Skip to comments.Ford's plug-in hybrid takes fuel cell approach
Posted on 01/23/2007 8:54:27 AM PST by thackney
Big hurdles include the cost: millions per car
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 today is to display 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. The show opens for media previews on the eve of President Bush's State of the Union address, which is expected to include energy proposals of concern to the auto industry.
Several automakers have been working on similar technologies. General Motors Corp. will display the Chevrolet Volt, a plug-in electric car recently unfurled in Detroit with a range of 40 miles on the battery and more than 600 miles with a gas engine.
DaimlerChrysler has been pursuing plug-in hybrids and said Friday it would expand its test fleet in the U.S. to more than 20 Dodge Sprinter vans. The company's chairman, Dieter Zetsche, and Chrysler Group Chief Executive Tom LaSorda were expected to discuss clean diesel technology at the auto show on Tuesday.
Volkswagen will be showing the Golf GT TSI for the first time in the United States. The vehicle's supercharged gasoline engine has 170 horsepower while garnering 40 miles per gallon in the city and 48 mpg on the highway. VW estimates the vehicle gets 638 miles on one tank of fuel.
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 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 fewer than 50 miles per day would get more than 80 miles per gallon, Ford said.
The combined plug-in-hydrogen vehicle offers a new way to address some of the challenges of hydrogen fuel cells. The pollution-free technology could provide a sustainable energy source through the mixture of hydrogen and oxygen, but it faces a number of hurdles with its size, weight, cost and lack of a fueling infrastructure.
Ford reduced the fuel cell's size, weight and cost by half and said its approach would double the lifespan of the fuel cell's stack.
Mujeeb Ijaz, Ford's manager for fuel cell vehicle engineering, said the changes were "a great step to commercializing" the vehicle.
Ford has not set a date when it would be available.
The automaker said the vehicles cost millions of dollars each and commercialization remains hindered by a lack of a hydrogen infrastructure and the cost of lithium-ion batteries.
Only if the hydrogen is produced using a zero-emissions energy source like Nuclear, Wind or Solar.
Fix Or Repaie Daily.
First On Race Day ended in 1954!
Somehow missed Found On Road Dead!
I would happily drive a Volt, no problem with that whatsoever. First electric car I've seen that doesn't make me look straight out of Queer Eye.
If higher speed highway driving is you primary concern, you would be better of with Prius shape without the extra weight of batteries and secondary drive.
You have probably heard of Mr. Pogue from Canada who, in the 1930's, developed a carburator which used exhaust gases to vaporize the fuel so the engine ran on only fumes which is the way they are designed to do. He was able to get 200 mpg's in a mid sized car. There were numerous newspaper articles about his invention and the oil stocks even went down on the news of it. Unfortunatley, he was bought out by either a car maker or oil company, I don't remember which. It's pretty well known that the big auto makers and oil companies are purposely keeping great technology out of the scene so as not to greatly drop their profits. They believe they are doing the right thing but obviously it is hurting the average American.
I'll save the 117k that one of those costs, buy me a nice fat towncar for 25k and spend the savings on premium gas, thank you!
How did Big Lube and/or Big Piston keep the Soviets from developing that technology? What is now keeeping Big Sino from developing it?
Also missed "F***in' Old Rebuilt Dodge".
It's pretty well known that fools who heard of Mr. Pogue from Canada buy into this type of engineering quackery!
FACT: There is absolutely NO incentive or valid business reason why ANY automotive manufacturer would NOT want their products to get good or great fuel mileage.
Do you think that GM, FORD, DCX or others would sit by as their businesses crash from HIGH fuel costs? These firms are loosing BILLIONS of dollars each year.
If such an invention existed they would be the first to go after it as it could well mean their survival.
If the "Big Oil" firms had bought this device to keep it off the market they would have been dragged into the courts years ago by every firm that uses fuel.
Nice try - but it never happened.
Maybe their own oil companies are keeping it from them as ours are...greatly improved mpg's means alot less profits for the oil business no matter what country and less tax revenues for the government. Just do a search on Mr. Pogues invention and read about the many high mileage patents that have been bought by the car makers. It has and is happening.
