Chrysler has a long history of fuel cell research. In 1998, Chrysler built the Natrium concept. The Natrium was the first functional fuel cell-powered vehicle with on-board hydrogen reformation. The concept car was based on the popular Chrysler Town & Country minivan. The on board reformation system addressed the issues with range and storage of hydrogen gas by accumulating hydrogen in a solid form and releasing it when needed.
Multiple hydrogen fuel cell-powered concept vehicles have been built by Chrysler engineers. When Chrysler and Mercedes-Benz merged in 1998 to become DaimlerChrysler and the two companies combined efforts on fuel cell technology. Together, they operated the largest fuel cell vehicle fleet in the world – more than 100 fuel cell vehicles gaining valuable practical experience through day-to-day operations. Chrysler supports the California Hydrogen Highway and the Department of Energy Hydrogen Learning Demonstration Program. These collaborations enable Chrysler and its partners to gain extensive operational familiarity with fuel cell vehicles and hydrogen refueling stations.
Chrysler pioneered fuel cell vehicle technology more than 10 years ago. Fuel cells release energy from the reaction of hydrogen with a catalyst and oxygen. This clean technology operates at a high level of efficiency and is true zero-emission. Hydrogen-powered fuel cell vehicles emit only pure water vapor as exhaust. Fuel cell systems are part of Chrysler's advanced-propulsion technology umbrella, which includes efficient gasoline engines, advanced diesels and hybrid powertrain systems.