Hydrogen-Fueled Hybrid Vehicle

January 13, 2003 [SolarAccess.com] Ford Motor Company unveiled a new hydrogen-fueled concept vehicle on January 5th, but unlike most recent prototypes, this vehicle uses an internal combustion engine rather than a fuel cell. Ford’s “Model U” concept car uses a supercharged engine to achieve a performance similar to a gasoline-fueled engine while using about 25 percent less energy. The engine also produces very low emissions, consisting mainly of water vapor and low levels of nitrous oxides. The hydrogen engine is combined with a 35-kilowatt electric motor in a “strong” hybrid configuration, which allows the vehicle to run on electric power only at low speeds. In addition, Ford used a number of “green” materials in the car’s construction, including Cargill Dow’s corn-based polylactide for the “canvas” roof and carpet mats, and soy-based foams and plastics for the seats and tailgate.
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