June 12, 2002
Ford shows next-generation hybrid fuel cell Focus in Montreal
Montreal, Quebec – Ford displayed the latest version of its hybrid fuel cell Focus to members of the press yesterday. The new model has more powerful battery pack, an electrohydraulic braking system, an improved hydrogen gas storage tank, and a more advanced fuel cell built by Ballard Power Systems of Burnaby, British Columbia.
“This is the prototype of the groundbreaking fuel cell vehicle that we will begin building in 2004,” said 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 300-volt Sanyo battery pack and a brake-by-wire electrohydraulic series regenerative braking system. Both of these technologies will also be offered on the Hybrid Escape, due out in 2003. In addition, the Focus FCV has a more advanced hydrogen storage tank, which can handle 5,000 pounds per square inch (psi) of hydrogen – versus 3,600 psi in the previous version.
Together, the new battery pack, regenerative braking and storage tank help increase the driving range of the four-passenger Focus FCV to between 250 km (160 miles) and 320 km (200 miles) – significantly improved from the previous version. The hybrid electric power system also gives the vehicle the “off-the-light” zippiness of a more conventional sedan and a top speed governed at 130 km/h (80 mph).
The new Focus FCV is Ford’s third-generation drivable fuel cell vehicle. The first, the P2000 FCV, was introduced in 1998. The original experimental Focus FCV debuted in 2000.