Ford Announces New Ford Focus HEV

March 25, 2002 by Jeff Shepard

Ford Motor Co. (Dearborn, MI) announced that it is combining the latest hybrid-electric vehicle (HEV) technology with an advanced new fuel cell to create an all-new, highly efficient, zero-emission Ford Focus. The new Ford Focus fuel cell vehicle (FCV) is claimed to be one of the industry's first hybridized fuel cell vehicles, which combines the range and performance of hybrid technology with the overall benefits of a fuel cell.

"This is the prototype of the ground-breaking fuel cell vehicle that we will begin building in 2004," says John Wallace, executive director of Ford's environmental TH!NK group. "This latest technology brings us one step closer to making fuel cell vehicles viable for consumers. While it is still a long road to commercialization, our long-term goal is to provide customers with the environmental benefits of a fuel cell without compromising on today's performance and functionality."

The new Focus FCV has been hybridized with the addition of a 300V Sanyo battery pack and a brake-by-wire electro-hydraulic series regenerative braking system. In addition, the Focus FCV has a more advanced hydrogen storage tank, which can handle 5,000lbs per square inch (psi) of hydrogen, verses 3,600psi in the previous version. It features a driving range between 160 and 200 miles, a top speed of 80mph, a new Ballard Mark 902 fuel cell stack, and an integrated powertrain.

The new Focus FCV is part of an experimental fleet to help prove the technology as part of the California Fuel Cell Partnership. Five Focus FCV's will be produced this year for testing and demonstration, leading up to low-volume customer production by 2004.