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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 masher2 on 2/26/2007 4:55:14 PM , Rating: 1
> "You say "it's not what people drive it's how many miles they drive..."

No. I say that how much people drive is the most important factor in gasoline consumption. And it is-- by far. The average person in 1950 drove less than 3000 miles/year. Today, our cars are almost twice as efficient...but we drive four times as many miles.

> "I have a bit more going on in my life than to spend the day preparing a thesis as to why you're wrong..."

Ahh, the "I'm too busy to prove you wrong" story, eh?

> "And you still have chosen not to reveal what your true agenda is in this whole matter..."

Simply the desire to expose hypocrisy. It turns my stomach to have simple-minded people focus on symbols over substance. And that's exactly what the SUV is...a symbol, that lacks any real substance on the issue of gasoline consumption. Eliminate it totally, and in five years time, our usage would be higher than ever.

RE: If they care about economy...
By RogueSpear on 2/26/2007 5:20:11 PM , Rating: 2
Well you may have quite an audience here who buy into your arguments. I am not among them. While not a professional in this field, you could say I have an interest in it and I try to keep myself informed and educated. As such I regularly spot holes in your arguments.

Rather than even refute the argument I made several posts ago, you simply steer in another direction figuring people will get distracted. Those who share your point of view will obviously go right along.

I think I've presented enough to illustrate how incomplete and myopic your argument is.

RE: If they care about economy...
By masher2 on 2/26/2007 5:48:15 PM , Rating: 1
> "I think I've presented enough to illustrate how incomplete and myopic your argument is..."

Sorry, but merely remarking that "I could prove you wrong if I had more time" doesn't cut it in place of data and hard facts. I've presented those facts. SUV's aren't the problem, they're merely a symbol for those unable to grasp the reality of a complex situation.

To repeat-- replacing every SUV on the road today would only save a few percent of our total gasoline usage. Given our current growth rate, within five years time, we'd be using more than ever.

RE: If they care about economy...
By typo101 on 2/27/2007 7:31:49 PM , Rating: 2
Man this thread has really taken off on a tangent. masher's original argument (which I agree with) really has less to do with types of cars and even fuel efficiency, and more to do with the suburban sprawl . These days people are moving away from their downtown workplace to live in a quaint suburb far away from the city (as masher also pointed out there are many reasons for this that I don't want to get into because that will probably spark another heated argument).

It is impossible to deny that more efficient cars would decrease fuel consumption, but focusing on efficiency is masking this continent's bigger problem -- the commute.

is masher being shortsighted or are you being fooled by marketing?

By RogueSpear on 2/26/2007 5:25:37 PM , Rating: 2
Ahh, the "I'm too busy to prove you wrong" story, eh?

Seriously man, how much of my day am I supposed to spend on something like this? Perhaps if this thread weren't forgotten in the next 48 hours I could see getting a little more into it.

I'm not sure about you, but I work, have a family and all that stuff.

RE: If they care about economy...
By Kuroyama on 2/26/2007 5:35:41 PM , Rating: 2
Sure the amount of driving has gone up over the years. But are you suggesting that this is due to fuel economy being better? I doubt that fuel consumption plays more than a minor part in most people's decisions about how far to drive; most people decide what to do and only later whine about how much the gas for their mega-vehicle cost. If that is the case then improving fuel economy will certainly decrease gas consumption, at least relative to what would have been used without the improvements in fuel economy.

RE: If they care about economy...
By masher2 on 2/26/2007 5:54:00 PM , Rating: 1
> "Sure the amount of driving has gone up over the years..."

I'm glad you realize seem to be in the minority here.

> "But are you suggesting that this is due to fuel economy being better?"

No, the vast majority of it is due to other factors. However, fuel economy and fuel costs do have a small impact on total miles driven. When gas prices increase, consumption decreases, and vice versa. People do adjust their driving patterns around their budget.

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