Natural Resources Canada

Natural Resources Canada
Government of Canada

Government of Canada
University of Waterloo

University of Waterloo

April 30, 2008 11:08 ET

Natural Resources Canada: University of Waterloo Students Unveil Emission-Free Hydrogen Fuel-Cell Vehicle

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - April 30, 2008) - A team of students from the University of Waterloo (UW) unveiled its innovative emission-free hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle as part of the final year of Challenge X, a multi-year North American competition to develop sustainable transportation solutions.

The Alternative Fuels Team at UW showcased its green vehicle in the Direct Energy Centre at Exhibition Place in Toronto. The team's cutting-edge technology has allowed UW to be the first university in the world to successfully build a hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle that produces no emissions, only water. Visitors at Exhibition Place spent the day riding in - and in some cases driving - the team's vehicle.

"This is a major achievement for these students and innovators who demonstrated that they have the abilities to deliver practical solutions to climate change," said Gary Goodyear, Member of Parliament for Cambridge- Ontario, on behalf of the Honourable Gary Lunn, Minister of Natural Resources. "Our Government congratulates the Waterloo team on their innovative technologies to reduce emissions and provide cleaner air for Canadians, and we wish them luck in the competition."

A top contender in the Challenge X competition, UW is the only Canadian University chosen for the competition between 17 teams in North America. During the design phase, UW's detailed vehicle design process won eight of ten award categories and earned the team first place overall. Since then, the UW team has been working hard to integrate its ambitious design into a stock Chevrolet Equinox.

"This exciting project developed by our students will help keep Canada at the forefront of the automotive industry," said Adel Sedra, Dean of Engineering. "We are proud of these students' remarkable accomplishments and wish the team well at the Challenge X competition."

Major sponsors of the UW team include Natural Resources Canada, Hydrogenics, General Motors, the U.S. Department of Energy, the Government of Ontario, Air Liquide and Marathon Technical Services.

In May, the UW team will travel to New Jersey, New York, Baltimore and Washington, D.C., to showcase their vehicle alongside those of the other 16 teams. This two-week event marks the conclusion of the four-year competition. All teams will compete in more than a dozen static and dynamic evaluations, including tests for towing capacity, acceleration, off-road performance, greenhouse gas impact, fuel economy (well to wheels), emissions, consumer acceptability and marketing and outreach. Teams are also required to give oral presentations and submit a technical paper.

"We have built one of Canada's first passenger hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles and are very keen to see how our vehicle and our technology performs and compares," said James Goh, Business Director of the UW team. "For us, the real value of this competition has been the first-hand exposure to some of the most groundbreaking vehicle technologies being developed to solve the challenges of tomorrow. But of course, we are also in it to win."

The Challenge X competition will help the next generation of engineers develop a greater awareness of automotive technologies for the 21st century. This will help ensure North American technology remains competitive on the global stage. The competition also highlights the importance and effectiveness of uniting industry, government and academia to tackle some of the most challenging problems we are facing today.

To learn more about UWAFT, visit For further information about the competition, please visit


A team of students from the University of Waterloo has unveiled its emission-free hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle as part of Challenge X, a North American competition to develop sustainable transportation solutions. Gary Goodyear, Member of Parliament for Cambridge, on behalf of Natural Resources Minister Gary Lunn praised the students for their innovation and success.

NRCan's news releases and backgrounders are available at

Contact Information

  • Media may contact:
    Natural Resources Canada - Ottawa
    Office of the Minister
    Bernadette Murphy
    A/Director of Communications
    James Goh
    UW Alternative Fuels Team
    John Morris
    UW Media Relations
    The general public may contact:
    Mon-Fri, 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. EDT
    TTY: 613-996-4397 (teletype for the hearing-impaired)