Approximately half way through its epic 10,000 km journey, the Fuel Cell Marathon, powered by GM arrived in the UK on 20 May to much excitement and critical acclaim.

The arrival of the highly anticipated HydroGen3 Zafira was marked by a drive through central London to take in the sights and sounds of the capital. The car then parked up at Imperial College, the UK’s leading engineering institute.

With an impressive exhibition trailer in tow explaining how fuel cells work and their vast potential, the Fuel Cell Marathon attracted a large crowd throughout the day with everyone – including both students and passers-by – keen to learn more about this exciting technology. All were welcome to browse around the information and look around the Marathon car.

Such a high profile event also aroused interest in Westminster where MPs – including Andrew Miller, Peter Ainsworth and John Thurso – gathered to look at the HydroGen3 Zafira and take it for a drive around. Not one of the guests was left unimpressed by the car’s practicality, drivability and silent running.

The Marathon was also marked by a visit from GM’s vice president for research & development and planning, Larry Burns. With interest in alternative fuels growing daily Larry hosted a lecture for the students of Imperial College along with Dr David Hart, head of fuel cell and hydrogen research at Imperial College. The evening was spent discussing the impact of new fuel cell technology and its potential impact on the UK’s infrastructure.

Vauxhall’s manager of corporate responsibility, Cheryl Foreman, commented: ‘We’re so pleased with the reception the Fuel Cell Marathon has received. Hydrogen power is an integral part of GM’s future fuels programme and the immensely positive response this event has had from MPs, members of the public and the students at Imperial is further proof that our long-term technology hopes are regarded very favourably by everyone.’

The Fuel Cell Marathon now moves on to Paris, from where it will continue its journey to western Portugal having covered a total of 10,000 km and visited 14 cities.

Published : 22/05/04 Author : Melanie Carter

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