Ford Hydrogen Buses Begin Military Shuttle Service, Support Opening of H2 Station
When a new hydrogen fueling station is unveiled today in the “Show Me” state of Missouri, Ford Motor Company will preview a new hydrogen-powered shuttle service for military commuters between Fort Leonard Wood and Missouri University of Science and Technology. The two hydrogen-fueled buses will make a guest appearance at the station opening to shuttle local officials and visiting dignitaries to the event.
The ribbon cutting at the H2 station in the E3 Commons development east of the Missouri S&T campus in Rolla, Mo., also serves as an official stop for the government and industry sponsored Hydrogen Road Tour, an unprecedented cross country hydrogen-fuel vehicle tour, traveling from Maine to California during August.
Ford, which has been working on hydrogen technology since the early 1990s, is the world’s first automaker to deliver commercial vehicles powered by hydrogen fueled internal combustion engines, according to Susan Cischke, group vice president, Sustainability, Environment and Safety Engineering, Ford Motor Company.
“The H2ICE project and our fleet partners continue to help demonstrate the potential of using hydrogen as a clean alternative to fossil fuels,” Cischke said. “We applaud the opening of an H2 fueling station in Rolla. It’s essential that the infrastructure for hydrogen be developed in conjunction with the vehicles.”
Missouri S&T is one of several Ford fleet customers using 20 H2ICE buses in locations across North America. Other Ford hydrogen bus users include the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority, SeaWorld Orlando, the City of Las Vegas, San Mateo County Transportation Authority, Ottawa Parliament Hill, Prince Edward Island, the City of Toronto, and the City of Vancouver.
Steve Tupper, Missouri S&T liaison to Fort Leonard Wood, said the new Rolla H2 station is another step toward defining the codes and protocols for using hydrogen on the nation’s roads.
“We’re grateful for the use of the H2ICE buses and we’re pleased to be Ford’s partner,” Tupper said. “This is a great opportunity to promote hydrogen technology as a ’green’ alternative to fossil fuels.”
In addition, the Hydrogen Road Tour is giving people hands-on experience with clean, efficient hydrogen-powered vehicles. The tour showcases government and industry progress while addressing the next steps towards commercialization, including the need for convenient, accessible hydrogen stations.
Hydrogen-fueled internal combustion engines have many advantages including high efficiency and near-zero emissions of regulated pollutants and greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide (CO2). Powered by a 6.8-liter V-10, the highly efficient E-450 shuttle buses are also all-weather capable.
Ken Sutter, fleet maintenance lead at SeaWorld, said the two Ford H2ICE buses in use at the Orlando, Fla., theme park have exceeded his expectations, ably shuttling visitors and employees between three locations, each logging about 300 miles per week.
“They’re very user friendly, quiet and have impressive power performance,” Sutter said. “SeaWorld has always initiated forward-thinking conservation elements to help preserve the environment. Ford’s hydrogen-powered buses lead us along the road of environmental responsibility.”
The real world use of hydrogen-powered buses continues to contribute valuable durability and performance data for Ford in its ongoing research to address the challenges of climate change and energy independence.
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