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Thread: Ford aims for fuel-cell vehicle speed record

  1. #1
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Ford aims for fuel-cell vehicle speed record


    Ford Motor Co. plans to put its 10 years of hydrogen research expertise to the test next month by attempting to set the world land speed record in a hydrogen fuel cell-powered vehicle -- a Ford Fusion -- at the Bonneville Salt Flats.

    Scott Staley, Ford's chief engineer of hydrogen electric vehicle and fuel cell vehicle technology development, said that pursuing the land speed record will let Ford validate its hydrogen fuel-cell technology and help the automaker recruit talented engineers.

    The Ford Fusion Hyrdogen 999 fuel cell car represents a collaborative effort between the automaker, Ballard and Roush and Ohio State University, and is one of two vehicles the automaker is helping prepare to set world land speed records.

    "Racing is part of Ford Motor Company's DNA so it seemed only natural for us to build a fuel cell race car that runs on hydrogen, a fuel that someday could play a key role in meeting the energy needs of the transportation sector," said Gerhard Schmidt, vice president, Research & Advanced Engineering for Ford Motor Co. "Our goal in attempting this record is to further expand our technological horizons with fuel cell powered vehicles"

    The Fusion 999 will be driven by Rick Byrnes, a retired Ford engineer from Dearborn who has more than 15 years experience driving high speed vehicles on the Bonneville Salt Flats.

    Ford said the Fusion 999 will beat the land speed record set by BMW using a vehicle equipped with an internal combustion hydrogen engine, and the ethanol land speed record set by General Motors Corp.

    The 999 name is a reference to the Ford 999, a pre-Model T Ford that set a land speed record on a frozen Lake St. Clair.

    In another environmental effort, Ford reported a major breakthrough with soy-based polyurethane foam, the primary substance that makes up a vehicle's seat cushions, seat backs, armrests and head restraints.

    While many in the industry are experimenting with a 5 percent soy-based polyol -- one of many ingredients used to create the foam used in vehicles -- Ford researchers have formulated the chemistry to replace a staggering 40 percent of the standard petroleum-based polyol with a soy-derived material.

    Initial projections estimate that using a soy-based foam at high volumes could represent an annual material cost savings of as much $26 million, Ford said. In addition, soy polyols have only one-quarter the level of total environmental impact of petroleum-based ingredients.

  2. #2
    Senior Member misterdecibel's Avatar
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    Re: Ford aims for fuel-cell vehicle speed record

    Hmm, soy-based plastics will be a boon to my state, we grow a lot of soy here.

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