The Ford Explorer FCV SUV, first unveiled at the Greater Los Angeles Auto Show in November 2006, shows Ford’s commitment in pursuing a line of hydrogen-powered vehicles. The other hydrogen-powered auto currently in the automaker’s lineup is the Ford Focus FCV, of which approximately 30 have been rolled out as fleet and demonstration vehicles worldwide and logged more than 300,000 test miles.
While the Ford Focus FCV has a driving range of 150 – 200 miles per tank of hydrogen gas, the Ford Explorer Fuel Cell SUV boasts an impressive 350 miles per tank. The center-mounted hydrogen tank on the Ford Explorer Fuel Cell is placed where the 6-speed automatic transmission would normal go on the standard production version of the Ford Explorer.
Ford is claiming that the Explorer Fuel Cell has a driving range of 350 miles and that this exceeds any other fuel cell vehicle shown to date. Ford will need to tell this to their Japanese friends, however, as the Honda FCX also makes the same claim.
The Ford Explorer FCV was built in cooperation with the U. S. Department of Energy, who continues to analyze the feasibility of hydrogen vehicles. The Ford Explorer Fuel Cell is a 6-passenger vehicle and has already undergone 17,000 miles of road testing including setting a record of 1,556 miles traveled in a 24-hour period.
As an electric all-wheel-drive vehicle, the Ford Explorer FCV joins the ranks of Ford’s other green vehicles such as the Ford Escape Hybrid SUV and Mercury Mariner Hybrid SUV in delivering a sorely needed alternative to the group of low gas mileage, high emissions SUVs currently on the market.