Since the buses are being used in a limited area, a single Chevron hydrogen station will be able to fuel all the vehicles. Four more buses will be delivered to customers in Florida in the coming months. The first five hydrogen fueled shuttles were delivered in Ottawa and Vancouver Canada late last year and by the end of 2007 they expect to have thirty of these buses on the road around North America. Orlando is already home to five of the Focus FCVs that are part of a test fleet that has accumulated over 500,000 miles in the last two years. The Ford press release is after the jump.
FORD DELIVERS FIRST ULTRA CLEAN HYDROGEN POWERED BUSES TO U.S. CUSTOMERS
* Ford is the world's first automaker to deliver commercial vehicles, powered by internal combustion engines that are fueled exclusively with hydrogen.
* The buses will be used as passenger shuttles at the Greater Orlando Airport Authority in Florida, as well as at the Orlando Convention Central District.
* Ford is the only automaker with gasoline hybrid-electric vehicles, hydrogen internal combustion engine vehicles, clean diesel, ethanol and hydrogen fuel cell-powered vehicles on the road today.
ORLANDO, Fla. May 23, 2007 - Ford Motor Company and the State of Florida today announced that they are putting a fleet of hydrogen-fueled Ford E-450 buses on the road in Orlando, the first U.S. city to take delivery of these ultra clean vehicles.
Florida Gov. Charlie Crist marked the occasion at a Chevron Hydrogen station that will provide fuel for eight buses, powered by internal combustion engines that are fueled exclusively with hydrogen.
"These buses represent part of Ford Motor Company's strategy to deliver transportation solutions that emit less CO2 and reduce our dependence on oil," said Sue Cischke, Ford senior vice president. Sustainability, Environment and Safety Engineering. "We are pleased to partner with the State of Florida, Progress Energy and Chevron Hydrogen to place these buses into service so that Central Florida residents will be able to experience this unique form of clean transportation."
"Today's event demonstrates the incredible level of support hydrogen technology is receiving from our nation's distinguished business leaders," said Governor Charlie Crist. " Florida is excited to be a part of these revolutionary advancements and we are embracing the challenges that lie ahead. We are committed as state to be a leader in both the policies and projects that protect our economy and our environment."
Power for the Ford E-450 shuttle buses is provided by a 6.8-liter V-10 engine that has been supercharged and modified to run exclusively on hydrogen fuel. Of these eight vehicles – the first to be operated in the United States – two will be used by the Greater Orlando Airport Authority (GOAA), and two by the Orlando Convention Central District. The remaining four will be delivered to customers in Florida at a later date. Ford delivered five buses to Canada, three in Ottawa and two in Vancouver in late 2006. In all, Ford will deliver 30 buses to customers across North America by year's end.
The Ford E-450 shuttle buses in Florida are part of the state's broader plan to move toward a greater use of alternative fuels. Last year, Ford delivered five hybrid hydrogen Ford Focus Fuel Cell vehicles as part of separate effort with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and Progress Energy to gain feedback on hydrogen fuel cell technology.
Hydrogen Internal Combustion Engine Technology
Ford Motor Company believes hydrogen internal combustion engine technology can serve as a bridge to enabling hydrogen to become a viable alternative fuel. Hydrogen fueled internal combustion engines have many advantages, including high efficiency, all-weather capability, and near zero emissions of regulated pollutants and greenhouse gases (CO 2). They also can be hybridized for further gains in fuel efficiency.
While these hydrogen internal combustion engine shuttle buses will provide valuable real-world experience, Ford also is conducting research into next generation hydrogen internal combustion engines, including features such as direct injection to enhance power and fuel economy.
Hydrogen Part of a Broader Effort
Ford's strategy for alternative fuels is built around multiple technologies, including hydrogen internal combustion engines. This flexible approach allows the company to meet goals for customer needs, environmental impact and shareholder interests. The strategy does not focus on one catch-all solution, but offers a flexible array of options, including hybrids, E85 ethanol, clean diesels, bio-diesels, advanced engine and transmission technologies and hydrogen fuel cells.
The company already has a fleet of 30 hydrogen powered Focus fuel cell vehicles on the road as part of a worldwide, seven-city program to conduct real world testing of fuel cell technology. The 30-car fleet has accumulated more than 500,000 miles since its inception in 2005, more than 90,000 of which have been logged in Florida.
Ford also is conducting tests with the world's first plug-in hybrid electric vehicle, the Ford Edge with HySeries Drive. The Ford Edge with HySeries Drive uses a series electric drivetrain with an onboard hydrogen fuel cell generator to give the vehicle a range of 225 miles with zero emissions.
Currently, Ford offers gasoline-electric hybrids including the Escape Hybrid and Mercury Mariner Hybrid. The company will also offer hybrid versions of the Ford Fusion and Mercury Milan in 2008.