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Ford Introduces Edge with HySeries Fuel-Cell Plug-in Series Hybrid Drive

The Ford Edge with HySeries Drive.

At the Washington, D.C. Auto Show, Ford is introducing a real-world version of the new HySeries fuel cell plug-in series hybrid drive that made its debut two weeks ago in the Ford Airstream concept at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. (Earlier post.)

The HySeries Edge combines a 336V li-ion battery pack with a fuel cell range extender. When the battery state-of-charge (SOC) drops to approximately 40% (about 25 miles of all-electric range), the fuel cell begins operating to keep the battery pack charged.

Overview of the HySeries Chassis.

The fuel cell range extender provides another 200 miles of range for a total of 225 miles with zero emissions.

Individual experiences will vary widely and can stretch out the time between fill-ups to more than 400 miles: drivers with modest daily needs would need to refuel only rarely, drivers who travel less than 50 miles each day will see fuel economy well over 80 mpgge (miles per gallon gasoline equivalent), while those with long daily commutes will see somewhat lower numbers as the fuel cell must run a larger fraction of the time.

At full range, the HySeries Drive powertrain delivers a combined city/highway gasoline equivalent fuel economy rating of 41 mpgge. The Ford Edge with HySeries Drive holds 4.5 kg of hydrogen in a 350-bar hydrogen tank.

The Ford Edge with HySeries Drive 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 series-hybrid architecture allows the downsizing of the fuel cell, thereby reducing the size, weight, cost and complexity of a conventional fuel cell system by more than 50%. It also promises to more than double the lifetime of the fuel cell stack, according to Ford. (GM offered similar downsizing observations when discussing a fuel-cell application of the E-Flex architecture in the Volt, which also uses a series hybrid architecture. Earlier post.)

HySeries is a flexible powertrain architecture that will enable Ford to use new fuel and propulsion technologies as they develop without redesigning the vehicle. The HySeries Drive technology is able to operate using a fuel cell, small gasoline or diesel engine connected to an electric generator to make electricity. This flexible series-hybrid architecture is similar to the approach GM is taking with its E-Flex System. (Earlier post.)

This vehicle offers Ford the ultimate in flexibility in researching advanced propulsion technology. We could take the fuel cell power system out and replace it with a down-sized diesel, gasoline engine or any other powertrain connected to a small electric generator to make electricity like the fuel cell does now.

We wanted to take what was in a ‘gee whiz’ vehicle like the Airstream and connect it with something people are driving on the road today, something that wasn’t just a futuristic concept vehicle.

—Gerhard Schmidt, vice president of research and advanced engineering for Ford Motor Company

At the announcement, Ford did note that many significant technical hurdles need to be overcome before a vehicle such as the Edge with HySeries Drive can become a reality: the stacks themselves and the hydrogen infrastructure on the fuel cell side, and the cost of the lithium-ion batteries on the plug-in side.



Let the Hydrogen Bashing commence! On your mark...get set...GO!!!

Neal Bortz

You are right Schmeltz.
And while we are at it, I would like to blame Bush too....

Bud Johns

Another concept that may be introduced sometime in the future....oh boy!


What can I say? at least Ford has a few things right...the electrical part!. As many of you know, it takes a lot more energy to make hydrogen to go into a high pressure tank than to make electricity to go into a high capacity battery. Since we lack ENERGY and not a better energy carrier (Hydrogen), in 5 years (the time it will take for the next generation high capacity, high power, high deep cycle batteries), Ford will find itself further behind in the game. Of course, the rude awakening make happen a lot sooner if these EEStor capacitors turn out not be a hoax, with 332 W*hr/kg energy density, astronomical power density (intrinsic characteristic of ultra capacitors), can be fully charged/discharged hundreds of thousands of times, and all this at 1/4 to 1/8 the price of current li-ion batteries.

Lou Grinzo

As I've said several times on my own site, the problems with hydrogen as a mass market transportation fuel are so much greater than those of BEV's that hydrogen simply won't be able to compete. If we had no BEV technology, then we would, in fact, learn to live with hydrogen after decades of building infrastructure and numerous breakthroughs in creating, distributing, and using hydrogen.

Replace the HFC with a small flex-fuel (or HCCI, if you feel a need to be bleeding edge) engine, ala GM's Volt, and you have something that's vastly more practical and could see mainstream commercial use in the US in two or three years.

John McConnell

Freddy, I couldn't agree more -- way to go Ford -- on the electrical part!

