While Ford is embarking on a major electrification journey that will see its entire passenger vehicle lineup in Europe convert to EVs by 2030, the automaker has also been quite frank about the fact that battery technology isn’t quite viable for heavier-duty vehicles at this time. Thus, instead, it’s seeking to use hydrogen power to clean up the emissions of vehicles like the Ford Super Duty, which is participating in multiple pilot programs designed to study the viability of such a combination. Now, the Ford E-Transit will join it in a new UK-based hydrogen fuel cell trial as well.
In the van-happy market of Europe, the award-winning Ford E-Transit is already a popular entity, but there are certainly customers that need a vehicle with more range and quicker refueling times. The solution – at least in the short term – could be hydrogen fuel cell technology, which is precisely why Ford is teaming up with the Advanced Propulsion Center (APC) and six fleet companies to test out this concept in the real world, as well as determine what sort of infrastructure might be needed to support it.
A grand total of eight Ford E-Transit vans will be outfitted with a high-power fuel cell stack and significant hydrogen storage capability as part of this pilot, a system that produces electricity by combining hydrogen from an onboard tank with oxygen, which results in zero emissions, extended range, and quicker refueling. The fleet will run for six-month periods over the course of the next three years, and The Blue Oval will use the data it collects from the pilot to determine if this combination proves to be a viable one for certain types of businesses.
“Ford believes that the primary application of fuel cells could be in its largest, heaviest CVs to ensure they are emission-free, while satisfying the high daily energy requirements our customers demand,” said Tim Slatter, chair of Ford in Britain. “Ford has an unmatched history in the commercial vehicle sector with the indomitable Transit, and we are excited to be exploring new ways to make clean deliveries an option for even our hardest working vans on the road.”
We’ll have more on the E-Transit soon, so be sure and subscribe to Ford Authority for the latest Ford Transit news and non-stop Ford news coverage.
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