Jan 11, 2007 (From the CalCars-News archive)
Ford has also sought the spotlight with a PHEV at the Detroit Auto Show. Most reports are dismissive, pointing out that while GM's car is intended for production, Ford's makes no pretense about actually building it -- especially because it adds all the additional burdens of being hydrogen-fueled. Nevertheless, after being unable to respond to proposals from CalCars and Prof. Andy Frank for six months last year (see http://www.calcars.org/news-archive.html May 11-16, 2006), it is significant that Ford wants to share some of the interest in PHEVs.
Following is Ford's press release, a short AP story, and the statement from Freedom From Oil (formerly Jumpstart Ford, co-founded by Rainforest Action Network, Global Exchange and the Ruckus Society) describing both the GM and Ford vehicles as cars that will never be produced.
Ford rolls out plug-in hybrid with hydrogen fuel cell http://www.prdomain.com/companies/F/FordMotor/newsreleases/200711038405.htm 10 Jan 2007 Continuing its commitment to exploring alternative powertrains, Ford Motor Company debuted a hydrogen-fueled, battery-powered plug-in in the new Airstream concept vehicle earlier this week at the North American International Auto Show.
The system, called HySeries Drive(tm), is powered by a 336-volt lithium-ion battery pack at all times and has a range of 25 miles on a full electric power. Once the battery pack is depleted by about 40 percent, the hydrogen-powered fuel cell begins generating electricity to recharge the batteries, increasing range another 280 miles, for a total driving range of more than 300 miles.
At home, the battery pack can be refreshed by plugging into a standard outlet. The HySeries Drive powertrain delivers a combined city/highway gasoline equivalent fuel economy rating of 41 miles per gallon and can travel up to 85 miles an hour.
"We think one of the benefits of this powertrain is that in the early days of a developing hydrogen infrastructure, you can extend the time between hydrogen fill-ups by plugging in to recharge the batteries," said Scott Staley, chief engineer, Hybrid and Fuel Cell Technology at Ford Motor Company.
Staley says another advantage of the HySeriesDrive is its fuel, engine and energy- conversion flexibility.
"For example, you could take out the fuel cell and replace it with a hydrogen internal combustion engine, or I could replace the fuel cell and hydrogen tank with a diesel tank and a diesel engine," he explained. "And instead of a six- or eight-cylinder engine, I could use a considerably smaller three- or two-cylinder engine as an auxiliary power unit to recharge the battery pack."
The innovative powertrain reduces the size, weight, cost and complexity of a conventional fuel cell system by more than 50 percent. It also promises to more than double the lifetime of the fuel-cell stack.
The HySeries Drive system already is on the road in a Ford Edge prototype, which will be shown publicly for the first time at the Washington, D.C., Auto Show on Jan. 23.
http://www.detnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070106/UPDATE/701060439 Airstream, Ford conceive space-age crossover
CAPTIONS The Ford Airstream is powered electrically via a hydrogen hybrid fuel cell. The concept's silver, capsule-shaped exterior reflects the style of the aerodynamic trailers. See full image Passengers enter and exit via a clamshell door that runs two-thirds of the vehicle's length. See full image Associated PressSaturday, January 06, 2007
DETROIT -- Ford Motor Co. has teamed with the maker of Airstream travel trailers to create a concept touring vehicle inspired by spacecraft and by the aerodynamic trailers that became icons of the American road.
The automaker calls the Ford Airstream Concept a futuristic crossover, with its silver color, capsule-shaped exterior, orange-rimmed windows and 12 symbolic rivets that pay homage to Airstream's riveted aluminum construction.
"It's the ultimate modern touring vehicle that delivers flexibility and capability with dynamic design that evokes the spirit of the journey," Peter Horbury, Ford's executive director of design for The Americas, said in a statement.
The concept vehicle, to be unveiled today at the North American International Auto Show, operates under electric power at all times, powered by a plug-in hydrogen hybrid fuel cell.
The passenger side features a powered clamshell door that runs two-thirds the length of the vehicle, and there is a three-door hatch at the rear.
Inside, the focal point of the rear seating area is a screen for entertainment and games that also provides ambient mood settings, including a virtual fire.
"We want to continue finding options for tomorrow's road trips," said Bob Wheeler, president and chief executive of Airstream, based in Jackson Center, Ohio. "Our success ... has come from challenging the conventional thinking about what an Airstream is."
Freedom From Oil Campaign
Will GM Volt or Ford Airstream ever make it into American Garages?
GM, Ford Continue to Offer Concepts without Commitments
January 8, 2007
DETROIT - Sarah Connolly and Mike Hudema, co-directors of the Freedom from Oil Campaign, today issued the following statement in response to the release of new plug-in serial hybrid concept vehicles by General Motors and Ford Motor Company at the North American International Auto Show:
"This is yet another transparent attempt by Ford and GM to appease increasingly fuel conscious consumers by releasing plug-in serial hybrid concept cars that will likely never find their way into American garages. The GM Volt and Ford Airstream are promising fuel efficient vehicles, the problem is that neither company has offered a production schedule that would actually get its car off the drawing board and onto the road.
"Unfortunately, people can't drive concepts. We will be delighted to praise both GM and Ford as soon as they offer concrete targets for mass production of these cars and commit to fuel efficiency improvements across their fleets. If these companies were truly committed to improving fuel economy, stopping job loss, and safeguarding the future of the American auto industry, they would stop treating plug-ins as niche vehicles and immediately start shifting their fleet to these and other ultra-fuel-efficient technologies.
"Plug-in hybrid electric is the most viable existing technology to help reduce oil consumption in this country, so we're pleased to see major automakers beginning to embrace it. But until they actually start putting these vehicles on the roads, promises of future fuel efficiency and green fleets will be as hollow as an empty gas tank. Remember it wasn't too long ago that both these companies were crushing their last EV commitment."
Launched in 2003 as the Jumpstart Ford Campaign by Rainforest Action Network, Global Exchange and the Ruckus Society, the renamed Freedom from Oil Campaign is working to end America's oil dependence, reduce oil related conflicts, and stop global climate change by convincing the entire auto industry to dramatically improve fuel efficiency and eliminate vehicle greenhouse gas emissions. The campaign is pushing the entire auto industry to break its addiction to oil, create more jobs, and meet consumer demand for green cars by producing more fuel efficient vehicles.