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Delta to Use Ford Hydrogen-Fueled Tow Tractors


Ford Motor Company, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), TUG Technologies Corporation, Delta Airlines and the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority (GOAA) announced a partnership that will put two hydrogen-fueled airport tow tractors into service at the Orlando airport.

The M1A tow tractor uses a Ford Power Products 4.2-liter, V-6 industrial engine converted and calibrated to operate on gaseous hydrogen. The naturally-aspirated H2ICE tractor will deliver approximately 80 hp (60 kW).

This engine has previously been a key power source to the airport ground support equipment (GSE) market in gasoline, natural gas and LPG configurations.

Ford 4.2-liter V-6 Engine
 GasolineLPGNatural GasHydrogen
Power hp (kW)125 (93)114 (85)102 (76)80 (60)
Torque lb-ft (Nm)206 (279)201 (272)182 (246)n/a

The near-zero operational emissions from the hydrogen engine makes it attractive for airport environments, where emissions levels are strictly regulated.

Delta will put two of these TUG hydrogen tractors into service as baggage carriers at the Orlando International Airport later this summer.

Ford is also producing eight V-10, E-450 H2ICE shuttle buses for operation in the Orlando area (including the Orlando airport) upon delivery in 2006.


automotive engineer

So, the hydrogen vehicle will deliver less than 2/3 the Hp and torque? That means they'll have to use more of them to do the same amount of work. How much fossil energy is used to produce these additional vehicles? How much more DOES hydrogen fuel cost?


I don’t think it necessarily equates to making more vehicles—but they will burn more fuel.

Right now, the cost for hydrogen is 3-4x higher than gasoline (and that’s for hydrogen produced from natural gas, the cheapest method in the US). That’s one big reason why the projects, tests, demonstrations and so on are subsidized.


Ford said they are now working on how to get more power out of these engines and will probably get it soon. Gasonline powered gets more power because we have had over 100 years to improve on them. Hell Gasonline powered 4.6l V6 from way back when probably weren't even close to 80 hp. Good job Ford keep it up.

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