In a new partnership to be announced tomorrow at the 2002 North American International Auto Show, the U.S. government will work with the nation’s top automakers to replace internal combustion engines with fuel cells. Dubbed Freedom CAR, the partnership replaces former Vice President Al Gore’s Partnership for a New Generation of Vehicles. By focusing specifically on fuel-cell technology, which combines hydrogen and oxygen to power cars without creating pollution, the program could escape some of the criticism of PNGV, which some environmentalists dismissed as a corporate subsidy that never produced more than a few hybrid prototypes. Still, industry insiders predict that it will be at least 10 years before fuel-cell cars hit the mass market. But that didn’t stop General Motors from unveiling a fuel-cell powered car at the auto show yesterday. GM president and CEO Rick Wagoner said the Autonomy “would remove the automobile from the environmental equation.”