Doug Bedell — August 27, 2008, 7:39 am

Mailmen Testing Hydrogen Cars

Because security officials may be interested in the prospects for offsetting the costs of gasoline in fleet vehicles, here’s news of a test the U.S. Postal Service is starting on a hydrogen-powered car.

Every one-cent increase in the price of gasoline increases the Postal Service’s fleet (220,000 vehicles) operating costs by $8 million-a-year. How’s that for exposure to energy costs!

Thus, the Postal Service has agreed with General Motors on a two-year test of a fourth-generation Chevrolet Equinox fuel cell electric car. The Equinox runs on hydrogen and the post office could help establish a hydrogen delivery system if the vehicles become commercially feasible.

In all, GM is testing 100 fuel cell vehicles, mostly in the Los Angeles area. It always seems that alternatives to gasoline are just over the horizon. But security officers likely are peering as hard as anyone into our energy future to sense what their cost-saving options might be.

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