Our little island city state has been chosen to be one of five cities in the world that will be trial testing six hydrogen powered Fuel-cell Mercedes-Benz A-class cars. The prototype A-classes will arrive in May and will be distributed among six companies: the National Environment Agency, the Conrad Centennial hotel, Michelin Asia Pacific, Lufthansa, BP and DaimlerChrysler Asia. The Highway understands that the Conrad plans to allow its guests to use the F-cell Mercedes to drop them off at various locations in the city. Each company will be providing DaimlerChrysler with feedback on how these cars perform.

These F-cell A-classes will be joining the increasing number of "green" vehicles that are being trial tested on our local roads. Honda started their car sharing scheme, Honda Diracc, two years ago, and currently runs 30 hybrid petrol/electric Honda Civics. Last year NTUC, City Cab and TIBS started trial testing a total of eight Toyota Crown taxis that are powered by compressed natural gas (CNG).

Running the fuel-cell project also means that Singapore will also have the first public hydrogen gas station, which will be run by BP. With this facility, perhaps other car manufacturers who have fuel-cell prototypes of their own will be encouraged to trial test them here as well.