On June 12, 2006 I had talked about how Ford was delivering five E-450 hydrogen shuttle buses to the Palm Springs, California region to be operated by the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians. Ford is now in production of 20 of the V-10 powered hydrogen shuttle buses, but the first eight are scheduled to be delivered to the State of Florida later this year (for use at airports and convention centers), followed by other regions of the country, such as Palm Springs, next year.
Ford is laying claim to producing the world’s first fleet of commercial vehicles powered by hydrogen internal combustion engines (H2ICE). According to John Lapetz, Ford Hydrogen Vehicle Program Manager, “By putting ourselves through the trials of coming up with a production-ready vehicle, we have learned what would have never learned by simply doing research. We’ve solved some durability and extreme weather issues that have given us a real head start on those that are still doing small one-off programs.”
The E-450 12-passenger hydrogen shuttle buses use 6.8 liter V-10 engines, retrofitted to run on H2. The shuttles carry a 30-gallon equivalent tank filled with hydrogen at 5,000 psi. For the naysayers who are saying that hydrogen vehicles are 15 years away, Ford is taking a bite out of this claim.