How To Build A Clean Machine

Fuel cells are powering hospitals. Cars are down the road

At this summer's Democratic National Convention, the Chicago Transit Authority will showcase a vehicle that could forever change the grimy image of the urban transit bus. Powered by a fuel cell developed by Ballard Power Systems, based in Vancouver, B.C., its only exhaust is water so pure that CTA President Robert Belcaster actually drank a glassful straight from the tailpipe. "It tasted like the water my mother used to put in her iron," he says. No wonder Belcaster predicts fuel-cell buses could eventually take over Chicago's entire fleet and calls this "the power technology for the next century."

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