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Ford Introducing Fuel-Cell Explorer with 350-Mile Range

27 November 2006

At the Los Angeles Auto Show this week, Ford Motor Company is unveiling an all new fuel-cell powered Explorer with a range of 350 miles.

GM’s recently announced Equinox Fuel Cell—another fuel-cell vehicle based on an SUV format—has a range of 200 miles. (Earlier post.) Honda’s new FCX fuel-cell vehicle under development and targeted for 2008 entry into the market promises a range of 350 miles. (Earlier post.)

The fuel-cell Explorer prototype is part of a series of vehicles partially funded by a contract with the United States Department of Energy, and the first of the series to be unveiled to the public.

The fuel-cell Explorer comes equipped with advanced electric all-wheel-drive like the production model from which it is based. A center-mounted hydrogen storage tank occupies the space typically used for the 6-speed automatic transmission found in production Explorer models.

Locating the hydrogen storage tank in this area allowed engineers to design a larger tank to deliver the 350-mile driving range—the tank holds 10 kg of hydrogen at 700 bar. This design also maintains Explorer’s six-passenger seating arrangement and the cargo capacity found in the production Ford Explorer.

The fuel-cell Explorer uses a 60 kW fuel cell stack and a 50 kW battery to power dual 65 kW electric motors.

In less than one year, the fuel-cell Explorer has accumulated more than 17,000 miles, including a world-record drive of 1,556 miles in a single 24-hour period, the most of any fuel-cell vehicle to date. The record was set by Ford engineers at the new Dearborn Development Center test facility in Dearborn, Mich.

Ford will unveil the next vehicle in this series of demonstration vehicles in January at the 2007 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

November 27, 2006 in Fuel Cells, Hydrogen | Permalink | Comments (67) | TrackBack (1)

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Comments

Energy density has its advantages.

It takes about 60 kWhr to make and compress 1 kg of hydrogen from electricity (if being made by electrolysis).

350 miles from 600 kWh means about 0.6 miles per kWh (or about 17 cents per mile). About eight to ten times more energy than recent electric vehicles use per mile.

350 miles from 600 kWh means about 0.6 miles per kWh (or about 17 cents per mile). About eight to ten times more energy than recent electric vehicles use per mile.

And batteries are free?

He's just talking about energy use. The hydrogen could be generated more efficiently from biomass or using high temperature thermochemical production. Fuel cells, ICE engines and batteries all cost money.

I wonder how much further it could go if they scaled down the vehicle and the hydrogen system? Say, something the size of a Freestyle or Focus?

it will be 20 years before there is any commercial infrastucture to supply hydrogen to consumers if ever...

it will 20 years before there is any commercial infrastucture to supply hydrogen to consumers if ever...

I am glad to see the smaller stack and larger batteries. I would prefer that it take CNG and reform onboard, but you can't have everything.

Question: How does compressed hydrogen compare to compressed air. I know 200 BAR scuba tanks explode with a force equivalent to several sticks of dynamite. So how does a 700 BAR hydrogen tank compare?

-Peter

I know 200 BAR scuba tanks explode with a force equivalent to several sticks of dynamite.

As compared to gasoline tanks and lithium-ion batteries?

http://www.rmi.org/sitepages/pid536.php

Scuba tanks are metal, these tanks are plastic lined carbon fiber and are designed to crack a certain way if they are mechanically stressed so that the gas will escape like a huge fart, but the container won't shatter like metal.

How much is it going to cost?

I know 200 BAR scuba tanks explode with a force equivalent to several sticks of dynamite.
As compared to gasoline tanks and lithium-ion batteries?

Newer designs make li ion batteries safer than your D cells in your flashlight, not that regular li ion batteries have done much harm , even when manufactured poorly. I'm afraid the media is not a reliable source of reality. They exist to sell papers and advertising air time, that's all. It's also amazing how seldom a gasoline tank explodes. I've never known anyone who had that happen, even to those two I knew whose car was burned up.

