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Ford's $2 million USD plug-in hybrid fuel cell vehicle

From top to bottom: fuel cell, hydrogen tank and li-ion battery pack
Edmunds gets a test drive in Ford's multi-million dollar concept

About a month ago, DailyTech first brought you a glimpse at Ford's Edge HySeries crossover utility vehicle (CUV). In its current form, the concept features a hydrogen fuel cell, a 336-volt lithium-ion battery pack and electric motors for propulsion. Ford can also adapt the chassis to accommodate gasoline-electric or diesel-electric hybrid powertrains.

The editors at Edmunds were recently given a chance to drive the $2 million USD Ford Edge HySeries concept vehicle. The 5,400 pound CUV is powered solely by electricity, so power delivery is turbine smooth and quiet. Edmunds likened its forward progress to that of a "horizontal elevator." And by using a hydrogen fuel cell, the Edge HySeries has no harmful emissions and only releases water vapor into the environment.

The Edge HySeries’ powertrain is mounted low in the chassis for better weight distribution. One electric motor is located at each axle while the fuel cell and batteries are located under the driver and passenger seat respectively. The 350-bar hydrogen fuel tank is mounted along the vehicle's centerline under the center console.

Since Edmunds was given the keys to a prototype vehicle, performance wasn't quite up to production levels. The vehicle was admittedly running at 50% of its potential, so acceleration was a bit on the slow side compared to its gasoline-engined counterpart – the additional 870 pounds of heft doesn’t help either. On the other hand, the vehicle was nearly silent under acceleration with just the hum of the fuel cell compressor penetrating the cabin.

With a fully topped off battery and a full hydrogen tank, the HySeries should offer a driving range of 225 miles and a combined city/highway rating of 41MPG. This is quite favorable to the newly revised 2008 EPA ratings for some of the most popular hybrid automobiles on the North American market. The Prius, Camry Hybrid and Civic Hybrid are rated at 46MPG, 34MPG and 42MPG combined respectively under the new EPA guidelines.

With North American vehicles coming up on the short end of the stick with regards to fuel efficiency, it's good to see car manufactures looking towards technology to improve fuel efficiency given America’s apprehension to diesel power in consumer automobiles. Multi-million dollar investments in test vehicles like Ford's Edge HySeries and GM's Volt and Sequel mean that we as consumers will reap the benefits in the near future.



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RE: If they care about economy...
By RogueSpear on 2/26/2007 1:11:10 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I'll stop when it becomes untrue.

On average, I drive 280 miles per month when comes to commuting for work. For the sake of an easy number to work with we can say I drive 400 miles per month if you add on grocery shopping and other miscellaneous errands.

In the winter I average 42MPG and in the summer I average 52MPG. I will give you the benefit of the doubt and say that for the year I get 45MPG. Again I will give you the benefit of the doubt and say a large SUV (H2 or Expedition which are very common around where I live) will average 15MPG for the year - even though it's closer to 10MPG.

So 400 miles every 4 weeks would be 5,200 miles per year. This is actually rather close to what I put on my vehicle annually. That would mean I'm using about 115.5 gallons of gas annually. If I owned one of the aforementioned SUVs, I would be using 346.6 gallons annually. If you were to consider an average number of annual miles per year, 15,000 miles, the numbers seem to make even more of a statement. For my car it's 333.3 gallons and the SUV uses 1,000 gallons. So if I drive 15,000 miles in my car I would still use less gas than the SUV driving 5,200 miles.

What's more important - what I drive or the number of miles I drive? So you can stop with your argument now, because it's untrue.


RE: If they care about economy...
By masher2 (blog) on 2/26/2007 1:41:41 PM , Rating: 3
> "So 400 miles every 4 weeks would be 5,200 miles per year..."

You're an exception then. The average household in 1994 drove 21,100 miles/year, with an average of 1.8 drivers/household, which works out to ~12,000 miles/year per driver.

Thats the average driver. There are plenty of people driving 50K+ miles per year. Some hit 100K miles annually...nearly ten TIMES the national aveage, and 20 times what you drive. See any cars 20 times more efficient than yours?

