First ‘green’ vehicle begins trials

THE first vehicle in a small fleet of experimental, zero-pollution cars was handed over to the National Environment Agency (NEA) at the Botanic Gardens on Monday.  

The Mercedes Benz fuel-cell car – built at a reported price tag of $1.8mil (RM3.9mil) – runs on hydrogen, which combines with oxygen in the air to power the engine. 

ZERO-POLLUTION CAR: Journalists taking photographs of the new Mercedes fuel-cell car which runs on hydrogen, in Singapore on Monday. — STpic

Along with energy, only water and steam are produced. Cars powered by conventional fuels such as petrol and diesel produce noxious fumes. 

Six such cars, which have maximum speeds of 140kph, will be based in Singapore, as part of a global DaimlerChrysler venture. 

Also launched on Monday, in Upper East Coast Road, was the first hydrogen-refuelling facility here.  

Speaking at the launch, Environment Minister Lim Swee Say noted that “besides offering greater convenience to vehicle operators, co-location with existing infrastructure could reduce upfront investment and lower operating cost”. – The Straits Times/Asia News Network  

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