Ford HySeries Plug-In Hybrid Could Be First to Reach the Market

Fuel cells are a good fit for plug-in hybrids because recharging the battery pack means running the fuel cell at a steady rate - not the performance peaks and valleys produced when actually driving the car.

Published: 03-Jun-2007

With the Hydrogen Highway still largely a dream outside California, Ford Motor Co. sees plug-in hybrid fuel-cell cars as a transitional step, says one of the automaker's top engineers in the field.

People ultimately will demand fuel-cell vehicles that provide the same performance and flexibility as conventional autos powered by internal-combustion engines, says Mujeeb Ijaz, Ford's manager of fuel-cell vehicle engineering in Dearborn, Mich.

But the duty cycle of conventional engines - lots of idling and hard acceleration under load - drastically cuts the lifespan of fuel cells at their current state of development.

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