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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 Merry on 2/27/2007 11:00:42 AM , Rating: 2
Mini Cooper

1984 Mini Mayfair, so no. We used it to take assorted crap to the tip and such. Also to do the odd car boot sale.

If you're seriously trying to position a Mini Cooper as a solution for towing, you've lost all credibility.

No, but you can tow an average sized trailer with average things in. I'm not suggesting you go and tow a boat or a bloody caravan! The load in question was a 32"tv. That it could pull, easily. Also larger cars such as the Ford Mondeo could easily tow a small boat and definitely a caravan. How many people have these things too. They're really not all that common here (well boats aren't) You cant really justify a nations obsession with SUVs because I minority occasionally tow a boat. Anyways if you really must tow such a thing a lot a two wheel drive SUV isn't going to cut it, thus reinforcing the point I made earlier.

RE: If they care about economy...
By Hemipower on 2/27/2007 5:03:45 PM , Rating: 2
How much did you pay for your trailer, if you even own one. Where do you store it when not in use. and what do you do if it starts raining. Maybe you don't worry about rain but in miami it rains all the time and at times when you least expect it.

For the guy that rents the $20/hr home depot truck, you apperently don't pay per mile. I have rent u-hauls before and have to pay the daily rate along with $1.25 per mile, in my truck that does 15 miles per gallon that equates to $18.75 per gallon of gas. Along with paying for the miles I also have to return the truck with the same gas/diesel i got it with. So how much are you really saving, say you have to do this 6-8 per year and an average of 60 miles to and fro. Do this with my 15 mile per gallon truck and a 25 mile per gallon honda v-6, with an average of 12,000 miles per year and $2.50 per gallon of gas. I actually only have about 15,000 miles on my 2 1/2 year truck.

That is $1200 for the honda on gas and $2000 for the truck. That is an $800 dollar difference and 320 gallons a year difference. Now add the rented truck cost to the honda [60miles*1.25=$75=$20=95+10(gas)=105]*8=$840. It turns out about the same money spent on gas plus less time spent and more convenient to own a heavy gas sucker truck. Plus it looks nicer than the honda in my opinion and well worth the $800 difference.

"The Space Elevator will be built about 50 years after everyone stops laughing" -- Sir Arthur C. Clarke

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