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Ford Edge Hyseries Hybrid (24/01/07)

Ford Motor Company has unveiled a hydrogen-fuel cell, battery-powered plug-in vehicle at the 2007 Washington Auto Show.

And this vehicle is no pie-in-the-sky concept car - it's a Ford Edge that's currently being driven on Michigan roads as a test vehicle for exploring alternative powertrains.

Unveiling the hybrid Edge in Washington, D.C., helps Ford showcase the vehicle and its technology in front of leading government officials and legislators, an important audience as Congress begins working under new leadership.



Developed under contract from the U.S. Department of Energy, the plug-in hybrid Edge is being used to demonstrate the reliability, lifetime, range and freezing-weather operating performance of such a vehicle.

The Edge is powered by the HySeries Drive™, a hybrid-electric propulsion system that uses the fuel-cell power unit as a charger for the 336-volt lithium-ion battery pack.

The vehicle operates in battery-only mode for the first 25 miles at speeds of up to 85 mph. When the battery is depleted to 40 percent of its charge, the fuel cell automatically kicks in to recharge the battery, giving the car a range of 225 miles.

The technology gives the vehicle the equivalent of a combined city/highway fuel economy rating of 41 mpg. The vehicle's battery pack can also be recharged overnight by plugging it into a standard electrical outlet.

"We wanted to take what was in a 'gee whiz' vehicle like the Airstream and connect it with something people are driving on the road today, something that wasn't just a futuristic concept vehicle," he said.

For those who do get inside and buckle up, the most obvious difference between the hybrid and a regular production Edge is the hybrid's bigger center tunnel between the seats. The slightly-larger tunnel houses the vehicle's protected hydrogen tank.

In the future, Staley said he hopes such hybrids would be designed to be built on common assembly lines with regular and alternative powerplants being added as easily as other components.


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