Fuel Cells Crank Up the Power

While their commercial use in cars is years away, interest from telecoms and other big buyers might push them out of their niche market

On June 4, a Mercedes A-class subcompact dubbed NECAR-5 pulled up to Capitol Hill. The unassuming, stubby vehicle, which had just completed the first-ever cross-country journey by a hydrogen-fuel-cell-powered vehicle, got the royal treatment. Flashbulbs popped, and Daimler Chrysler executives beamed. Politicians waxed on about the importance of cutting dependence on foreign oil. The news made headlines on all the major wire services, plus a number of newspapers.

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