ITD News
Associated Press
News Link

High school students hear about fuel-cell powered cars

Energy: Federal and state energy leaders share fuel cell technology with Boise students

By Tammie Knauff
Idaho Press Tribune

BOISE – Timberline High School students got a glimpse of the future of transportation on Thursday when the U.S. Department of Energy visited the school.

William D. Magwood, the director of the office of nuclear energy, science and technology for the U.S. Department of Energy, discussed hydrogen fuel cell technology.

The department is promoting the study of hydrogen possibilities in schools, and is encouraging more high school students to become scientists and engineers.

Fuel cells are used in buses in Los Angeles, Chicago and Germany. Researchers are working to make them affordable for the average consumer.

A fuel cell is an electrochemical device that converts hydrogen directly into electricity in a reaction with oxygen.

Fuel cells provide power as long as fuel is available, and the fuel is hydrogen. The only emissions would be water and heat.

Canyon County commissioners do not see the technology helping the Treasure Valley's air quality because of the current price.

"The fuel cell technology is out there," County Commissioner Matt Beebe said.

"But it is very expensive and is going to be a number of years down the road."

To learn more about hydrogen fuel technology, visit and

Automakers across America are working with government researchers to develop prototypes realistic for U.S. drivers.

A Toyota and Hummer appeared at the Los Angeles auto show in January. Both operate on some form of hydrogen fuel. The hydrogen Hummer was converted to run on pure hydrogen.

DaimlerChrysler plans to have about 100 vehicles traveling the highways by the end of the year to help with an understanding of how the fuel cell vehicles operate.

And President Bush is proposing research funding over the next five years to help the U.S. develop the technology.
"Public infrastructure needs to be set up to move the hydrogen around," Magwood said.