Hydrogen Fuel Getting Test Drive In Region

CLEVELAND (AP) - A demonstration project on the next generation of car fuel is planned near Interstate 71 and the Ohio Turnpike.

The hydrogen refueling station to be built in about two years would be the first of four proposed for Ohio.

Backers of hydrogen fuel intend to use the project to promote public acceptance of fuel cell-driven cars powered by hydrogen, which emits no pollutants.

"It's something we need to do," said Jim Davis, who heads AltFuel Solutions of Toledo, which has received initial state funding for the $6.8 million project. "We're doing something positive for the future that will bring it closer to us quicker."

The station will have three fuel pumps for hydrogen and three for compressed natural gas, which is already used to power buses and cars.

The project fits in with a $100 million, three-year fuel-cell initiative announced by the state in May and with Ohio's ongoing efforts to promote alternative-fuel vehicles, said Bill Manz, commercial industrial program manager of the Ohio Department of Development's office of Energy Efficiency. The agency gave AltFuel $45,000 to plan the project.

(Copyright 2002 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)