Newer designs make li ion batteries safer than your D cells in your flashlight, not that regular li ion batteries have done much harm , even when manufactured poorly. I'm afraid the media is not a reliable source of reality. They exist to sell papers and advertising air time, that's all. It's also amazing how seldom a gasoline tank explodes. I've never known anyone who had that happen, even to those two I knew whose car was burned up.

Wonderful. How many people have been killed in hydrogen tank explosions?

As for the media being an unreliable source of reality, I'll read to you what my laptop's battery says:
"Warning: Do not puncture or incinerate."

I guess the folks at MIT are unreliable as well, right?

http://www.technologyreview.com/read_article.aspx?id=17250&ch=biztech

Point is: there's no perfectly safe technology.

Enova Systems(ENA) is big with Ford. Rumor has it, they will be putting together a big deal soon.

Remember its for the suv crowd specialy the ones who realy need one or realy realy want one rather then a wagon or minivan.

A fillup of a current suv might cost 100-150 bcusk these days for a car that can go maybe 400-500 miles on a fillup.

Even at the high high cost of 11 bucks a kg thats only 110 bucks to go 350 mils on a fillup. AND they are targetting a final cost of around 3-4 bucks a kg for the fuel. And we know gas wont stay cheap long.

Oh and everyone missed the fact that suv is getting the equive of 35 miles per kg. Not bad for something that large.

I would like to compare the energy efficiency of this SUV to the SUT built by Phoenix 400 pounds torque electric pickup. It fills up in less then 10 minutes and is grid ready unlike hydrogen. It is on sale next year for 45000$.
http://www.popularmechanics.com/automotive/new_cars/4201003.html

The video is good. The interviewer says "that means the batteries won't burst into flames...right?".
I still would like to see independant lab tests of the batteries claim to long life with deep charge and discharge cycles.

These tests should be easy enough to do in a short time and would convince lots of people that this is a real claim. This still does not answer how you are going to fully recharge 50kwh in 10 minutes. 440V x 200 amps would take more than 30 minutes.

Quote (by pizmo): "And batteries are free?"

Just like the fuel cell stack and hydrogen storage tank are free right?

Just like the fuel cell stack and hydrogen storage tank are free right?

Didn't say they were.

Nor did the original poster whom you quoted say that the batteries were free.

Nor did the original poster whom you quoted say that the batteries were free.

The original poster didn't do an apples-to-apples comparison. If you have a beef, bring it up with that person.

Pizmo, you're a troll; I wasn't asking about lithium or gasoline because I know how they behave. For the record, yes I'd much rather have a gasoline fire or lithium cobalt fire over an explosive tank rupture that will disintegrate both you and the vehicle. However, Ericks most informative reply suggests that the hydrogen pressure tanks may not suffer explosive failure unlike scuba tanks. So I guess that just leaves you with vast volumes of explosive gas to worry about.

Then there's the little detail that none of the Lithium powered EVs that are due on the market soon uses lithium cobalt. But that's off topic.


Pizmo, you're a troll

Nice way to start.

I wasn't asking about lithium or gasoline because I know how they behave

You do? Then why wouldn't you know how hydrogen behaves? And why would you bring up its safety issues if the competing technologies also have at least as much danger if not more?

For the record, yes I'd much rather have a gasoline fire or lithium cobalt fire over an explosive tank rupture that will disintegrate both you and the vehicle.

That's nice, Peter.

However, Ericks most informative reply suggests that the hydrogen pressure tanks may not suffer explosive failure unlike scuba tanks.

Yes, that's what one discovers by doing just some basic research into the matter, instead of throwing out some red herring "concern" that's meant to diss a specific technology you don't care for.

So I guess that just leaves you with vast volumes of explosive gas to worry about.

Guess you didn't follow the link I provided for you. Guess you really like your red herrings.

Then there's the little detail that none of the Lithium powered EVs that are due on the market soon uses lithium cobalt.

So why does Tesla have a complex cooling system for their batteries?

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