David Greenfield

May 12, 2012
Who remembers the news back in 2007? Ford, GM, Toyota and other car manufacturers tripped over each other to show their concept cars of the future. All of them painted in vivid colors their ideas and wishes for a hybrid car; and the customers salivated and waited ... and waited. It appears that the only sane car-buyers were those that bought what was already available. Back then, three-wheeled electric vehicles like those from ZAP, neighborhood electric vehicles from a variety of manufacturers, electric scooters and bikes began to appear in the streets of many American cities. At first they were an odd group of people, but soon it became a stream. Now, it appears, those were the only drivers who did kick the oil habit.


Everybody driving 3-wheeled ZAPs in 2012? That's a scary future my friend! Hydrogen powered horses would be a neater idea, I think. :)


As a range extender I find hydrogen and fuel cells attractive (any left over hydrogen will bleed off instead of going sour, gas engines seize up if they're not run often enough), but only if they can bring the cost down to at least the neighborhood of a gas genset (therein lies the rub). They are quiet and have no harmful local emissions.

David: Have you got yourself an EV?

kent beuchert

Stops when state of charge reches 40%. Whew, that's
a lot of overcapacity trade off to try to squeeze some
extra lifespan from those batteries. I'd say their battery
technology leaves a lot to be desired.


Great. Now take it out of an SUV and put it into a lighter proper passenger car and get even better range and performance.


How weird would it be if flying hybrid cars were in every driveway in 2015 and the Cubs finally won the pennant.


I'm referring to the 80s movie classic "Back to the Future"

David Greenfield

Schmeltz- "Back then" implies our "now and here"; it does not forecasts the same 3-wheelers as the only EVs of the future. The piece calls your attention to the real efforts of today, versus the paper waving of the big manufacturers. Those firms could RIGHT now sell us their EVs of the 90's, since they already amortized their development costs, rather than fantasizing about energy sources of the future. As for hydrogen-powered horses... ok.. I'll drive my electric car to check out your prototype ;-)

Neil- Yes, I do own and drive a converted Ford pick up truck. Every drop of gasoline that I don't buy weakens a terrorist.


My hat's off to you for having an EV. I like to see people put their money where their mouth is.

Perhaps I am too much of an optimist when it comes to Hydrogen, but when I read an article like this, I can't help but get excited. Ask yourself this question: Why would almost all of the big Automakers, especially Honda, being expending so much money, time, and manpower on something that a number of people on this site have called a "pipe dream". I don't know for certain, but there has to be literally thousands of people employed by the numerous car companies, working only on Hydrogen vehicles. Do you think they get up every morning and think, "I wonder why I am working on something so hard that will never work, and never happen?". I think most feel that they are working on the future, and that these things will catch on in a big way.

Two facts: First, we have the technology to mass produce Fuel cell vehicles right now, as the Ford Edge, the GM Sequel, and the Honda FCX are all evidence of. Second, we also have the technology to mass produce Hydrogen, right now too. So the technology is here already. Albeit, in primitive form, but it has been figured out. The energy industry can't just rush out and start making tons of Hydrogen, when there's no customer base yet. And vice versa, the car companies can't just go out and make thousands, or even millions of FCV's, when there isn't a good supply infrastructure in place yet. Everytime we see an article like this, that tells me that we are inching closer to a hydrogen world. And if we are as green as we say we are, that is something we should applaud.


As Keynes said, in the long run we are all dead.

All of this talk of hydrogen offends me. If you are an environmentalist, you prioritize reduce greenhouse gases now, in the least toxic route.

If you are a free marketer, you want a solution that most rapidly lowers our trade imbalance, which is a grave threat to open markets.

If you are a patriot, you want to buy less Arab oil. Now.

All of these things point to three technologies for the next 10-year replacement cycle: Lighter vehicles, light hybrids and diesel. In the aggregate, these could cut our per-mile consumption by 10-25% y 2015. That would be huge - especially as biofuels come on line and reduce the greenhouse impact of those more efficient fuels even further. One challenge: if we really can impact consumption of petroleum, we may need government tax incentives to sustain the biofuels industry.

Next wave would be public transport, urban design, series hybrid, and plug-in hybrid. Research and infrastructure now, then implement. From 2015 to 2025, another 25% reduction in fuel consumption per mile.

Then, maybe then, can you start talking about hydrogen. Talking about it now is purely counterproductive.

The good news, as I mentioned at the beginning, is that the free marketers, patriots and enviros are all aligned right now, if they correctly perceive the world. The only people not on board should be hydrogen fantasists, environmental fascists, car company idiots, and oil company shareholders. But in a real democracy, those people would be marginalized and we'd know that government policy and private action would be pointing us to a 50% reduction in per-mile petroleum use by 2025.


