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Hundreds of alternative-fuel vehicles hit road
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China's Minister of Science and Technology Wan Gang, himself an auto technologist who had worked for Audi for a decade, test drives a fuel cell car in Beijing on Friday, July 11, 2008.

About 500 vehicles that run on a range of alternative fuels were handed over to the Beijing Organizing Committee for the Games of the 29th Olympiad on Friday. They'll provide what's been billed as zero-emission transportation during the Games.

According to Minister of Science and Technology Wan Gang, the vehicles include 53 electric buses, 25 hybrid buses, 75 hybrid taxis, 20 fuel-cell cars and more than 320 other electric vehicles.

The eco-friendly traffic plan for the Beijing Games is said to feature the largest range of models and most advanced technology in the event's history. Many renowned auto research organizations, universities and companies are involved in this project, including Tsinghua and Tongji universities, Chery Automobile, Chang'an Motors and others.

Wan said, "As for the development of science and technology, it is not just an exhibit during the Olympics, it is also the start of an industry."

Among the vehicles, six car models from six companies are waiting for approval to start manufacturing.

Wan said if the vehicles worked well during the Games, their success would take China's alternative-fuel vehicle industry to a higher level and make the vehicle industry more internationally competitive.

The vehicles will remain in service after the Games, Wan said.

Television Celebrity Yang Lan, image ambassador for the application of alternative fuel-powered vehicles for the 29th Olympiad, takes a drive in a hybrid electric vehicle in Beijing on Friday, July 11, 2008.

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