Motor Co. is using the L.A. auto show as a platform to hype its advanced hydrogen fuel-cell technology with its Explorer Technology Demonstration Vehicle 2 (TDV2).
While other auto makers have fuel-cell test vehicles on the road,says it is the only auto maker to develop one that can achieve 350 miles (563 km) on one fill up of its 22-lb. (10-kg) hydrogen storage tank and has traveled 17,000 miles (27,359 km) in real-world applications.
The fuel-cell Explorer, developed in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Energy, set a world record in Dearborn, MI, when it was driven 1,556 miles (2,504 km) in a single 24-hour period, Ford says.
The TDV2’s extended driving range comes courtesy of an oversized hydrogen storage tank, which occupies the space usually reserved for the SUV’s 6-speed automatic transmission, which was replaced by an advanced electric all-wheel-drive system.
“It uses two electric motors (for propulsion) and has no driveshaft,” a Ford spokesman tells Ward’s, noting the vehicle also has a large center-mounted tank.
“It shows you can package a fuel-cell powertrain without encroaching on a vehicle package too much,” he says of the SUV, which can accommodate six people and cargo.
Despite making significant advances in hydrogen fuel-cell technology, the spokesman says Ford is developing a variety of alternative powertrains.
“We’re taking the opportunity to remind people there isn’t one solution,” he says. “The unique thing about Ford is we have a broad-based approach that we think is unique in the industry, and this is an opportunity to highlight that.
“We’re a leader in the fuel-cell game and have hydrogen, internal combustion, ethanol and clean diesel engines. We have all the alternative-powertrain cars (under development).”
The fuelcell-powered Explorer is being made available for media drives during this week’s L.A. show.