This platform is not dependent on fuel cells.Seems to me series hybrids are simply waiting on demonstrated li-ion batteries which would need to be mass produced to hit the price points.Many recent posts seem to show a real push towards those goals.The initial battery production may need to be rolled out in suv type vehicles to justify cost.As more models are introduced and the battery production ramps up, the cost per unit could come down to a reasonable amount for sedans.Forty mile electric range would equal a dramatic reduction in fossil fuels based on daily driving habits of most people.


I'm confused. Why is investigating Hydrogen NOW, counter-productive? Why is investigating Hydrogen EVER, counter-productive? Seems to me, Hydrogen is the end game we should be, and already are shooting for. What category would the engineers at Honda fall under?--Hydrogen fantasists? Car Company idiots? Environmental fascists? All of the above? Honda is one of the darlings of the green car world. If they, not to mention most of the other big car companies are pursuing hydrogen vehicles, then wouldn't you think that maybe we are actually moving towards a hydrogen world? Why would they expend so much of their time and energy now if they didn't see a market for their FCV's until 2025 as you suggest? Their actions point to the fact that they are soon ready to get the ball rolling.

Another advantage to H2: Automakers with FCV programs have seen quite a bit of fruits from their technical labors already by being able to build better electric vehicles--look at the Volt as an example.

I agree with: "In the long run we are all dead" but in the mean time, I want to live a better life, and some day leave this world better than I found it.


I get the impression that each person gives a thumbs up or thumbs down to each one of these press releases based on their particular interests. I have not yet seen any new vehicles address the whole issue:
Greenhouse gas reduction
Reduction/Elimination of Petroleum as a fuel
Cost effectiveness to the consumer
Cost effectiveness with regard to the cost of converting one energy source to another (Oil, gas, electricity or other fuel to hydrogen)
Cost and environmental impact of car components
Until we look at the whole picture and provide a solution that addresses all of these, we will be hurting one area at the expense of the others (Consumer, Environment, Planet Resources).
So far the concept car manufacturers are just pushing the emphasis to alternate energy sources as a publicity stunt to gain market attention without regard to the complete environmental impact in securing the energy sources or the materials for car manufacture.
It is nice to finally see acknowledgment for some of the environmental impacts that cars have on the environment but we have a long, long way to go before we find a viable solution.


"gasoline equivalent fuel economy rating of 41 mpgge."
Read that again & let it sink in!! This really is back to the future.
At this rate, in 2017, Ford will match what Toyota had in 1998


As always people are clueless. From a car makers perspective your dealing with a world of fuel combos both regional and local and national.

To make one car handle all the options is a very valid plan.

Why h2? Well its creeping up in japan and likely elsewhere that you can actualy right this second produce h2 from petroleum gas at home and then convert it via fuel cell to power your home or dram it into your car... CHEAPER then buying the electrity drirect and cheaper then buying gas in japan...

They did an article on it somewhere and people are saving alot of money installing h2 stations in japan.

What h2 allows is to convert one form of energy into anouther with currently not much loss and every year that loss grows smaller.

Also h2 allows one t convert excess wind or solar energy into something relatively easy to store ulike ebntricity itself. THUS you can build alot more wind or solar then local or region deman can consime. More then you can sell on the spot market. More then the local grid can handle at peak power.

And meanwhile fuelcells get cheaper and l;ast longer with every gen.It doesnt lok like that tend is slowing anytime soon.

If the fuel cell costs less then an engine and transmission did and so does a h2 tank.. and if they real do manage to hit 350 or even 4 bucks agallon equive for h2... does it realy matter what h2 is classified as? Its till gona work.


IMHO we're a lot closer to mass market BEVs than we are to mass market fuel cell vehicles.

David: what have you got in your truck?

Roger Pham

To all skeptics of H2-FCV,

FC-PHEV like this one is the best marriage between H2-FCV and Battery Electricity in order to overcome the disadvantages of each energy medium.

H2-FCV suffers from high cost and low durability of the fuel cells, plus expensive and inefficient H2 transportation.
BEV suffers from high cost, high weight of the large battery pack big enough for range of 200-300 miles, and long charging time with current electrical infrastructure. For example, the Phoenix SUT has a 35kwh battery for a range of 130 miles. To make it go 200 miles on one charge will require a 53kwh battery pack. At 120wh/kg battery weight, the 53kwh pack will weigh 448kg, or 987 lbs, and contains a lot of precious materials such as lithium itself that may be short supply if large number of BEV's will be built. After 200mi range, it will take hours to charge up the battery.

