Both on the road and display at this years’ Woodward Dream Cruise in Birmingham is Ford’s Hydrogen Fuel Cell version of the popular Focus sedan. Due to the expense of Fuel Cell technology, which involves the extensive use of platinum, the humble Focus turned out to be the most expensive car at the show. The price tag for developing the vehicle is close to $1 million according to Ford. This display car is just 1 out of 9 Focuses from Ford’s fleet of 30 Fuel Cell vehicles, which are undergoing real-world testing in 7 cities across the globe.
In related news, plans are underway for the first ever fuel cell racing event to help promote the benefits and viability of the emission-free technology. Dutch company Formula Zero plans to create an entire racing series similar to the Formula-One with events and will be held around the world to coincide with major motoring events such as the Paris Air Show, Goodwood, Festival of speed, and the Michelin Challenge Bibendum.
The vehicles themselves will start off as small hydrogen powered go-karts but the plan is to move up to full-scale autos to be driven on real-world race tracks and be regulated under the FIA. Formula Zero is aiming at a 2008–09 start and is currently partnered with Shell Hydrogen, Ecofys and TNO Automotive plus selected universities.