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August 2006


Ford begins production of hydrogen internal combustion engine

Ford kicked off production of dedicated hydrogen fueled V-10 engines, making it the first automaker in the world to do so.

“This engine represents a significant milestone in Ford's research efforts in hydrogen technology,” said Dr. Gerhard Schmidt, vice president, Research & Advanced Engineering, Ford Motor Company.

The supercharged 6.8-liter V-10 engine will power Ford's E-450 hydrogen fueled shuttle buses. The buses are scheduled to be delivered to fleet customers later this year, first in Florida and then in other locations across North America. Hydrogen internal combustion engine technology represents an important step toward enabling hydrogen to become a viable motor fuel.

Ford's 6.8-liter V-10 engine is specially prepared to burn hydrogen as a fuel but is based on the same modular engine series that powers many Ford products

Hydrogen fueled internal combustion engines have many advantages including high efficiency, all-weather capability, and near zero emissions of regulated pollutants and greenhouse gases (CO 2). They can also be easily hybridized for further gains in fuel efficiency.

While the hydrogen internal combustion engine shuttle buses will provide valuable real-world experience, Ford is also conducting research into next generation hydrogen internal combustion engines, including features such as direct injection to enhance power and fuel economy.

Ford's hydrogen internal combustion engine is much more than just a converted production engine. This 6.8-liter V-10 engine is specially prepared to burn hydrogen as a fuel but is based on the same modular engine series that powers many Ford products.

Prior to production, more than 7,000 hours of development and testing was performed on engine dynamometers to ensure optimum durability and performance when vehicles reach customers later this year. The engine development process replicated the same stringent durability standards applied to other Ford engines.

Specialized components include valves and valve seats, spark plugs, ignition coils, fuel injectors and fuel rails, crank dampers, pistons, connecting rods and piston rings, the head gasket, intake manifold, twin screw supercharger and water-to-air intercooler and full-synthetic formulation engine oil developed in partnership with BP/Castrol optimized for hydrogen combustion properties.

At the 2006 North American International Auto Show, Ford displayed the Super Chief Concept, which demonstrated Tri-Flex technology, which allows a vehicle to run on hydrogen, E-85 ethanol or gasoline.

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