But the Soviets didn't have "companies" and did want to surpass us. Ditto for Maoist China.
I've heard variations of this story (100 mile per gallon carburetor, for instance) for 50 years and know the stories go back much farther than that.
I think you should do a little reasearch on Mr. Pogues invention as well as others that have greatly improved gas mpg's before you post a reply. I have and it is a fact. I'm sure the car makers have made a decision that to let the high mileage inventions out of the bag will hurt their profits alot more than any poor sales that are usually temporary. They are also financially intertwined with the oil companies and of course if everyone got 100-200 mpg's that means alot less gas tax revenues. I think you are a bit naive about this subject. I'm not saying that the car and oil companies are evil...they are just protecting their profits but it is very short sighted of them. By the way, when I was 20, I copied some plans for a simpler vapor system using the radiator water for my big plymouth fury and went from 13 to 28 mpg's. The gas is formulated different now and takes a higher temp to vaporize or you would be seeing alot of simple hot water vapor systems on the market.
Pure fantasy. No company would pass up the money that could be made from selling such a device as well as guaranteeing petroleum remains the sole energy transportation fuel for another century.
"Half of what makes the Toyota Prius a successful design is that it is a very efficient shape with all sorts of low-friction, low-drag goodness." I'm waiting for the 23,000lb+ GCVW rated Prius so I can put my backhoe with the goose-neck 20' low deck trailer.
I think you ought to learn a little more science.
They don't say if that is the prototype or expected production cost.
A standard prototype often costs car companies over $1 million each for your everyday gas-powered car.
The first car co to come up with a H/batt no gas vehicle and sell it for under 35k will be the winner. The dems including GW will be passing laws in the very near future making gas about $5/GAL. They are going to tax us into oblivion in the next 12 to 18 months.
The H/batt car will be the future. No one will want to wait in long lines even for the Hybrid.
Where is the hydrogen going to come from?
As in Series Hybrids vs. Parallel. The "Volt" is a Series Hybrid.
So the Million Dollar question is did they change this Prototype Escape from Parallel to Series.
If my assumptions are correct and they have added a plug in capacity as well as swapped out for Lithium Ion Batteries, this would be a clone drive-train to the "Volt".
Does anyone see the pattern here and the significance of it?
Sounds series to me.
And one more thing... The Fuel Cell is as James Carville would say boob bait for bubbas... Any engine would work to run the generator.
you can believe false articles if you wish but if you do a little research of the news reports in Canada in 1936 you will see that Mr. Pogues invention did get 205 mpg's. He was bought out for millions of dollars as other inventors have been. Why do the big oil companies own something like 98 high mileage patents?...look it up, that's a fact too. Did you know that if all of the energy in one gallon of gas were exploded underneath the empire state building it would lift it up one inch. I have done so much research on the subject, there just is no question about it. A huge gain in everyone's mpg's would greatly reduce the oil companies profits and they are financially intertwined with the car makers. Not to mention the big cut in gas tax revenues. I hope you really look into the facts rather than just believe it's a fantasy based on limited research and some kind of odd preconcieved notion.
forgot an interesting link...http://www.electrifyingtimes.com/gasolinevapor.html
I think you need to double up on your tinfoil hat.
Even Mr Pogue later denied the claims. I have more than a little research in the subject and I am quite aware of the energy contained in gasoline.
Oh, now you've gone and done it. Don't you realize you've put your life in jeopardy, as well as those of every single person who has read this thread, by letting the secret of the 100 mpg (or was it 200?) carburetor out of the bag? Big Oil and their co-conspirators aren't going to stand for this sort of thing, you know. I'm leaving the office now to go into hiding, and I think you'd better, too.
You should look at the newspaper reports of Mr. Pogues test drive and the fact that he was bought out. They are not made up. Of course there are going to be false stories that it never happened. Anyone can write anything. By the way, Mr. Pogue may have had to say that it never happened. What you are doing is under estimating the length that oil companies will go to to not drastically cut their profits. There is so much truth out there about high mileage devices that to deny it is pretty weird. I don't know why you are doing it? Maybe you have bought a lie and just haven't wanted to admitt it? Sorry, but a ton of evidence is on my side as well as the 100% gain in mpg's that I obtained with a much simpler device in my plymouth fury. I didn't fantasize that either.
