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Automotive Intelligence News

News of  August 22, 2001


 


Ford P2000 Hydrogen ICE Car Debuts

Photo: Ford

DEARBORN, Mich. - Ford Motor Company today is introducing a new car with a hydrogen internal combustion engine that could help bridge the gap between gasoline vehicles and the fuel cell vehicles of the future.

The P2000 hydrogen internal combustion engine (H2ICE) concept vehicle offers dramatically decreased emission levels and improved engine efficiency. The ease of manufacture and similarity in operation to gasoline products means hydrogen ICEs could be used to encourage the growth of a hydrogen fueling infrastructure while the technology for long-term transportation solutions, such as hydrogen fuel cells, continues to mature.

"Our H2ICE technology could be used to take the chicken out of the chicken and egg debate about which comes first, the hydrogen fueled vehicle or the hydrogen fueling infrastructure," says Vance Zanardelli, Ford's manager of Transmission and Engine Systems Research.

Ford's P2000 H2ICE uses a modified version of the Zetec 2.0-liter gasoline engine found in Ford's Focus.  The engine's efficiency is improved by 25-30 percent over its gasoline counterpart. The vehicle is currently equipped with a conventional fuel storage system containing 87 liters of hydrogen at a pressure of 3,600 psi for an operating range of 62 miles.  Engineers will soon install an upgraded fuel storage system designed to increase range to 150 miles or more.

Using clean-burning hydrogen as a fuel, H2ICE emissions are a fraction of those from conventional gasoline engines.  Although there is a small amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) gas emissions resulting from the engine oil present in the cylinders of modern engines, it would take over 300 H2ICE vehicles to emit the same amount of CO2 as one gasoline fueled vehicle.

Hydrocarbon (HC) and carbon monoxide (CO) regulated emissions are one-tenth of SULEV requirements.  Nitric oxide (NOx) regulated emissions are one-fourth that of gasoline and with moderate aftertreatment would certify at SULEV levels as well.

"While we still believe fuel cells are the best hope for a zero-emission product to replace the internal combustion engine in the future," says John Wallace, Executive Director of Ford's TH!NK Group, "The P2000 H2ICE offers a great opportunity to improve hydrogen infrastructure with a vehicle that is comparatively easy to produce and seamless in customer operation."

(Aug. 21, 2001)

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