PALM SPRINGS, CA — Ford Motor Co., the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians, and the Clean Cities Coachella Valley Region (C3VR), announced on May 2 a multi-year partnership that will place at least five hydrogen powered Ford shuttles in operation next year in California's Coachella Valley. Ford's V-10, E-450 shuttles will assist the Tribe and C3VR in their efforts at developing more efficient and cleaner ways to move visitors around the downtown Palm Springs area. The E-450 demonstration program will be managed by C3VR while the vehicles may be operated by the Tribe. Both will work with the national Clean Cities program to identify additional funding sources for the fleet. Ford Motor Co. is advancing hydrogen fuel technologies as a way of reducing emissions and decreasing our nation's energy dependence on fossil fuels. In addition to the H2ICE shuttle program, Ford is partnering with BP to place a fleet of Ford Focus Fuel Cell Vehicles on California roads as part of a U.S. Department of Energy demonstration project. Operating these demonstration vehicles in real world situations creates the opportunity to collect data and advance the development of hydrogen-based technologies. Ford is the only automaker actively developing four alternative-fuel technologies: gasoline-electric hybrids, clean diesels, hydrogen internal combustion engines and hydrogen fuel cells. Developed by Ford Research and Advanced Engineering, the V-10, E-450 hydrogen shuttle is powered by a hydrogen internal combustion engine (H2ICE), which is a traditional internal combustion engine that is modified to run on hydrogen, rather that gasoline. Compared with today's gasoline engines, the H2ICE delivers up to 99.7 percent reduction in CO2 and includes many of the benefits of a hydrogen fuel cell, but at a fraction of the cost. The shuttle seats up to 12 passengers and their luggage, including the driver. The range is expected to be up to 150 miles depending on conditions and vehicle load. Ford plans to produce up to 100 V-10 hydrogen E-450 buses for delivery to fleet customers in 2006.

Originally posted on Fleet Financials