Quality Award Flies in the Face of J. D. Powers Vehicle Dependability Study

Im not much of a country music fan, but there is an old song by Willie Nelson that seems appropriate here. “On the road again, just cant wait to get on the road again.” Ford is on the move again with their Sustainable Mobility Technologies trailer.

The month of June was filled with covering events from Canada to California, showcasing their Fuel Cell Technology in action. Ford Motor Company is trying to send the message that they are aggressively pursuing and implementing advancements that reduce the emissions impact of vehicles on the environment.

Sierra Club and the Rainforest Action Network on the other hand believe differently, feeling that Ford has fallen behind when it comes to its environmental activities. “The closer you look at Fords environmental record, the more environmentalists agree that Bill Ford has betrayed his environmental values,” said Michael Brune, executive director of the Rainforest Action Network. “If you compare Ford Motor Co. to almost any company here in Detroit or any automotive company in the world, theyre falling further and further behind.”

So company CEO Bill Ford is reiterating what he says are the companys big environmental achievements and undertakings – in part to counter this advertising campaign against Ford by Sierra Club and the Rainforest Action Network.

Cited Ford, “As a result, weve taken a leadership role in moving fuel cell technology from the laboratory into vehicles on the road. Fords P2000 and Focus FCV fuel cell electric vehicles are powered by hydrogen, the earths cleanest, most abundant fuel and an infinitely sustainable energy source. Fuel cell vehicles offer the same safety, performance, and ease of use as todays combustion vehicles.”

But whats holding them back? Hydrogen is the most abundant element in the universe, but that doesnt mean you can fill up at the corner station. Distribution and production of hydrogen remains a problem. For the cleanest hydrogen, water must be broken by electricity into oxygen and hydrogen. But the law of perpetual motion reminds us that no system can be 100 percent efficient. Thus, more electricity must be used to create hydrogen than can be extracted from hydrogen in a fuel cell. In the end, an energy efficient means to create hydrogen remains a major stumbling block.

As well, various systems are currently being tested to store and distribute hydrogen, which requires either very high pressure (10,000 psi) or very low temperatures (-423F) to store sufficient quantities efficiently.

However, Ford believes that they are making significant grooves in the road to a hydrogen infrastructure by partnering not just with U.S. groups such as FreedomCAR, the Department of Transportation and the California Fuel Cell Partnership, but significant Canadian players as well. Recent announcements have been made outlining joint projects by Fuel Cells Canada, Natural Resources Canada, and the National Research Council.