Though hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles are a long way from reality, Ford Motor Co. claims its H2RV technology concept car could be built and sold today.
The 3,420-lb vehicle is based on the Focus wagon. It combines a 2.3-liter internal-combustion engine powered by hydrogen and boosted by a supercharger, with a patented Modular Hybrid Transmission System (MHTS). The MHTS contains a single 300-V electric motor, upgraded automatic transmission, and modified hydraulics. A 288-V, 3.6-A/hr advanced lithium-ion battery assists the electric motor and stores regenerative braking power. The electric motor starts the ICE when the vehicle accelerates from a dead stop.
"H2RV is proven technology. It could be put into production," says Dr. Gerhard Schmidt, vice present, Ford Research and Advanced Engineering. "What we are lacking is a fueling infrastructure for hydrogen and regulations that will allow its use across the nation."