The Ford Motor Company is one of the car manufacturers committed to cleaning the air. They are doing their part in the protection of the environment by designing and producing alternative fuel vehicles. They are also a good supporter of President Bush's proposed mandate of reducing the dependency of the country on foreign oil and reducing the amount of harmful greenhouse emissions by as much as 20 percent by the year 2017. At the recently held 2007 Washington (DC) Auto Show, the domestic car manufacturer has unveiled the hydrogen-fueled, battery-powered, plug-in Ford Edge.
During the unveiling of the cutting-edge alternative fuel vehicle, government officials and legislators are present. Their presence is important for the carmaker, since they can show the lawmakers what they can develop in the future and that their effort in cleaning up the environment and reducing dependence on foreign oil is quite possible. Scott Staley, the Chief Engineer for Ford's Hybrid and Fuel Cell Technology Development, commented that: "Beside the public, the audience in Washington includes people in charge of energy and clean air policy so this is very much a showplace for exhibiting what Ford technology can do in the future ".
The Ford Edge unveiled at the Washington Auto Show was developed under contract from the US Department of Energy. This is another sign that the government is serious in their effort to help car makers in the development of clean cars. The main technology in the hydrogen electric hybrid vehicle is the HySeries Drive. The system uses the hydrogen fuel cell to recharge the 336-volt lithium-ion battery pack. The Ford Edge hybrid uses the battery for the first 25 miles of operation, with a top speed of 85 miles per hour. Once the system detects that the battery has lost as much as 40 percent of its charge, the fuel cell then takes on the job of powering the car. While the vehicle runs on the fuel cell, the battery is being charged for future use.
The capacity of the system to shift from battery to fuel cell power allows the Ford Edge to travel as far as 225 miles on a full charge. In terms of MPG rating, the equivalent rating of the Ford Edge hybrid is 41 miles per gallon. Aside from the fact that the battery can be charge using the fuel cell as it powers the vehicle, the Ford Edge is also a plug-in car. This means that its battery can be charged using a standard household electrical outlet.
The Ford Edge is one of a kind in the sense that most hybrid electric vehicles use an electric motor powered by a battery pack to complement an internal combustion engine. This means that these vehicles, like the Toyota Prius, also make use of gasoline despite in significantly lower amounts. In contrast, the Ford Edge hybrid uses fuel cell to complement the use of battery power to drive the vehicle. Aside from the capacity of the Ford Edge hydrogen electric hybrid to use alternative fuels, it is also made out of reliable parts, as reliable and as tough as Volvo 850 parts.
The Ford Motor Company continues their dedication to producing environmentally-friendly vehicles. The domestic car maker is the first to develop, produce, and introduce to the public an SUV hybrid. The Ford Escape hybrid was released in 2004 to give their consumers good fuel economy without sacrificing the looks and capabilities of a sports utility vehicle. The Ford Escape Hybrid remains to this day one of the cleanest and most fuel efficient small sports utility vehicle in the market today along with the Mercury Mariner.