from ChevronTexaco Corporation and Progress Energy Florida to break ground on the state’s first hydrogen energy station. Slated for completion in 2006, the energy station in bustling metro-Orlando will fuel Ford V-10, E-450 hydrogen-powered shuttle buses transporting visitors at the Orlando International Airport.

“Florida is spurring investment in the development and use of pollution-free hydrogen technology,” said Governor Bush. “Taking this revolutionary energy technology from the lab to the road will provide the cornerstone for a healthier environment, greater energy security and a stronger economy for our state and the nation.”

Florida became the first customer for Ford’s new 12-passenger hydrogen shuttle bus last month, ordering eight of the hydrogen vehicles. With a range of up to 150 miles and near-zero emissions, including carbon dioxide, the Ford hydrogen shuttle bus uses an internal combustion engine designed to run on hydrogen fuel instead of gasoline.

"Ford Motor Company is pleased to support Florida's Hydrogen Highway initiative with the production of our hydrogen-powered vehicles," Ford said. "When innovative technology is supported by forward-thinking leaders in government and private industry, great things begin to emerge."

The visionary plan to couple hydrogen buses with a nearby refueling station is a collaboration between the State of Florida, Ford, ChevronTexaco Technology Ventures and Progress Energy. Using technology designed and integrated by ChevronTexaco Technology Ventures, the new energy station will provide the foundation for a “hydrogen hub” in Central Florida where hydrogen fleets will be concentrated with a series of fueling stations to demonstrate and accelerate commercialization of the clean technology.

"We look forward to working with the State of Florida and the other members of this innovative team on practical solutions to tomorrow's energy needs. This type of hydrogen demonstration project will help validate the technology advancements needed for potential consumer use,” said ChevronTexaco Technology Ventures President Greg Vesey.

Located on property owned by Progress Energy, the state’s first hydrogen energy station will provide a test platform for showcasing the safe and cost-effective production, storage and dispensing of hydrogen as a transportation fuel. Worldwide, energy companies, automakers and petroleum companies are investing more than $2 billion annually to grow the hydrogen industry and diversify with new, sustainable sources of energy.

"Progress Energy is pleased to support Florida's Hydrogen Highway by providing the site for the state's first hydrogen energy station,” said Bill Habermeyer, President and CEO of Progress Energy Florida. “We are grateful to Governor Bush for his leadership on this project, and thank our corporate partners for their collaboration on this exciting initiative."

Florida is on the cutting-edge of hydrogen energy transportation. As part of another project, Ford and BP America last spring selected the Sunshine State as one of only three sites nationwide to demonstrate hydrogen fuel cell cars and fueling stations. The Ford Focus Fuel Cell Vehicles, which emit only steam, will be used by DEP park rangers at Wekiwa Springs State Park and customer service representatives at Progress Energy Florida.

For more information, visit www.FloridaEnergy.org.

 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 the support and development of 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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