Ford Motor will begin production of its commercial hydrogen-powered internal combustion engine (H2ICE) shuttle buses this month. (Earlier post.) Eight of the E-450 shuttle buses will go to tourist destinations in Florida.
The 12-passenger shuttle, first introduced at the 2005 North American International Auto Show, is equipped with a 30-gallon equivalent, 5,000 pounds-per-square-inch hydrogen fuel tank supplied by Dynetek. The E-450 is propelled by a re-engineered version of Ford’s 6.8-liter V-10 engine.
We’ve demonstrated that hydrogen can be clean and efficient and reliable, but the biggest issue remains how to store enough hydrogen on the vehicle in a given space. The tanks are also still too expensive.—Bob Natkin, technical leader for H2 IC Engine Applications Research and Advanced Engineering.
Speaking at the Handelsblatt conference on automotive technologies in Munich, Gerhard Schmidt, Ford’s vice president for Research and Development, said the hydrogen internal combustion engine program helps pave the way to other applications.