WASHINGTON – An innovative demonstration vehicle that’s powered by compressed hydrogen and also runs on a plug-in 336-volt lithium-ion battery pack is unveiled at the Washington Auto Show.
Motor Co. says the modified Edge cross/utility vehicle is the first drivable hybrid that is powered by a fuel cell and is rechargeable using a standard home outlet.
Dubbed the HySeries Drive, the new powertrain is the same found in’s Airstream Concept vehicle shown earlier this month at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
The HySeries combines an onboard hydrogen fuel-cell generator with Li-ion batteries to deliver more than 41 mpg (5.7 L/100 km) with zero emissions, Ford says.
The fuel-cell hybrid has a top speed of 85 mph (137 km/h). The vehicle has a range of 225 miles (362 km) but drives the first 25 miles (40 km) on electricity alone, after which the fuel cell begins recharging the batteries to keep the vehicle rolling.
Gerhard Schmidt, Ford vice president-research and advanced engineering, says some drivers could go as many as 400 miles (644 km) between fill-ups, depending on driving patterns.
Motorists who drive less than 50 miles (80 km) per day could get the equivalent of 80 mpg (3 L/100 km) with the car, he says.
When the vehicle’s battery pack is 40% depleted, the hydrogen fuel cell, made by Ballard Power Systems Inc., automatically turns on to recharge the pack.
The car will run until the fuel cell runs out of hydrogen, which is stored in a 5,075-psi (350-bar) tank that supplies 10 lbs. (4.5 kg) of usable hydrogen.
Ford says the HySeries design reduces the size, weight, cost and complexity of a conventional fuel-cell system by more than 50% and more than doubles the lifetime of the fuel-cell stack.
Future applications of the HySeries system will operate using a fuel cell, small gasoline or diesel engine connected to an electric generator to make electricity.
However, Sue Cischke, Ford’s vice president-environmental and safety engineering, says the Edge hybrid concept is far from possible production. Inadequate fuel-cell durability and lack of hydrogen infrastructure are the obstacles that must be overcome to warrant production.