2009 Volkswagen Passat Sedan KomfortEnlarge Photo
The vehicle in question is the Passat Lingyu prototype sedan, which made its debut at the Olympic Games in Bejing last year. The fuel-cell VW has logged over 50,000 miles so far and uses its advanced powertrain to provide electric propulsion to its wheels. The fuel-cell Passat goes 90 miles per hour and currently can run the tank dry in about 146 miles, although probably a bit shorter if you try it all at 90.
The California Fuel Cell Partnership's goal is to help commercialize the fuel cell and reduce pollution caused by vehicles. But more importantly they are looking at other aspects of this type of car, like response to accidents and infrastructure standardization to maintain safety at the pump and avoid potential confusion and possible injury of rescuers that may come upon an accident scene with a fuel cell vehicle someday in the near future.
By bringing over the 16 fuel-cell powered Passats, Volkswagen has assembled the largest single make fleet of fuel cell vehicles ever to be in one place on earth. The company says they plan to be on the forefront of technological advancement; their recent partnership with Toshiba on EV technology is another example that they are looking into every avenue for potential alternative energy sources for their cars.