• Jul 17th 2006 at 5:01PM
  • 34
Today Ford began production of a dedicated hydrogen internal combustion engine at its Engine Manufacturing Development Operations in Dearborn Heights, MI, which makes it the first automaker to do so. The engine is a supercharged 6.8-liter V10 that will be used in the E-450 hydrogen-fueled shuttle bus. Ford will be delivering the vehicle to customers in Florida first, although didn't say how or where said customers would refuel their shuttle bus when necessary.
The V10 engine delivers 235 horsepower and 310 ft-lbs of torque while producing near zero emissions of regulated pollutants and greenhouse gases. That's not a lot of power, but not a lot of pollutants, either. While based on the same V10 that Ford uses in many of its truck and commercial vehicle applications, this unit has many specialized components that optimize it for use with hydrogen as a fuel (see list after the jump).

Over the years Ford produced a large number of hydrogen-powered concept and experimental vehicles, including a fleet of 30 hydrogen-powered Focus fuel cell vehicles, the Mazda RX-8 Hydrogen RE, and most recently the Super Chief Concept that debuted at the 2006 Detroit Auto Show, which was capable of running on hydrogen, E85 or gasoline.

(Follow the jump for the engine's full specifications and a list of its specialized components)

[Source: Ford]

Technical Specifications
  • Type - 6.8L SOHC V-10
  • Manufacturing Location - Engine Manufacturing Development Operations, Beech Daly Technical Center, Dearborn Heights, Mich.
  • Configuration - 90-degree V-10, cast iron block and aluminum heads with hardened seats
  • Intake Manifold - Aluminum
  • Supercharger - 3.3L/rev, twin screw compressor
  • Exhaust Manifold - Cast stainless steel
  • Crankshaft - Forged steel
  • Redline - 5,000 rpm
  • Throttle Body - Twin 60 mm, electronic
  • Valvetrain - Hydraulic lash adjusters with roller followers, 2 valves per cylinder
  • Valve Diameter - Intake: 42.5 mm Exhaust: 34.0 mm
  • Pistons - High temperature forged aluminum alloy with low-friction coated skirts, ultra low oil consumption piston rings
  • Connecting Rods - Forged steel
  • Ignition - Coil-on Plug coils, 9.5 AMP, Iridium tipped spark plugs
  • Bore x Stroke - 3.55 x 4.16 in / 90.2 x 105.8 mm
  • Displacement - 415 cu in / 6,751 cc
  • Compression Ratio - 9.4:1
  • Horsepower - 235 @ 4000 rpm
  • Horsepower per Liter - 34.5
  • Peak Boost - 18-20 psi
  • Torque - 310 lb-ft @ 3000 rpm
  • Recommended Fuel - Hydrogen
  • Fuel Injection - Sequential multiport fuel injection
  • Oil Capacity - 6 quarts, with filter
  • Recommended Oil - Castrol Synthetic, 5W-20

Specialized components in the engine include:
  • Valves and valve seats – special hardened materials are used to compensate for hydrogen's reduced lubricating properties compared to gasoline or natural gas
  • Spark plugs – Iridium tipped plugs allow for increased spark plug life
  • Ignition coils – high energy coil-on-plug coils, to manage unique ignition characteristics
  • Fuel injectors and fuel rail – Fuel injectors designed specifically for hydrogen and high volume fuel rails
  • Crank damper – tuned for hydrogen fuel to ensure smooth operation
  • Pistons, connecting rods and piston rings – high output designs to accommodate the higher combustion pressure of hydrogen combustion
  • Head gasket – accommodates increased combustion chamber pressures
  • Intake manifold – all-new to accommodate twin screw supercharger and water-to-air intercooler
  • Twin screw supercharger and water-to-air intercooler – added to improve power output and maximize efficiency
  • Engine oil – full-synthetic formulation developed in partnership with BP/Castrol optimized for hydrogen combustion properties

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 9 Years Ago
      Not a lot of power, though, who really needs it to truck out some pensioners in flat Florida?

      • 9 Years Ago
      come on guys, considering this is one of the first mass-produced hydrogen engines EVER, you could give them a little room. I had no idea hydrogren engines looked so similar to petrol engines.