Thus, by making a FC-PHEV, only a 10kwh-battery pack will be needed, thus reducing required but scarce lithium raw material by 1/5. The FC stack can be a lot smaller and only is needed to provide cruise power + accessory load, thus saving a lot of cost. A FC stack, if runs continously, will last 10x longer than being turned on or off frequently for vehicular usage. So, the battery will be used first, and only when battery charge is down to 40% that the FC will need to come on, and the FC will run continously at the most efficient output no matter what the car is doing, to either provide direct electricity to the motor during cruise, or to recharge the battery when the vehicle is coasting or stopped. In that essence, the Ford HySeries is not a pure serial hybrid, but rather serial-parallel hybrid. For short trips, the FC will not be used at all, while the battery can be recharged by home electrical socket.
4.5 kg of H2 containing 160kwh of energy at 2kwh/kg gravimetric density for Quantum compressed tank will weigh but 176 lbs, far less than the 987-lb equivalent Lithium battery. The FC will provide the much-needed waste heat for winter driving that will save precious battery electricity in the BEV for use in cabin heating!

H2-distribution's inefficiency and cost issue? There will be NONE!

Produce the H2 locally and dispense it all in the same location. A city with 10mi x 10mi area will need but one integrated H2-production-AND-dispensing center in the middle, thus necessating on average, under 4-mile one way trip to get a fill up. Thus, 1 station every 100 square miles.
H2 can be produced by gasification of dried cellulosic biomass transported to the center. The 800-degree heat of gasification of biomass can be used for high-temp steam electrolysis using wind or solar electricity from the grid in order to double the electrical efficiency of electrolysis. For wind electricity whole sale cost of $0.05/kwh, making H2 via the high-temp electrolysis will cost but $1.50/kg. Adding another $1 for profit and cost of facility and equipment and taxes, and renewable H2 from wind can be sold at ~$2.50/kg, thus renewable H2 energy competitive with gasoline cost of today!!! Since H2-FC-HEV can travel twice as far as a comparable non-hybrid gasoline car of today, you can see that the potential energy cost for the end consumer can be reduced to HALF of today's gasoline cost.
Ah ha, the beauty of H2-FCV is that, no matter how cheap energy expense will be, the vehicle will remain very energy-efficient in order to provide adequate range demanded by the customer, unlike the problem with energy-dense liquid hydrocarbon in which, as fuel prices decline, so will fuel efficiency of the vehicle.

Another beauty of H2-vehicle is that all the pollution will remain at the gasification center and not spewed into the air causing respiratory ailments in dense population centers. NO MORE OIL SPILLS, no more smogs or ozone, no more acid rain from car exhaust...fewer asthmatics, fewer lung cancers, fewer emphysema or COPD's...etc AND, with H2 derived from waste biomass and wind and solar electricity, global warming will stand a much better chance of being reduced or reversed.

What is there not to like about a holy matrimony between BEV and H2-FCV? (unless oil profit is the hidden agenda!, but then, there will be profit to be made from the sale of H2, and car batteries, and solar panels and wind turbines etc...) A WIN-WIN SOLUTION, ISN'T IT? WHAT ARE WE WAITING FOR?


I still can't figure out why the ~ 20 times more economic natural gas home fuel cell than the vehicle fuel cell, is not available to us home owners who could really use it. A prime example of microCHP, not available or publicized for the consumer. I here tell that Tokyo Gas can produce the 1 kw home fuel cell for $100,000, cheap compared to the much more difficult vehicle fuel cell.

Home Fuel Cell(HFC): 1.5 kw is ample size for most average power & heat requirements
Vehicle Fuel Cell(VFC): at least 15 kw is needed

HFC: size & weight, not a problem
VFC: severe limitations on size and weight causes reduced fuel economy

HFC: burning off the carbon in Natural Gas or Methanol fuel (readily available & easy to store) with a reformer provides useful heat
VFC: either you use exceedingly difficult & expensive and inefficient hydrogen economy & hydrogen storage or if you use reformers the carbon energy is thrown away & fuel cell overall efficiency drops below that of an ICE - so who needs a fuel cell?

HFC: could last life of building, not likely to be scrapped, not likely to be smacked up
VFC: could be destroyed in modest accident, likely scrapped when vehicle is scrapped

HFC: can easily run on Natural Gas, which most homes & buildings have already
VFC: would require a massive, extraordinarily expensive hydrogen infrastructure development.

So why is it almost all the R&D and press is on the vehicle fuel cell. Another case of hydrogen Greenwashing by Oil & Auto companies and their servants in Washington.


WHeath: Our supply of cheap petroleum will come to an end within (a debatably imminant) time. Since our current modes of transport are about 98% dependant on oil, and 40% of our GHGs come from transportation. Replacing regular gasoline cars with something cleaner and more sustainable is the problem that has everyone's attention. Yes, I would like to see HFCs more available but then most of my electricity comes from hydro which is cleaner.

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