Hydrogen Buses Hit City Streets while Concept Car Sets Records
January 19, 2005
Ford Motor Company announced on January 9th that the State of Florida will be the first customer for its hydrogen-powered E-450 buses, debuting in 2006. Eight of the buses will be based in central Florida, where the state is establishing a "hydrogen highway." The buses burn hydrogen in V-10 internal combustion engines and are equipped with a high-pressure hydrogen fuel tank with an expected range of 150 miles. The Dallas Fort Worth International Airport also plans to purchase the hydrogen-powered buses next year. See the Ford press release.
According to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), Governor Jeb Bush launched "H2 Florida"—a statewide initiative to accelerate the commercialization of hydrogen technologies—in July 2003. H2 Florida partners the State of Florida and with industry, governments, and academia to showcase hydrogen technologies and stimulate consumer interest in the technologies. See the Florida DEP press release and the H2 Florida Web site.
Prototypes of Ford's hydrogen-fueled buses are shuttling media around Detroit during the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS), which is now underway, but visitors are more likely to notice BMW's futuristic prototype, the H2R, which is now on display in the NAIAS exhibit hall. In September, the prototype set nine international records for hydrogen-powered vehicles in one day, including sustained speed of more than 180 miles per hour over a mile-long stretch. See BMW's press releases on the NAIAS and the records set by the H2R, and for more information, visit the BMW H2R Web page.