Ford Motor Company recently made history by becoming the first automaker to set a land speed record for a production-based fuel cell powered car. The Ford Fusion Hydrogen 999 clocked out at 207.297 mph at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Wendover, Utah, setting a record for Ford and the bar for everything hydrogen.
The Ford “999” is the first and only of its kind and was built in collaboration with Ballard Power Systems, Roush, and Ohio State University. The collaborative also supports student engineers from Ohio State University working on the “Buckeye Bullet 2,” a more streamlined fuel cell-powered racecar which will attempt 300+ mph.
“What we’ve accomplished is nothing short of an industry first,” said Gerhard Schmidt, vice president, Research & Advanced Engineering for Ford Motor Company. “No other automaker in the world has come close. We are excited to have accomplished something never before done. We established this project to advance fuel-cell-powered vehicles and to do what has never been done beforeand we did it.”
The Ford Hydrogen 999 is an example of what Ford is doing to make advances in environmental innovation. The company hopes to offer vehicles with zero impact on the environment using multiple technologies including fuel cells. The historic run at Bonneville helps Ford zoom down the track of creating commercially viable hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.
Rick Byrnes, a Ford retiree and veteran Bonneville racer, had the incredible job of driving the “999” down the straightaway on its record-breaking run. Ford’s fuel cell vehicle team faced the harsh, desert climate of the famous Salt Flats and still exceeded the goal of 200 mph.
The Ford Fusion Hydrogen 999 was built by an extremely talented team. Ford engineers designed the hydrogen fuel cell racecar, and Roush took on the challenge of building it in Allen Park, Michigan. Ford provided the electric motor, and Ballard Power Systems supplied the 400 kW hydrogen fuel cells.
Ford Motor Company is very much involved in the advancement of hydrogen fuel cell technology. The company currently has a fleet of thirty hydrogen Focus fuel cell vehicles on the road, and collectively, the vehicles have traveled nearly 580,000 miles in an effort to test real-world feasibility of hydrogen fuel cell technology. For more information, please visit Ford’s Web site.