      Anything like this is a step in the right direction towards a less oil-dependent world since you can use a lot of energy sources (oil, coal, nuclear, solar, etc) to make hydrogen. It may not be the "future" but maybe it will be PART of whatever the future of cars is.
      • 9 Years Ago
      The lack of power does not come out of left field. You think Ford engineers suck? You don't that understand hundreds of people just like you (but smarter) worked on this for years. GM's H2 Hummer displaces >6L yet only has ~200Hp as well.
      • 9 Years Ago
      Hydrogen is pretty-much a pipe-dream. No matter how you use it, generating it is horrendously inefficient. If the environmentalists understood this, they would shun hydrogen with a colder shoulder than they give to petroleum. What appears to attract them is the zero emissions, though that is *only* at the point where it is burned.

      Hydrogen also has a storage problem far worse than even electric cars. Every scheme tried so far involves canisters of ultra-high pressure hydrogen, and the range is still only on par with a modest EV. You'll notice the article makes no mention of range or hydrogen capacity. There is a reason for that and it's not good.

      I think spending auto maker and goverment focus on H2 vehicles is simply pandering to voters who don't know any better. I think the money and effort is far better spent on hybrids, butanol, and pure EV's. Hell, it'd even be better spent on finding new petroleum reserves and refining methods!
      • 9 Years Ago
      Let the American bashing begin.

      If this were Toyota or Honda, it could be a V-20 producing 1hp mounted in a Civic or Camry and you all would rejoice and proclaim them as the saviors of the world.

      Jeff Banks, I agree - give them some latitude. But we all know that won't happen since it's Ford - it would be worse if it were GM.

      Dre - you're a moron.

      • 9 Years Ago
      "Anything like this is a step in the right direction towards a less oil-dependent..."

      Our government only supports hydrogen coming from fossil fuels, and not from renewables. Any future infrastructure for hydrogen will favor fossil fuels and nuclear power. I suspect coal will play a role if we are desperate.

      In terms of efficiency, burning hydrogen in an ICE is the least efficient way to use hydrogen. Since we will never make enough hydrogen with current technology, higher efficiency of fuel-cell would worth more. The main motivation to hydrogen ICE is just to save automanufacturers in cost.

      Lastly, if fossil fuel is too expensive to make hydrogen, the electricity from nuclear plants would still be better use for an EV, than a hydrogen ICE. EV would be cheaper than fuel-cells, and no need for hydrogen fueling stations.

      Not that there is not a place for hydrogen ICE today. It's cheaper to develop. It's clean so that places that requires such application would excel.
      • 9 Years Ago
      Any word on when that Mr. Fusion from "Back to the Future" will hit the market?

      Other than it sticking out like a sore thumb on retrofits, it'll make dumpster-diving a socially acceptable pastime.
      • 9 Years Ago
      #12, here is the Kj(energy) per gram of each:

      Hydrogen gas (H2) 143

      Methane gas (CH4) 56

      Petrol (octane, C8H18) 48

      Coal (carbon, C) 33

      Ethanol (C2H5OH) 30

      The reason why it's output is so low could be for many reasons, fuel efficency, the cooling issues (hydrogen burns MUCH hotter than petrol), or simply going into the engine design feet first. Why try to push the limits when the fuel is still semi-new when it comes to being used in ICE's
      • 9 Years Ago
      Um...don't hydrogen powered vehicles work by producing water? And, um, isn't water responsible for 90-95% of our planet's greenhouse effect while evil CO2 is only 2-3%? And what about the energy process used to create the hydrogen for this car? I suppose there are no pollutants there either? (I'm sure those people in Florida will appreciate the additional humidity these cars will introduce to their air)

      Eh. I'm looking at this with a scientific mind while everyone knows that environmentalism is all about feelings and emotion (and power and control).

      This is an interesting piece of technology and Ford should be proud in building something. Now, can we get some laws passed that will permit us to drill for our own oil off the coast and in ANWR so that we can increase supplies and lower fuel costs?
      • 9 Years Ago
      Any engineers out there care to speculate on what HP this engine would make if fueled by gasoline, F85 fuel or another gas ,which is available most everywhere,
      ( propane )?
      • 9 Years Ago
      Horsepower per Liter - 34.5!!!

      Where's the beef?
      • 9 Years Ago
      Thank you, Dr. Sphi... er... Dr. S. Couldn't said it better myself.

      Of course, all that doesn't change the fact that there is an industry that has convinced our current administration to move ahead on a hydrogen economy. In the end, it's less about which type of fuel will serve us well in the future, but who is in the business to sell people that fuel.
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