World’s First Hydrogen Shuttle Buses Go To Florida
Florida has became the first customer for Ford’s new hydrogen powered shuttle bus expected to hit the road next year. The state is ordering eight of the V-10, Ford E-450 buses –the world’s first commercially available hydrogen vehicles.
“Hydrogen is the most abundant element on earth, existing in our air, drinking water and fuel,” said Governor Jeb Bush. “Using hydrogen as a renewable power source decreases America’s dependence on foreign oil, protects air quality and diversifies our economy.”
Propelled by an internal combustion engine that is supercharged and inter-cooled for maximum efficiency, the 12-passenger bus is designed to run on hydrogen fuel instead of gasoline.
The eight buses will be based in Central Florida.
The vehicle is equipped with a 26 gallon equivalent, 5,000 pounds-per-square-inch hydrogen fuel tank with an expected range of about 150 miles. With near-zero emissions, the engine is up to 25 percent more fuel efficient than a typical gasoline engine.
“My great-grandfather’s vision was to provide affordable transportation for the world. I want to expand that vision for the 21st century and provide transportation that is affordable in every sense of the word– socially and environmentally, as well as economically,” said Ford Motor Company Chairman and CEO Bill Ford. “That means vehicles that are safe, clean, and energy efficient.”
Eighteen months ago, Governor Bush launched H2 Florida, a statewide initiative to accelerate the commercialization of hydrogen technologies, spur investment and economic opportunity and safeguard natural resources. As part of the initiative, the state partners with industry, governments and universities to showcase hydrogen technologies and stimulate a consumer market.
“These state of the art hydrogen vehicles use existing, proven technologies to deliver environmental benefits simply and cost-effectively,” said Allan Bedwell Department of Environmental Protection deputy secretary for regulatory programs and energy. “Public and private investment is taking pollution-free transportation from a laboratory concept to an every day reality – and it is happening first in Florida.”
Last spring, Ford and BP America selected Florida as one of three U.S. sites to demonstrate hydrogen fuel cell cars and fueling stations. The hydrogen powered vehicles, which emit only steam, will be used by DEP park rangers at Wekiwa Springs State Park and customer service representatives at Progress Energy Florida.
Provided by the Environmental News Service.