They are part of a three-year collaborative development program to test fuel-cell vehicles in the real world.

The vehicles use a Canadian-made Ballard fuel-cell engine and a Dynetek compressed hydrogen storage tank. A regenerative system captures energy spent braking, and an advanced nickel-metal hydride battery handles energy storage. “The technology is exciting, but it's still a long road to mass-market consumption,” says Alain Batty, president and CEO, Ford Motor Co. of Canada Ltd. (www.ford.ca). Five vehicles will be used in the Vancouver program starting early next year. Natural Resources Canada, through the Canadian Transportation Fuel Cell Alliance initiative, will work with Fuel Cells Canada to provide a network of hydrogen-refueling stations in Vancouver.