Ford Launches Hydrogen Internal Combustion Engines

* Ford is the only automaker active in developing advanced gasoline hybrid-electric vehicles, hydrogen internal combustion engine vehicles, clean diesel, ethanol and hydrogen fuel cell-powered vehicles.

DEARBORN HEIGHTS, Mich., July 17 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Ford (NYSE: F) today kicked off production of dedicated hydrogen fueled V-10 engines, making it the first automaker in the world to do so.

"This engine represents a significant milestone in Ford's research efforts in hydrogen technology," said Dr. Gerhard Schmidt, vice president, Research & Advanced Engineering, Ford Motor Company. "We have learned a great deal about hydrogen powered internal combustion engines during the development phase of this engine."

The supercharged 6.8-liter V-10 engine will power Ford's E-450 hydrogen fueled shuttle buses. The buses are scheduled to be delivered to fleet customers later this year, first in Florida and then in other locations across North America. Hydrogen internal combustion engine technology represents an important step toward enabling hydrogen to become a viable motor fuel.

Hydrogen fueled internal combustion engines have many advantages including high efficiency, all-weather capability, and near zero emissions of regulated pollutants and greenhouse gases (CO2). They can also be easily hybridized for further gains in fuel efficiency.

While the hydrogen internal combustion engine shuttle buses will provide valuable real-world experience, Ford is also conducting research into next generation hydrogen internal combustion engines, including features such as direct injection to enhance power and fuel economy. "We have only scratched the surface in terms of what can be achieved with hydrogen internal combustion engine technology and are serious about maintaining our edge in this field," said Vance Zanardelli, chief engineer, Hydrogen Internal Combustion Engines, Ford Motor Company.

Hydrogen Part of a Broader Effort

Ford's strategy for alternative fuels is built around multiple technologies, including hydrogen internal combustion engines. This flexible approach allows the company to meet goals for customer needs, environmental impact and shareholder interests. The strategy does not focus on one catch- all solution, but offers a flexible array of options, including hybrids, clean diesels, bio-diesels, advanced engine and transmission technologies and E85 ethanol.

Ford's first hydrogen internal combustion engine demonstration vehicle, released in 2001, was based on a lightweight aluminum sedan body, which also was used in the development of hydrogen fuel cell technology. Subsequent projects included the Model U concept, first showcased at the 2003 North American International Auto Show, several Focus based demonstration vehicles, a V-6 powered tractor in use at Orlando International Airport as well as two hybridized transit buses. At the 2006 North American International Auto Show, Ford displayed the Super Chief Concept, which demonstrated Tri-Flex technology, which allows a vehicle to run on hydrogen, E85 ethanol or gasoline.

Ford partner Mazda recently delivered its RX-8 Hydrogen RE to its first two corporate customers. These vehicles, equipped with a rotary engine, feature a dual-fuel system that allows the driver to select either hydrogen or gasoline with the flick of a switch.

Additionally, the company also has a fleet of 30 hydrogen powered Focus fuel cell vehicles on the road as part of a worldwide, seven-city program to conduct real world testing of fuel cell technology. The 30-car fleet has accumulated more than 240,000 miles since its inception.

Ford also offers gasoline-electric hybrids including the Escape Hybrid and Mercury Mariner Hybrid. The company will also offer hybrid versions of the Ford Fusion and Mercury Milan in 2008.

Web site: http://www.ford.com/


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  • October 09, 2008
    Reviewed by 'Richie'
    Hydrogen has been both a plague and a blessing in the world. Once used to fly a Zeppelin to an explosive end and today an elusive promise for future energy needs. A very interesting source of energy and it must be persued because it is so plentyful. Whether we will ever find a way to produce it efficiently is another problem. Any high school kid can make hydrogen gas with electiricity but at a very low efficiency curve. I would only submit to Ford Motor Company that they should consider the solar energy power poured down upon the deserts to gain the free power to perform the catlalyst to convert water into its basic components. Free energy for the making of the fuel we need so bad. Since Hydrogen is so explosive why not just temper it with something to lessen its dange. I applaud Ford for taking the bold step necessary to think beyond the limitations of the boxed in intellects. Try something new and make it work. Good Luck Ford.

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