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April 23, 2008

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Ford Focus Fuel Cell - Hydrogen For The Masses

By Rebecca Kavanagh, FCN - Ford Motor Company is not content to take a backseat position in protecting the environment. With the world’s enormous reliance on fossil fuels, Ford has no choice but to seriously contend with the matter of global warming. That’s why the company has launched an urgent, multilevel approach to finding solutions.

Ford’s strategy for sustainability is built around a variety of technologies that attack this challenge from several angles. Today’s focus is:

Hydrogen-Powered Vehicles

Ford began working on hydrogen technology in the early 1990s. The company’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 the company’s first drivable hydrogen fuel cell vehicle.

The company currently 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 fleet has accumulated more than 650,000 miles since its inception. With this fleet on the ground, information is being generated in different local environmental conditions that can be integrated into future fuel cell vehicle propulsion systems.

In addition, Ford recently partnered with the Wayne County Airport Authority and the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments to deliver two Ford E-450 hydrogen-fueled buses for use at Detroit Metropolitan Airport. As travelers are shuttled between terminals on the eco-friendly buses, CO2 emissions are reduced by 99.7 percent.

Powered by a 6.8-liter V-10 internal combustion engine that runs exclusively on hydrogen fuel, the highly efficient Ford E-450 shuttle buses have near zero emissions of regulated pollutants and greenhouse gases, and are also all-weather capable.

Ford has also supplied these ultra-clean buses to sites in locations such as Orlando, Las Vegas and Canadian provinces.

“Ford is the world’s first automaker to deliver commercial vehicles powered by internal combustion engines that are fueled exclusively with hydrogen,” says Sue Cischke, senior vice president, Sustainability, Environment and Safety Engineering. “These buses represent part of our strategy and commitment to delivering transportation solutions that emit less CO2 and reduce our dependence on oil.”

Photo: Ford

(April 20, 2008)


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