Ford Edge Follows
Earlier this month, the announcement of the GM Volt eclipsed another important announcement at the Detroit show. Ford is now getting the word out that the Ford Edge crossover platform gives the company "the ultimate in flexibility in researching advanced propulsion technology" and thus could easily use a small gasoline or downsized diesel engine in lieu of the fuel cell.
Although the styling may not as exciting as the Volt, the announcement of the Edge Crossover platform is a significant development.
Ford to unveil plug-in fuel cell hybrid
By Ken Thomas, Associated Press
January 22, 2007
WASHINGTON - Ford Motor Co. is joining the list of automakers working on a plug-in hybrid -- with a twist. It combines the convenience of plugging in your car with a zero-emissions hydrogen fuel cell.
Ford is to display today what it calls the world's first drivable fuel cell hybrid electric vehicle with plug-in capability. Called the Flexible Series Hybrid Edge, it represents the latest offering from automakers hoping to stake a claim to the next generation of highly efficient, alternative automobiles.
Gerhard Schmidt, Ford's vice president of research and advanced engineering, said the vehicle, based on the Ford Edge crossover platform, gives the company "the ultimate in flexibility in researching advanced propulsion technology."We could take the fuel cell power system out and replace it with a downsized diesel, gasoline engine or any other powertrain connected to a small electric generator to make electricity like the fuel cell does now," Schmidt said.
Ford was showing the plug-in fuel cell at the Washington Auto Show, where lawmakers and government officials were viewing a number of advanced vehicle technologies.
Ford's plug-in hybrid Edge operates in "battery only" mode for the first 25 miles, moving at speeds of up to 85 miles per hour. When the battery is depleted to 40 percent, it seamlessly shifts to the fuel cell mode, which recharges the battery for 200 more miles of range.
The 336-volt lithium ion battery pack can be fully charged overnight -- in about eight hours -- with either a 110 or 220 volt outlet, and the engine produces gas mileage of about 41 miles per gallon. Drivers who travel less than 50 miles per day would get more than 80 miles per gallon, Ford said."
And the mometum continues.
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