Company CEO Begins Hydrogen Vehicle Outreach Program in Pennsylvania
April 14, 2010 Lehigh Valley, Pa.
When Air Products’ (NYSE: APD) Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer John McGlade drove to work this morning, he did so with an eye on the future and with the eyes of a lot of fellow drivers watching him. As the top executive for Air Products, the world’s leading hydrogen provider, McGlade is quite familiar with hydrogen’s potential for leading the transformation to cleaner energy. Today McGlade initiated a hydrogen outreach program by traveling to work in an Air Products-branded Chevrolet fuel cell vehicle. Powered by hydrogen, the vehicle’s only emission is water vapor.
“It is a quiet ride with more pep and acceleration than I expected. It‘s been fun to see the reaction of other drivers since the car’s decals definitely catch your eye,” said McGlade. “We think the hydrogen economy can move from novelty to an established alternative energy source. As the leader in providing hydrogen and its fueling infrastructure, we want to do our part to increase the public’s awareness about advancements in this technology.”
Hydrogen fuel cells use only hydrogen for fuel and produce only water vapor emissions. Hydrogen-powered fuel cells offer a sustainable technology, leading to a cleaner environment. “The use of hydrogen in fuel cell electric vehicles is a great environmental story and provides society a sustainable energy opportunity. From a business standpoint, we have a large number of customers, suppliers and partners visit our headquarters. There is no better way to talk about and demonstrate our technology and hydrogen’s capabilities than to have a vehicle, a bus and a fueling station on-site,” said McGlade.
The Air Products-branded fuel cell vehicle is an extension of GM’s highly successful “Project Driveway” program, which has amassed more than 1.3 million miles of real-world driving. GM launched a test fleet of Chevrolet Equinox Fuel Cell electric vehicles in New York City, Washington, D.C., and Southern California in late 2007. Project Driveway is the largest fuel cell transportation demonstration in the world.
“As we move to a production-intent fuel cell system, there is still a lot of value in strategically placing the current vehicles with businesses like Air Products,” said Charles Freese, GM executive director of Global Fuel Cell Activities. “We look forward to the additional learning that our business-to-business program yields.”
The hydrogen-powered Chevy fuel cell electric vehicle at Air Products’ headquarters joins a hydrogen-powered shuttle bus that has been operating on campus and as part of local community outreach educational programs for nearly two years. Both vehicles will fuel at the company’s hydrogen fueling station, which in 2008 hosted a nationwide road tour event and refueled the hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles of seven automakers. Details on Air Products’ hydrogen fueling technologies are provided at www.airproducts.com/h2energy.
Just as the bus is seen at community events and programs, the Chevy fuel cell vehicle will also be part of outreach efforts led by Air Products’ employees. “People have a lot of questions about hydrogen and fuel cells. They have heard about these cars and read about the technology. What a better way to rapidly increase learning than to have our employees, who understand our role in the technology, be able to drive this vehicle to work, to the grocery store, to schools, youth sporting events and other public programs. Getting this vehicle to these public places will generate the educational opportunity to discuss this alternative energy technology,” said David J. Taylor, vice president, Energy Businesses at Air Products.
Air Products, the leading hydrogen supplier to refineries to assist in making cleaner burning transportation fuels, has unique experience in the hydrogen fueling industry. In fact, in certain market applications, fueling rates of over 10,000 refills per year are occurring. These applications provide an opportunity to assess consumer experiences, evaluate product performance and advance product improvements. The company has placed over 110 hydrogen fueling stations in the United States and 18 countries worldwide. Cars, trucks, vans, buses, scooters, forklifts, locomotives, planes, other material handling equipment, and even submarines have been fueled with this trend-setting technology that involves Air Products’ know-how, equipment and hydrogen. Use of the company’s technology is increasing and is currently at 175,000 hydrogen fills per year.
Air Products has more than 50 years of hydrogen experience and is on the forefront of hydrogen energy technology development. Air Products has an extensive patent portfolio with over 50 patents in hydrogen dispensing technology. Air Products provides liquid and gaseous hydrogen, and HCNG (hydrogen/compressed natural gas) fueling, and has developed a variety of enabling devices and protocols for fuel dispensing at varied pressures. Hydrogen for these stations is delivered to a site via truck, produced by natural gas reformation, biomass conversion, or by electrolysis, including electrolysis that is solar and wind driven.
Air Products (NYSE:APD) serves customers in industrial, energy, technology and healthcare markets worldwide with a unique portfolio of atmospheric gases, process and specialty gases, performance materials, and equipment and services. Founded in 1940, Air Products has built leading positions in key growth markets such as semiconductor materials, refinery hydrogen, home healthcare services, natural gas liquefaction, and advanced coatings and adhesives. The company is recognized for its innovative culture, operational excellence and commitment to safety and the environment. In fiscal 2009, Air Products had revenues of $8.3 billion, operations in over 40 countries, and 18,900 employees around the globe. For more information, visit www.airproducts.com.
NOTE: This release may contain forward-looking statements. Actual results could vary materially, due to changes in current expectations.