Dr Gerhard Schmidt, vice-president of research and advanced engineering at Ford Motor Company, and Joe Hinrichs, president and CEO of Ford of Canada, presented the new cars to the Government of Canada, which has invested $4.5 million in the Vancouver Fuel Cell Vehicle Program project.

Overall, $9 million will be invested in the fuel cell initiative by the co-operative group, which includes the Government of Canada, Ford Motor Company, Fuel Cells Canada and the Government of British Columbia.

BC Hydro, BC Transit, Ballard Power Systems, the City of Vancouver, Fuel Cells Canada, the National Research Council (NRC), Natural Resources Canada and the Government of British Columbia will use the new Ford Focus Fuel Cell Vehicles (FCVs) in real daily driving conditions as part of a three-year hydrogen fuel technology demonstration program.

The Ford Focus FCV is a third-generation hybrid-electric vehicle that uses the Canadian-made Ballard Mark 902 series fuel cell engine and Dynetek 5,000-psi compressed-hydrogen storage tanks. As part of the initiative the performance of each car will be carefully monitored over the next three years, providing critical data for the continued development of fuel cell technology.

We applaud the Canadian and international stakeholders supporting the Vancouver Fuel Cell Vehicle Program. Together, they are accelerating the development of hydrogen and fuel-cell technologies for transportation applications, said Chris Curtis, interim president of Fuel Cells Canada. Ford’s decision to evaluate its latest fuel cell vehicles in Vancouver recognizes Canada’s and British Columbia’s global leadership in this arena.