Monday, November 26, 2007

The Mercury Hybrid: Protect The Future

Ford is trying to catch up with the world's expanding hybrid car market as it takes its hybrid car technology research seriously and schedule the launch of more Ford hybrid cars in 2008.

Ford Airstream Concept
Together with travel trailers innovator Airstream, Ford has designed its Space Age vehicle using the HySeries Drive system. The system uses a 336 volt lithium ion battery to generate power to sustain a Ford Airstream for its initial 25 miles.

Ford Airstream is trying to pair its lithium-ion batteries with hydrogen fuel cells, giving it sufficient wattage to run the electric motor. The result is 305 miles of travel, much more than the 280 miles you get if running on hydrogen fuel cells alone.

Part of the costs in developing the HySeries Drive with Airstream was shouldered by the US Department of Energy. Ford also paired with Ballard, a Canadian company who makes the fuel cells for Ford hybrid cars. These partnerships are being undertaken to meet an expected demand of 3 million Ford hybrid cars by 2010.

A new Ford Fusion Hybrid to be released in 2008
It would have been named Futura, if not for a lawsuit filed by Pep Boys, an auto parts shop. Thus, Ford decided to call its latest hybrid entry Ford Fusion Hybrid after a midsize car popular in North America.

Fusion Hybrid will be the fourth among Ford hybrid cars already out in the market. Its predecessors include Mercury Mariner Hybrid, Ford Escape Hybrid, and Mazda Tribute Hybrid.

Fusion Hybrid 2008 will maintain the PZEV (Partial Zero Emissions Vehicle) rating of the 4-cylinder 2006 Fusion. It will have a 2.3 liter engine which can generate 160 horsepower allowing you to drive at 30 mpg in highway conditions.

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