Since I haven’t heard much about the Ford H2ICE (hydrogen internal combustion engine) shuttle buses that were rolled out between 2006 and 2008, I thought it was time for an update on this program. So, I contacted a spokesperson for Ford Motor Company Communications and a Ford H2ICE Service Engineer for an update.
Here is the scoop from the Ford Motor Company Communications spokesperson, “The 10 buses that were deployed in Canada are still running. In Ottawa, 3 buses are at the Canadian senate operated by the Senate. In Vancouver British Columbia, 2 buses, one with Land Sea Tours doing public city tours, the other with West Vancouver Parks operating as an air- hotel shuttle. In Charlottetown, PE there are 2 city buses running. And in Toronto 3 buses are operated by the city.
“In the United States, 2 buses are running in Allentown, PA. One is operated by Air Products and Chemicals, the other by Lehigh Valley Hospital. Buses deployed for other programs are currently not running. Many of the customers ran out of budget or may have had issues with their fueling stations. We are continuing to work with the Department of Energy to re-deploy the buses if possible to new locations, providing funding can be found. Over the years of operation the buses accumulated a total of 332,500 miles.”
So what have been the goals and accomplishments of the Ford H2ICE shuttle bus program so far? Here are a few answers from the Ford H2ICE Service Engineer:
• Demonstrate product feasibility
• Educate customer & promote acceptance of H2 as an alternative fuel
• Support the development of the hydrogen economy
• Demonstrate capability of meeting future emission levels
• Provide technological development opportunities
• Promote Ford leadership in H2ICE technology
• Stimulate development of H2 infrastructure, codes & standards
• Vehicles have accumulated over 300,000 to date
• 11 locations trained with positive feed back
• 6 of 11 locations had to erected a fuel station (infrastructure growth)
• Meets 2010 phase 2 heavy duty emissions standards w/o after treatment
Sometimes what is new and newsworthy makes all the headlines so I thought I would give a little time talking about what the mainstream media is neglecting. Even though some of the Ford H2ICE shuttle buses aren’t running due to economic or fueling station issues, the rest continue to run, wrack up miles, demonstrate the feasibility of internal combustion engines running on hydrogen and push for more H2 infrastructure to be built.