You at least got one thing right.
Have a nice day.
By this time any patent on this invention would have expired. If the idea is so great why hasn't the idea been used by anyone anywhere in the world?
A fool and his money are soon parted.
--Sorry, but a ton of evidence is on my side as well as the 100% gain in mpg's that I obtained with a much simpler device in my plymouth fury. I didn't fantasize that either.--
Why don't you start a company and put out a lot of info-mercials on late night TV. You could get rich, you know!
--and some kind of odd preconcieved notion.--
Like the laws of thermo-dynamics?
I have read about this in on-line articles over the past two years. The general agreement is that quantities of millions of cars would lower all production costs to be several thousand more than what we currently pay for our gasoline powered cars.
Keep in mind that advances in fuel cells are coming yearly. That what a company would make today is a generation behind what it would make next year and two generations behind what the company would make in two years. I believe that with current advances, in five years, fuel cell production will be quantum leaps over how a fuel cell would be made today. Look at the advances in gasoline powered cars over the last century.
The infrastructure is bought up repeatedly, but I think it is not relevant. If the following two hurdles can be overcome, (1) an efficient fuel cell manufactured cheaply and (2) hydrogen produced more efficiently (two big ifs), the infrastructure will pop into being overnight because of capitalism.
I'm intrigued by your knowlege of the Big Oil Conspiracies, perpetual motion machines, and UFO technologies. Where can I subscribe to your newsletter?
We need advances in hydrogen production.
Advances that may or may not come. A lot of research is going into that very question. I give it better than a fifty fifty chance.
How come the editor of your magazine is NOT getting 200 mpg in his Prius? Please explain how the etheric analyzer works, also. Thank you.
"Electrifying Times editor Bruce Meland and Dave Farnsworth, electronics Inventor drove to St Augustine from Bend Oregon in their 05 Prius fully loaded with 500 lbs of electronic gear. They did the 3200 mile trip in 2 1/2 days and $200 dollars of gas. They are there to test an etheric analyzer that can tap into many dimensions where ghosts and etheric spirits reside."
Feasts On Rice Dear
there is no law that says 200 mpg's is not attainable. You are letting your skeptical darkside block what is obvious...very high mileage devices have been invented. There is a company that is working and spending alot of money perfecting a system which vaporizes the fuel via the exhaust manifold. I believe they are going for well over 100 mpg's. I can find and send you the link if you want.
Not only that, but there are fuel cells out there that use gasoline or natural gas. Some strip the hydrogen with a reformer, which adds cost, others don't. NASA has led the development of many of the latter type (solid oxide - see, not all of NASA is a waste of money).
That solves the infrastructure problem right there.
But I agree - infrastructure will appear rapidly IF the vehicles are market-ready, especially if the gov't helps make it a priority.
I'm not as optimistic that it will be just 5 years, but I'd say in about 15 we might see some niche applications....
--There is a company that is working and spending alot of money perfecting a system which vaporizes the fuel via the exhaust manifold.--
How much did YOU invest?
--there is no law that says 200 mpg's is not attainable. --
200 mpg is attainable. Just not on your old Fury by replacing the carburetor.
absolutely true. But the question may not be so much a question of efficiency, but of flexibility. You can produce hydrogen with algae. You can split it using electricity from any of a variety of sources (coal, gas, oil, nuclear, solar, hydro, wind). You can also strip it off hydrocarbons.
I do not believe that hydrogen is necessarily the answer. But if you can get hydrogen power to be reasonably cost-competitive, you remove dependence upon a single source of energy (oil).
Whether or not hydrogen has significant advantages to pure electric is still questionable, in my opinion....
If engineers wrote advertising copy there would different kinds of howlers.
Please do... from your description it sounds just like an everyday EGR system that you find on every vehicle made. I remain VERY, VERY skeptical....