July 15, 2004 [SolarAccess.com] Cars that run on fuel cells are technology that’s not-so-far in the future, but bypassing the fuel cell as a way to transition to a hydrogen economy is even closer. U.S. auto giant Ford joins the list of car companies perfecting direct hydrogen combustion engines. The Ford Research Center at Aachen (FFA) is working on a prototype hydrogen internal combustion engine (H 2 ICE) for the Ford Focus C-MAX, and unveiled the engine the Research Conference of the German Car Manufacturer Association (VDA) in Stuttgart, Germany. FFA has developed this technology demonstrator to analyze its technical and environmental potential. On the way towards achieving sustainable mobility, Ford regards the hydrogen internal combustion engine as an important step towards a hydrogen-fuelled future where fuel cells delivering clean electric power is the ultimate goal. Before the technical and economical maturity of fuel cell vehicles is achieved, it is important to establish a commercial demand for hydrogen fuel. This will help to establish a hydrogen fuelling infrastructure and, as more vehicles need hydrogen, so this network of fuelling stations will grow. The base engine in a Ford Focus is a 2.3 liter, four-cylinder gasoline engine producing 110 hp (82kW). The hydrogen engine in a C-MAX uses compressed gaseous hydrogen stored in three tanks. A supercharger enables the C-MAX to have similar performance to the corresponding gasoline engine.