Ford steps up its greener technology commitment
Ford said it plans four more hybrid-electric vehicles in the next three calendar years â€“ building on the success of the Ford Escape Hybrid introduced last year. The company also said the State of Florida is the first customer for the new Ford E-450 hydrogen internal combustion engine (ICE) buses next year, and discussions are under way with the Dallas Fort Worth International Airport. "My great-grandfather's vision was to provide affordable transportation for the world. I want to expand that vision for the 21st century and provide transportation that is affordable in every sense of the word â€“ socially and environmentally, as well as economically," says Ford Motor Company chairman and CEO Bill Ford. The expanded hybrid lineup will include: the Mercury Mariner Hybrid, with production brought forward for sale later this year; Ford Fusion Hybrid, which will be on the road in the 2008 calendar year; Mercury Milan Hybrid, which will be on the road in the 2008 calendar year, and a test fleet of Mazda Tribute Hybrids this year and full-scale production in two years. All five will be full hybrids, which means at low speeds and when stopped, such as in city traffic or at a light, the gasoline engine automatically shuts off and the vehicle operates in electric-only mode. Meanwhile, the company has also announced that the State of Florida is the first customer for eight hydrogen-powered Ford E-450 buses that will debut in 2006. In addition, the Dallas Fort Worth International Airport is working with Ford on plans for fleet use of the V-10, hydrogen-powered buses next year. The buses will seat 12 passengers and their luggage, including the driver. The vehicles are equipped with a 26-gallon equivalent, 5,000-pounds-per-square-inch hydrogen fuel tank with an expected range of 150 miles.