|The Ford Airstream Concept.
Ford has developed an electric-drive crossover concept car in conjunction with Airstream—the Ford Airstream Concept—that is powered by a hydrogen-electric plug-in hybrid drivetrain—the HySeries Drive.
The HySeries drive in the AirStream Concept combines a lithium-ion battery pack with a compact fuel cell system as a range extender—the fuel cell’s sole function is to recharge the lithium-ion battery pack as needed.
|Overview of the HySeries Chassis.
(This series-hybrid electric drive design approach is similar to that taken by GM with its E-Flex family and the Chevrolet Volt. Earlier post.)
The new fuel cell, supplied by Ford partner Ballard, operates in a steady state, allowing a reduction in the size, weight, cost and complexity of a conventional fuel cell system by more than 50%. This approach also promises to more than double the lifetime of the fuel cell stack, according to Ford.
The Ford Airstream Concept can travel 25 miles in battery mode—depleting the battery’s state of charge to about 40%—before the fuel cell begins operating to recharge the vehicle’s 336-volt lithium-ion battery pack.
With the hydrogen-powered fuel cell, the range increases another 280 miles for a total of 305 miles.
The Ford Airstream Concept can travel at speeds of up to 85 mph. An on-board charger (110/220 VAC) can refresh the battery pack when a standard home outlet is available
The concept uses 4.5 kg of hydrogen stored in a 350-bar hydrogen tank. The HySeries Drive delivers the combined city/highway equivalent fuel economy of 41 miles per gallon.
This powertrain is already on the road and driving in a Ford Edge prototype. Ford scientists and engineers created this vehicle with partial funding from the United States Department of Energy. The vehicle will be shown for the first time at the Washington, DC, Auto Show on Jan. 23.