Replace every SUV on the road with a car getting the average mpg, and you'll cut national gasoline consumption by roughly 10%, assuming current SUV market penetration rates. That assumes that none of those drivers would use the gas savings to drive more, and that none of the trips made in those smaller vehicles would require a second trip as a result.

However, if everyone driving more than the national average of 12,000 miles/year just cut back their mileage to the average rate, we'd save nearly three TIMES as much fuel.

The problem isn't the people below average on MPG. Its those above average on total miles driven.


RE: If they care about economy...
By RogueSpear on 2/26/2007 2:03:51 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Thats the average driver. There are plenty of people driving 50K+ miles per year. Some hit 100K miles annually

As I clearly demonstrated, the more miles you drive per year the more my car makes a difference and the more important your choice of automobile is. Unless you foresee a federal law requiring you work within X miles of your residence there isn't much that can be done about the miles people drive. And you know this and this is why I feel you are purposefully presenting a specious argument.
quote:
However, if everyone driving more than the national average of 12,000 miles/year just cut back their mileage to the average rate, we'd save nearly three TIMES as much fuel.

How about if everyone did that AND switched from a 15MPG SUV to a 45MPG hybrid? Even better wouldn't you say?
quote:
The problem isn't the people below average on MPG. Its those above average on total miles driven.

I would argue that both are problems and that those below average on MPG is the easier one to address.

It's very tempting to reduce myself to slinging insults and sarcasm, but you have not done that yourself so I refrain. So what I'd like to know is this - what is your agenda here? Do you have some sort of financial interest that makes anything eco-friendly a threat? Or do you simply enjoy taking up a position that goes against the grain? In other words you simply like to debate and whether or not your position is correct or incorrect is irrelevant.


RE: If they care about economy...
By masher2 (blog) on 2/26/2007 2:15:54 PM , Rating: 2
> "Unless you foresee a federal law requiring you work within X miles of your residence there isn't much that can be done about the miles people drive"

Sure there is...the old government standby of using taxes to compel behavior. Put a stiff federal tax on gasoline, and you'd see people driving a lot less.

But to justify that, first you have to prove there's a problem in the first place. The OP didn't even trot out the greenhouse gas argument...he simply used the self-centered position that people should drive less so HIS gas is cheaper. Which makes me rather doubt he'd be in favor of a stiff increase in federal gas taxes.


RE: If they care about economy...
By RogueSpear on 2/26/2007 5:22:01 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Sure there is...the old government standby of using taxes to compel behavior. Put a stiff federal tax on gasoline, and you'd see people driving a lot less.

Hey I'm all for it. You?


RE: If they care about economy...
By masher2 (blog) on 2/26/2007 5:42:47 PM , Rating: 2
> "Hey I'm all for it. You? ..."

It certainly makes more sense than a "gas guzzler" tax on a colleague's Ferrari 360, which guzzles about 10 gallons a month, on the rare occasions he drives it. If you're going to tax consumption, tax actual consumption, not potential.


RE: If they care about economy...
By typo101 on 2/27/2007 7:41:58 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
If you're going to tax consumption, tax actual consumption, not potential.


great point. i posted so i can't mark this worth reading, so instead i'll quote you


RE: If they care about economy...
By Kuroyama on 2/26/2007 5:30:50 PM , Rating: 2
When someone drives more during rush hour then not only do they use more gas and drive up gas prices for everyone, but they also waste both their own time and the time for all the people who are stuck in traffic behind them. Putting peak hour tolls on the highway is probably a better solution to this problem than would be a gas tax, but whether it's tolls or a gas tax it still seems perfectly legitimate for government to try to compel the behavior of less driving in urban areas at peak hours.


RE: If they care about economy...
By FredEx on 2/27/2007 12:42:49 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
You're an exception then. The average household in 1994 drove 21,100 miles/year, with an average of 1.8 drivers/household, which works out to ~12,000 miles/year per driver.


You are an exception also, saying you use only 5 gallons a week in an SUV. If you do in fact do as you say, you are very far from the norm. In order for you to be in the norm, using your own number for each person on average driving 12,000 miles a year and you using just 5 gallons of gas a week you'd have to be getting over 46 miles per gallon in your SUV to be an average driver. You ain't gettin' that, and I'd bet not even close to half that. You shoot yourself in the foot trying to use the arguments you use, they are highly flawed and 99.9% BS.


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