GM Introduces E-Flex Electric Vehicle System; Chevrolet Volt the First Application
Toyota Touts the Maximum Tundra; Pledges E85 Version in 2009

Ford Announces Hydrogen-Electric Plug-in Hybrid Drive and Airstream Concept

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.



SOMBRESONES great post you put in,i enjoyed,shows what can be accompolished if the want to is there. car company engineers take heed,make progress and stop with all the excuses why it not practical,extra cost is not an issue if it saves us from depleting the worlds resources, stop with it cant be done and start living up to the YES WE CAN

mark hearon

the fuel cell vehicle being talked about gets about 41 mile per gallon (of hydrogen i guess).
i could go and buy a VW BEETLE turbocharged diesel that gets about 50 miles per gallon of diesel today. which is probably better than anything else produced today actual and experimental.


The question "If from natural gas, whats the point? Why not just burn natural gas in the car engine?" is a very good question. I don't know why you haven't gotten a straight answer here from some of the people who should know.

I had the same question when I first started studying fuel cells.

The answer is that when you reform natural gas to get hydrogen, you are getting more energy from the natural gas than if you simply burn it. This is because the electrochemical process of a fuel cell is more efficient at producing usable energy than is a combustion engine.

So for the same amount of natural gas, a hydrogen fuel cell will take you further, releasing less CO2 per mile.

For a truly great read on the subject and a much better explanation that I've provided, see Amory Lovin and the Rocky Mountain Institutes "Twenty Hydrogen Myths":

John Taylor

"range increases another 280 miles for a total of 305 miles."

This is about the same range available from plug in Electric cars, and at about the same cost.
Neither has an infrastructure.

The difference is that electric cars are easy to 'fill' with everyone having home power, and a few "pay-plugs" in shopping plazas would suffice to increase PEV range for long trips.
Hydrogen is far less efficient than electricity as a car fuel, but far more effective at tying consumers to a large monopoly energy supplier.

One other thing ... we have all the bits for a PEV today, while other technologies are waiting to be developed.

A green future is only a matter of finding and electing those with the political will to make it happen.


This is an enjoyable and informative discussion. I am excited to listen to those who share my enthusiasm for an electric future. However I believe we can distill a more evolutionary path from the discussion so far. I think where we are now with the hybrid (particularly the Prius) is a good starting point. We have a battery system that can power a car - but not too far without a supplimental energy supply in the form of a regular ICE. This car should first evolve to a plug in version, allowing battery-only use for short journeys. As batteries improve, greater range can be relied on, using the plug-in approach, but still with the security of a gas engine which has the massive advantage of widely available fuel and quick refill time. Eventually the gas engine will be used less and less, eventually becoming redundant, as better batteries and rapid electrical 'refuelling' becomes more widespread. This gradual evolution I believe is much more reasonable than the 'all-or-nothing' hydrogen or all-battery approach, which I think in the short term are impractical due to somewhat limited battery capacity and a very limited supply of long distance driving recharging facilities.


New Technologies cost a bundle in their introduction and early adopters are always there with a wad of cash..come on Ford what are you waiting for!??? if Masarati and Ferrari can sell $100,000 cars with low-tech internal racket engines, why can't Ford sell $40,000 electric convertible to 50 something rich dads to give to their daughters at 16. Its all about marketing at this point.


which is probably better than anything else produced today actual and experimental.


HHO is the future. Electric will benefit if coupled with HHO. When a new technology is found it takes a long time for old concepts to see the future of other methods. But for those not stuck in the science of one idea. HHO on Demand will meat all power needs without any BIG Brother’s in anyone's pocket.

okey thanks for this useful information


okey thanks for this useful information


okey thanks for this useful information


thank you


It’s very good article. Great site with very good look and perfect information.


Is this car like a energy/water car instead of using gas.

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I think this type of cars will be the definitive future. If the battery packs evolve as planned, it should be no problem at all.

Best Promosyon Çanta

That's right, Wintermane. I agree with you 100%

Best Promosyon Çanta

That's right, Wintermane. I agree with you 100%


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