Friday, July 13, 2007

New Hydrogen-Powered Land Speed Record from Ford

new hydrogen-powered Ford

Ford Motor Company will take its 10 years of hydrogen research expertise to the Bonneville Salt Flats in August in an attempt to set the world land speed record in a hydrogen fuel cell powered Ford Fusion.

The Ford Fusion Hydrogen 999 fuel cell car - a collaboratively engineered racer with Ballard, Roush and Ohio State University - is one of two vehicles Ford's fuel cell research team is helping prepare to set world land speed records. Ford researchers also are working with Ohio State University student engineers on its Buckeye Bullet 2, a fuel cell-powered racer that will compete for a similar world record in the unlimited class category.

"Racing is part of Ford Motor Company's DNA so it seemed only natural for us to build a fuel cell race car that runs on hydrogen, a fuel that could someday play a key role in meeting the energy needs of the transportation sector," said Gerhard Schmidt, vice president, Research & Advanced Engineering for Ford Motor Company. "Our goal in attempting this record is to further expand our technological horizons with fuel cell powered vehicles. The collaboration with Ohio State University also affords us an opportunity to work closely with a prestigious university, which provides out-of-the-box thinking from student engineers and helps us recruit talented young people to work at Ford Motor Company."

The land speed record attempt will take place during Bonneville Speed Week from Aug. 10-17. The attempt will be sanctioned by the Southern California Timing Association®.

The Ford Fusion Hydrogen 999 land speed record vehicle was designed by Ford engineers and fabricated and built by Roush in Allen Park, Michigan. Ohio State students are providing the design of the 770 hp electric motor, while Ballard is supplying the hydrogen fuel cells. Ford retiree Rick Byrnes, a veteran Bonneville racer, will pilot the Ford Fusion Hydrogen 999 car on its record attempt.

Ohio State students have designed their unlimited class vehicle, dubbed Buckeye Bullet 2, from the ground up. Ballard donated the hydrogen fuel cells for Ohio State's car, Roush its engineering services and Ford has provided overall project coordination and expertise in fuel cell drivetrains.

In 2004, Ohio State students set the unlimited land speed record for an electric vehicle by running 315 mph in the first Buckeye Bullet, dubbed BB1.

Hydrogen Part of a Broader Effort

Ford's strategy for alternative fuels is built around multiple technologies, including hydrogen fuel cells. 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 includes a flexible array of options, including hybrids, E85 ethanol, clean diesels, bio-diesels, advanced engine and transmission technologies and hydrogen fuel cells.

The company already 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 540,000 miles since its inception in 2005.

Ford also is conducting tests with the world's first plug-in hybrid electric vehicle, the Ford Edge with HySeries Drive. The Ford Edge with HySeries Drive uses a series electric drivetrain with an onboard hydrogen fuel cell generator to give the vehicle a range of 225 miles with zero emissions.

Currently, Ford 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.


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