Ford released details of its hydrogen-powered, electrically driven Explorer that it will unveil at the Los Angeles Auto Show. The most impressive thing about this Explorer is its 350-mile range, where many previous-generation fuel cell cars have struggled to get up to 200 miles. The Explorer's range is made possible by a big storage tank that can hold 10 kilograms of hydrogen, mounted where the transmission would go on a gas-powered Explorer. Tank pressure is about 10,000 PSI, and yes, it's relatively safe. New hydrogen storage tank technology is way beyond the thin metal walls that make up today's gas tanks.
The Explorer gets power to all wheels from two 65-kilowatt motors and delivers an estimated equivalent gasoline mileage of 35mpg. But the most impressive thing--well, more impressive than the range--is that it covered 1,556 miles in 24 hours, setting a record for fuel cell vehicles. The Explorer uses a 60-kilowatt Ballard fuel cell and a 50-kilowatt battery. The interior space of the Explorer is uncompromised by the fuel cell system, as there's plenty of room when you take out the engine. We'll report further on the Explorer from the Los Angeles Auto Show this week.