Ford Edge pulls together hydrogen hybrid plug-in tech

Ford unveils a research version of its Edge that combines every hot new propulsion technology.

Ford HySeries Drive Edge

As though Ford wanted its experimental Edge to rank high on Google's results for any alternative fuel car search, it unveiled a research version of its Edge that combines every hot new propulsion technology. First, this Edge is a hybrid because it uses electricity and hydrogen, which should please the mainstream clean-car crowd. Ford puts 'plug-in' into the car's power train tech, which should please the fanatical plug-in crowd that thinks current hybrids just aren't efficient enough. For the really forward-looking people who don't really need a production car on which to base their arguments, Ford adds a hydrogen tank and a fuel cell to the power train.

Ford HySeries Drive Edge stack display

We first heard about this Ford Edge at the 2007 Detroit Auto Show, in conjunction with Ford's Airstream concept . The press kit noted that the Airstream uses the same power train as this experimental Ford Edge. Ford is showing off this Edge at the Washington D.C. Auto Show, which runs from January 24 to January 28. Unlike the Airstream concept, the hydrogen fuel cell hybrid plug-in Edge is a practical car (except for the lack of a hydrogen refueling infrastructure). It can go approximately 225 miles starting with a full battery charge and a full hydrogen tank, with a governed top speed of 85mph.

Ford HySeries Drive

The power train, which Ford calls its HySeries Drive, is a somewhat different design than past fuel cell efforts. The car's motor gets electricity from a 336-volt lithium-ion battery pack. The battery recharges from either a wall outlet or from its onboard hydrogen fuel cell. With a fully charged battery, the car will go for 25 miles before the hydrogen fuel cell kicks in. Because of the power train design, Ford could replace the hydrogen fuel cell and tank with any other method of generating electricity, such as a small diesel engine, another searchable word that could raise this Edge's (or this blog posts) ranking.

About the author

Wayne Cunningham reviews cars and writes about automotive technology for CNET. Prior to the Car Tech beat, he covered spyware, Web building technologies, and computer hardware. He began covering technology and the Web in 1994 as an editor of The Net magazine. He's also the author of "Vaporware," a novel that's available as a Nook e-book.

 

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