Ford Vice President of Research and Advanced Engineering, Gehard Schmidt shows Taylor, Mich., Mayor Greg Pitoniak and BP director of alternative fuels Carol Battershell, a Focus fuel-cell vehicle.

 

Ford Vice President of Research and Advanced Engineering, Gehard Schmidt shows Taylor, Mich., Mayor Greg Pitoniak and BP director of alternative fuels Carol Battershell, a Focus fuel-cell vehicle.

Ford Motor Co. and BP plc are joining forces to bring the U.S. closer to a hydrogen economy. Ford plans to place hydrogen-powered vehicles in metropolitan Sacramento, Orlando, and Detroit. BP will build a network of fueling stations to support them.

The proposal calls for Ford to provide up to 30 hydrogen-powered Focus Fuel-Cell Vehicles (FCVs). The Focus FCV uses an 85-kW fuel-cell stack from Ballard Power Systems, Burnaby, B.C. (www.ballard.com). The vehicle is hybridized with the addition of a nickel-metal-hydride battery pack and a brake-by-wire electrohydraulic series regenerative braking system.

There will be up to 10 Focus FCVs in each of the three metro areas. Some of the hydrogen refueling stations that BP expects to install will evaluate technologies that have near-term commercial feasibility, such as reforming natural gas. Others will test more long-term technology options and assess the production of hydrogen based on renewable sources.