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Press Release Source: Millennium Cell

Harris Poll Shows Americans' Early Preferences and Requirements for Hydrogen Fuel-Powered Vehicles
Wednesday June 11, 9:02 am ET

Safety, Cost, and Vehicle Range Are Key Consumer Needs

 

VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Canada--(BUSINESS WIRE)--June 11, 2003--A new Harris poll commissioned by Millennium Cell and U.S. Borax Inc. shows that 85 percent of Americans are willing to try a new hydrogen-based fuel for their vehicles.

Safety was rated (by 83%) as the most important issue in accepting alternative fuels. The second most important issue was cost (78%), although nearly half of the respondents (44%) said they would be willing to pay at least twice as much as they pay now for gasoline.

The findings will be released today by Dr. Stephen S. Tang, Millennium Cell President and CEO, at the Hydrogen and Fuel Cells 2003 Conference and Trade Show, sponsored by the Canadian Hydrogen Association, Fuel Cells Canada, the National Research Council and Natural Resources Canada. Sodium borohydride fuel, in Millennium Cell's Hydrogen on Demand(TM) systems, uniquely meets or exceeds the vehicle range challenge, without compromising safety, and passenger or cargo space.

Millennium Cell is a leading technology company that has created a proprietary technology to safely store, generate and deliver pure hydrogen using sodium borohydride, derived from borates. Borax, the world leader in borate research and development, supplies nearly half the world's demand for these minerals, most of which are used to make fiberglass, glass, detergents, fertilizers and wood preservatives. Consumer acceptance of a borax-based hydrogen fuel is critical to both companies.

"Millennium Cell, with our partner, U.S. Borax, decided to research these consumer preference issues after President Bush emphasized the future of hydrogen-fueled vehicles in his State of the Union Address earlier this year," said Tang. "While the early adopter markets for hydrogen fuel cells are consumer electronics and standby energy systems, it is important for us to know what consumers are thinking about the impending shift in the transportation industry."

"Borax has been part of the American landscape since 1872; we always welcome the opportunity to find out what people think about our products" said Preston Chiaro, Borax Chief Executive. "Most people don't know that borates are essential for plants and part of a healthy human diet. We look forward to creating more awareness about the role borax plays in generating power that is safe for people and the planet."

    Other survey highlights include:

--  Factors considered "extremely important" or "very important" in
    influencing decisions to try a new fuel technology were ranked as
    follows:

        - How safe the fuel is for drivers and passengers (83%)
        - The cost of the fuel (78%)
        - How far you can drive before refueling (75%)
        - The cost of the vehicle (72%)
        - The convenience of refueling (67%)
        - Environmental emissions (67%)
        - Whether the fuel source is domestic instead of foreign (47%)
        - How the new fuel system affects passenger and cargo space
            (47%)
        - Whether or not the fuel can be recycled (45%)

--  Of the 85% of Americans willing to try a new hydrogen-based
    technology to fuel their vehicles, two in five (43%) would be
    "extremely willing" or "very willing".

--  Americans are divided over whether or not they would pay more for
    a new alternative. Nearly half (44 percent) said they would be
    willing to pay from two to five times more than they pay now for
    gasoline.

--  A majority of Americans believe that either the federal or state
    governments should subsidize or pay for part of a new
    hydrogen-based fuel technology. Americans would overwhelmingly
    prefer that their tax dollars subsidize domestic sources of
    energy, rather than foreign sources of energy. Almost half of
    Americans (46%) think that the federal government subsidizes or
    pays for part of our current system of fossil fuels.

--  There is a need for further education regarding hydrogen-based
    fuel technology. Americans have little knowledge of the current
    technology. However, when given a choice, Americans prefer a
    hydrogen fuel source for their vehicle with a range of more than
    300 miles between refueling. Sodium borohydride fuel, in
    Millennium Cell's Hydrogen on Demand(TM) systems, uniquely meets
    or exceeds the 300 mile range challenge, without compromising
    safety, and passenger or cargo space.

The HarrisInteractive poll included a nationally representative sample of 1,006 Americans ages 18 or older. The margin of error for the total sample was plus or minus 3 percent.

About Millennium Cell

Founded in 1998, Millennium Cell is based in Eatontown, NJ and has developed a multi-faceted patent portfolio, which the Company is pursuing in the United States and internationally surrounding a proprietary process called Hydrogen on Demand(TM). The Hydrogen on Demand(TM) system safely generates pure hydrogen from environmentally friendly raw materials. In the process, the energy potential of hydrogen is carried in the chemical bonds of sodium borohydride, which in the presence of a catalyst releases hydrogen. The primary input components of the reaction are water and sodium borohydride, a derivative of borax. Borax is found in substantial natural reserves globally. Hydrogen from this system can be used to power fuel cells or fed directly to internal combustion engines. Millennium cell also has a patented design for boron-based longer-life batteries. For more information visit www.millenniumcell.com or call 866-532-2783.

About U.S. Borax Inc.

Borax operates California's largest open pit mine in Boron, California - one of the richest borate deposits on the planet. The company supplies nearly half the world's demand for refined borates, minerals essential to life and modern living. Borax traces its roots to California's Death Valley, where borate deposits were discovered in 1872. The twenty mule teams Borax used to haul ore out of the remote desert live on as a symbol of the company's commitment to innovation. Today, Borax is acknowledged as the world leader in borate technology, research and development. Technical support for customers, product quality, and supply reliability are the pillars of the company's commercial commitment. We are also committed to ensuring that our practices and products are socially, environmentally and economically sustainable. Borax is a member of the Rio Tinto group.

Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-looking Statements:

This press release may include statements that are not historical facts and are considered ``forward-looking'' within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements reflect Millennium Cell's current views about future events and financial performance. These forward-looking statements are identified by their use of terms and phrases such as ``believe,'' ``expect,'' ``plan,'' ``anticipate'', "on target" and similar expressions identifying forward-looking statements. Investors should not rely on forward-looking statements because they are subject to a variety of risks, uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from Millennium Cell's expectations, and Millennium Cell expressly does not undertake any duty to update forward-looking statements. These factors include, but are not limited to, the following: (i) the cost and timing of development and market acceptance of Millennium Cell's hydrogen fuel storage and delivery system, (ii) the cost and commercial availability of the quantities of raw materials required by the hydrogen fuel storage and delivery systems, (iii) competition from current, improving and alternative power technologies, (iv) our ability to raise capital at the times, in the amounts and at the costs and terms that are acceptable to fund the development and commercialization of our hydrogen fuel storage and delivery system, (v) our ability to protect our intellectual property, (vi) our ability to achieve budgeted revenue and expense amounts and (vii) other factors detailed from time to time in Millennium Cell's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.


Contact:
     Millennium Cell:
     Christine Messina-Boyer
     Office:   732/544-5712
     Cell:     703/217-2707
                or
     Borax:
     Susan Keefe
     Office:  661/287-5484

 



Source: Millennium Cell

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