The car manufacturer Ford delivered eleven vehicles to Icelandic New Energy in April 2008 which was added to the Icelandic fleet, and in April 2009 the first full sized electric powered hydrogen fuel cell Ford Explorer was acquired.

 Ford Focus (Fuel Cell)

The Ford Focus vehicle was added to fleet in April 2008.  By January 2010 15 Ford Focus Fc cars had been introduced to the traffic. Of those, 1 never started up after transport to iceland, probably due to frost damage underway, 1 has "given up" and one was crashed in a car accident. - Fortunately nothing happened to the driver and nothing to the fuel cell system either. The two cars that are out of order are currently a depot of spare part and function as to keep the others running. 

 Like the two Daimler vehicles, the Ford has been driven roughly two thousand kilometers in Iceland without requiring any major service. 

The Ford Focus FCV is powered by a Ballard 902 Fuel Cell, Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) stack. The car's 5000 psi pressurized hydrogen tank releases H2 into the fuel cell stack where the hydrogen is temporarily separated into protons and electrons, producing electricity, then united with oxygen from the air to produce the vehicle's only byproduct, water.

The Ford Focus FCV is called a Generation 3 hydrogen car since other research cars have come before it, namely the Ford P2000 fuel cell vehicle, which still holds the record of traveling nearly 1,400 miles in a 24-hour period. The Ford Focus FCV is powered by electric motor and receives its electricity from two sources. The first source is directly from the fuel cell and the second source is from the H2 car's battery pack (a module containing High Voltage SANYO Ni-MH Battery System). These vehicles may not freeze, - a feature that was overcome in later generations.

The Ford Focus FCV has a driving range of approximately 150 - 200 miles and a top speed of 80 mph. The Focus FCV's powertrain produces 170 ft-lb. torque and 87 bhp.

Ford Focus FCV Specifications:

  • Platform-2000 Model Ford Focus
  • Bodystyle-4 Door Sedan
  • Length-4338 mm (170.7")
  •  Width-1758 mm (69.2")
  •  Wheelbase-2615 mm (103")
  •  Curb Weight-1727 kg (3800 lbs)
  •  Fuel-Compressed Hydrogen
  •  Fuel Pressure -3600 psi
  •  Max Speed-128+ kph (80+ mph)
  •  Zero Emissions Vehicle

Electric Motor/Transaxle (Integrated)

  • Electric Motor AC Induction
  • Transaxle-Single Speed
  •  Configuration-Front Wheel Drive
  •  Peak Power-67 kW (90 hp)
  •  Peak Torque-190 Nm (140 ft-lbs)
  • Peak Efficiency-91%
  • Traction Inverter Module
  • Type-3 Phase Bridge
  • Max Current-280 amps
  • Max/Min Voltage-420/250 volts
  • Nominal Voltage-315 volts
  • Power Unit-Fuel Cell
  • Type-Proton Exchange Membrane
  • Stacks-Ballard Mark 900 Series
  • Reactants-Hydrogen/Air

Adapted from Hydrogen Cars Nows 20 April 2009


Ford Explorer (Fuel Cell)

The Ford Explorer Fuel Cell SUV boasts an impressive 350 miles per tank. The center-mounted hydrogen tank on the Ford Explorer Fuel Cell is placed where the 6-speed automatic transmission would normal go on the standard production version of the Ford Explorer.

Ford is claiming that the Explorer Fuel Cell has a driving range of 350 miles (563 km) and that this exceeds any other fuel cell vehicle shown to date. Ford will need to tell this to their Japanese friends, however, as the Honda FCX also makes the same claim.

The Ford Explorer FCV was built in cooperation with the U. S. Department of Energy, who continues to analyze the feasibility of hydrogen vehicles. The Ford Explorer Fuel Cell is a 6-passenger vehicle and has already undergone 17,000 miles (27.359 km) of road testing including setting a record of 1,556 miles (2.504 km)traveled in a 24-hour period.

As an electric all-wheel-drive vehicle, the Ford Explorer FCV joins the ranks of Ford's other green vehicles such as the Ford Escape Hybrid SUV and Mercury Mariner Hybrid SUV in delivering a sorely needed alternative to the group of low gas mileage, high emissions SUVs currently on the market.


Ford Edge

The Ford Flexible Series Edge was rolled on January 23, 2007 during the Washington DC Auto Show, just before President Bush's State of the Union Address, which addresses the concerns of the North American automakers. As a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV), the Ford Flexible Series Edge can run the first 25 miles entirely on battery power.

Once the battery is 40-percent depleted, the Ballard fuel cell kicks in and recharges the 336-volt lithium ion battery pack, which in turn supplies current to the electric motor to drive the wheels. The 5,000 psi hydrogen tanks and fuel cell add 200 miles to the vehicle's range for a total of 225 miles when combined with the battery pack.

This range is somewhat deceiving, however, as it may vary widely by individual driver and driving habits. For instance, someone who drives only 25 miles per day will be able to drive on battery power only and recharge the battery pack at night for 8 hours with a 110-v or 220-v outlet before doing the same thing the next day. Those who drive 50 miles per day will receive the equivalent of 80 mpg. Those who drive the entire range of the vehicle in one day will get a combined city / highway mileage of 41 mpg. The Ford Flexible Series Edge can reach a top speed of 85 mph.

The "flexible" part of the Ford Flexible Series Edge is that the fuel cell can be easily removed and replaced with a downsized gasoline or diesel engine. With this plug-in Ford Edge, the fuel cell size, weight and cost have been reduced by half and by using this type of hybrid system, the life of the fuel cell will be double the life of other fuel cells.

In Iceland the Ford-Edge caught the attention of many with its ability to drive roughly 320 km on hydrogen and another 40-50 km on the batteries.  Those who tested the car agreed that this platform could be the future and the ”dream car of Iceland” due to the combination of efficiency, long ranges, the fast refueling capabilities of hydrogen.

Lithium-ion battery technology remains a significant cost hurdle, however. Both Ford and General Motors have asked the Federal Government for as much as $500 million for additional research and development on lithium-ion technology in order to bring the costs down within the next couple of years.

Adapted from Hydrogen Cars Now 20 April 2009.