Ford has kicked off production of dedicated hydrogen fueled V-10 engines, making it the first automaker in the world to do so.
"This engine represents a significant milestone in Ford's research efforts in hydrogen technology," said Dr. Gerhard Schmidt, vice president, Research & Advanced Engineering, Ford Motor Company. "We have learned a great deal about hydrogen powered internal combustion engines during the development phase of this engine."
The supercharged 6.8-liter V-10 engine will power Ford's E-450 hydrogen fueled shuttle buses. The buses are scheduled to be delivered to fleet customers later this year, first in Florida and then in other locations across North America. Hydrogen internal combustion engine technology represents an important step toward enabling hydrogen to become a viable motor fuel.
Hydrogen fueled internal combustion engines have many advantages including high efficiency, all-weather capability, and near-zero emissions of regulated pollutants and greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide (CO2). They can also be easily hybridized for further gains in fuel efficiency.
While the hydrogen internal combustion engine shuttle buses will provide valuable real-world experience, Ford is also conducting research into next generation hydrogen internal combustion engines, including features such as direct injection to enhance power and fuel economy.
"We have only scratched the surface in terms of what can be achieved with hydrogen internal combustion engine technology and are serious about maintaining our edge in this field," said Vance Zanardelli, chief engineer, Hydrogen Internal Combustion Engines, Ford Motor Company.
Ford's hydrogen internal combustion engine is much more than just a converted production engine. This 6.8-liter V-10 engine is specially prepared to burn hydrogen as a fuel but is based on the same modular engine series that powers many Ford products. Significant efforts were made to optimize this engine for hydrogen fuel to achieve maximum efficiency and robust durability in the customer's hands.
Prior to production, more than 7,000 hours of development and testing was performed on engine dynamometers to ensure optimum durability and performance when vehicles reach customers later this year.