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LV and OR take the first hydrogen-powered passenger car in Iceland into use

July 16, 2007
Icelandic New Energy and EcoEnergy, in which the energy companies have a large shareholding, have negotiated an agreement to import an additional 11 vehicles, of various types, which will be delivered to diverse entities later in the year. This project, named SMART-H2, aims to increase the number of hydrogen cars in Iceland to at least 30 before 2010.

The car that DaimlerChrysler delivered today is a Mercedes Benz A-Class fuel cell car. Through the operation of this car, the energy companies are joining hands in leading the way toward the use of hydrogen cars. Employees of the companies will undergo training in the operation and maintenance of the hydrogen car until 1 August, at which time the car will be taken into general use as a service vehicle. The companies will lease the car from DaimlerChrysler and will be responsible for collecting data on its operation and performance.

This is an extremely important stage toward the goal set by the Government of Iceland, i.e. that Iceland will be the first society to depend completely on renewable energy. The passenger car project follows naturally in the wake of the hydrogen-fuelled public transport buses which proved so successful. The co-operation of the energy companies with respect to innovations in energy matters has been considerable, and Landsvirkjun and Orkuveita Reykjavíkur have both established policies to set a good example as regards environmental issues. Communications play an important role in this respect, and using a more environmentally friendly fleet of cars, which can utilise domestic environmentally friendly energy sources, is a step in the right direction.

The new hydrogen car is an agile small car from DaimlerChrysler and will be used in the companies' fleet of service vehicles. The car will fill up on hydrogen at the hydrogen refuelling station at Grjótháls where electricity is used to process it from water. The car seats 4 passengers. Both the fuel cell and the hydrogen are stored in the undercarriage, so the luggage space is the same size as in petrol-fuelled cars of the same type. The car can run for 160 km on each tank of fuel. Acceleration from nought to 100 km/h is 14 seconds, and the car can be driven at speeds of up to 140 km/h. The gearless electric motor has an output of 65 KW.

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