ROCHESTER, NY– Monroe County is feeling pain at the pump to the tune of almost $1.3 million a year, and that’s why County Executive Maggie Brooks is exploring fuel cell technology, according to

The county will take part in GM’s “Project Driveway” by adding a fuel cell car sometime this year to the county’s fleet. It’s a $100,000 investment.

Brooks said, as quoted by, “It’s being financed through our Department of Environmental Services and Pure Waters, which means this is not a taxpayer funded research program.”

In development at GM’s Honeoye Falls plant, fuel cell technology uses hydrogen and oxygen to power an electric engine. There is no need to plug it in. The unusually clean engine on this prototype has a life span of about 150,000 miles and can travel well over 200 miles before refueling. Start up is quiet, and inside, the only noticeable difference is a power gauge where the tachometer would be. What’s even better is that the only exhaust is water.


Monroe County already has 16 hybrid vehicles in its fleet of 750. Brooks has set a goal of having an all-green fleet by 2012.

Monroe County is the only government in the state to use fuel cell technology.