“Oh yeah? We’ve got one too, and it’s better!” — Ford to Chevrolet at this year’s Los Angeles auto show. A little while ago, Chevy announced their plans for a fleet of Equinox fuel-cell vehicles and also slapped a bowtie on the front of the previously GM-badged Sequel concept. So now–obviously–Ford’s gotta retaliate.
Because of the obvious competitive factor here, Ford is playing up the records set by its Explorer. Due to a large, center-mounted fuel tank, the fuel-cell Explorer can still hold six passengers while driving 350 miles on one tank of hydrogen. This helped the Explorer cover 1556 miles in a twenty-four hour period, a record for fuel-cell-powered vehicles.
The SUV traveled 17,000 miles in the past year as part of a Department of Energy study to determine the feasibility of hydrogen fuel cells as a viable technology for vehicle propulsion. Alternative energy seems to be the theme of this year’s L.A. show, and it’s good to see that the Americans are taking it as seriously as many foreign companies, notably those from Germany.
The bigger news? Ford tells us that this Explorer is just the first in a line of fuel-cell demonstration vehicles. The next will be shown in January at the Detroit show. That’s the big stage for the Big Three, so we’re excited to see what the blue-oval folks surprise us with.