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Ford to Seek World Land Speed Record for Fuel-Cell Vehicle

10 July 2007

Ford will attempt to set the world land speed record in a hydrogen fuel-cell powered Ford Fusion on the Bonneville Salt Flats in August.

The Ford Fusion Hydrogen 999 fuel cell car—a collaboratively engineered racer with Ballard, Roush and Ohio State University—is one of two vehicles Ford’s fuel cell research team is helping prepare to set world land speed records. Ford researchers also are working with Ohio State University student engineers on its Buckeye Bullet 2, a fuel-cell-powered racer that will compete for a similar world record in the unlimited class category.

The land speed record attempt will take place during Bonneville Speed Week from Aug. 10-17. The attempt will be sanctioned by the Southern California Timing Association.

The Ford Fusion Hydrogen 999 land speed record vehicle was designed by Ford engineers and fabricated and built by Roush in Allen Park, Michigan. Ohio State students are providing the design of the 770 hp electric motor, while Ballard is supplying the hydrogen fuel cells. Ford retiree Rick Byrnes, a veteran Bonneville racer, will pilot the Ford Fusion Hydrogen 999 car on its record attempt.

Our goal in attempting this record is to further expand our technological horizons with fuel cell powered vehicles.

—Gerhard Schmidt, Ford Vice President, Research & Advanced Engineering

Ohio State students have designed their unlimited class vehicle, dubbed Buckeye Bullet 2, from the ground up. Ballard donated the hydrogen fuel cells for Ohio State’s car, Roush its engineering services and Ford has provided overall project coordination and expertise in fuel cell drivetrains.

In 2004, Ohio State students set the unlimited land speed record for an electric vehicle by running 315 mph in the first Buckeye Bullet, dubbed BB1.  (Earlier post.)

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