Visitors to the Ford stand at the British International Motor Show are getting a taste of a greener future with the Ford Focus FCV Hybrid.
As it has throughout the Show, the car has attracted the interest of crowds during today's Environment Day.
Powered by a fuel cell hybrid system and operating with gaseous hydrogen, it boasts several attributes that an internal combustion engine will never have.
The hybrid vehicle runs without producing any type of toxic emissions and, according to the manufacturer, breaks new ground in the levels of fuel efficiency it achieves.
Modern petrol engines are at best capable of converting 30 per cent of the energy potential of its fuel into power, while a modern diesel unit can achieve around 40 per cent.
However, the company claims the Ford Focus FCV Hybrid can achieve a maximum efficiency of 90 per cent, the highest specific output (power-from-fuel-ratio) of any known propulsion system.
Ford's Mike Peach said visitors were fascinated by the vehicle. “The reaction is uplifting. You see people's eyes lighting up when they think about a car in the future with zero pollution.”
The hydrogen filled into the tank - which sits in the boot of the car - provides the vehicle with a range of about 320 kilometres. Now Ford researchers are looking to develop ways to increase that range.
Ford argues that hydrogen is a promising future source of energy, particularly because it can power fuel cells that produce no exhaust gas. “Hydrogen will be the energy source of the future, and Ford has been dedicating major research and development resources towards the objective of harnessing its power to propel motor vehicles as soon as possible.”Published 31 October 2002