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Ford Puts Hydrogen Shuttles into Palm Springs Region

Ford Motor Company, the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians and the Clean Cities Coachella Valley Region (C3VR) Coalition announced a multi-year partnership that will place at least five hydrogen-fueled E-450 shuttles in operation next year in California’s Coachella Valley.

The announcement was made in conjunction with the 11th Annual Clean Cities Conference being held in Palm Springs.

C3VR will manage the demonstration program using Ford’s V-10, H2ICE E-450 shuttles (earlier post). The Tribe may operate the vehicles, and both groups will work with the national Clean Cities program to identify additional funding sources for the fleet.

The H2ICE E-450 delivers up to 99.7% reduction in operational CO2. The shuttle seats up to 12 passengers and their luggage, including the driver, and offers a range of up to 150 miles depending on conditions and vehicle load.

Ford plans to produce up to 100 hydrogen V-10, E-450 hydrogen buses for delivery to fleet customers in 2006.

Coachella Valley is also home to SunLine Transit Agency. In 1994, SunLine became the first public transit fleet in the nation to switch entirely from diesel to CNG. Since then, the agency has been aggressively exploring other alternative fuel options—especially hydrogen.

In 2000, SunLine opened up its own hydrogen generation/storage/fueling facility—the first such built by a public transit agency. The alternative fueling depot, which is also open to the public, provides CNG, LNG, HCNG (an 80% methane/20% hydrogen mix which Sunline is testing in its buses) and hydrogen.

One of the vehicles under test by Sunline is an H2ICE series hybrid-electric bus using...the Ford V-10 hydrogen engine. In this configuration, the hydrogen-fueled internal combustion engine drives the generator which produces the electricity to power the bus. (Earlier post.)


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