On Thursday, August 16th, the Ford Motor Company became the world's first automaker to set a land speed record for a production-based fuel cell-powered car, running 207.297 mph at the Bonneville Salt Flats in the Ford Fusion Hydrogen 999.
The 999 is the world's first and only production vehicle-based fuel cell race car and is the result of a collaboration with Ballard, Roush and The Ohio State University.
Ford researchers also are supporting student engineers from The Ohio State University on its Buckeye Bullet 2, a streamliner type fuel cell-powered racer attempting 300+ mph.
"What we've accomplished is nothing short of an industry first," said Gerhard Schmidt, vice president, Research & Advanced Engineering for Ford Motor Company.
"No other automaker in the world has come close. We are excited to have accomplished something never before done. We established this project to advance fuel cell powered vehicles and to do what has never been done before and we did it."
Schmidt said that Ford's historic run at Bonneville will further expand Ford's technological horizons with fuel cell-powered vehicles, because hydrogen is a fuel that could someday play a key role in meeting the energy needs of the transportation sector.\
The Ford Fusion Hydrogen 999 land speed record vehicle was designed by Ford engineers and built by Roush in Allen Park, Mich. Ford engineers leveraged the 2004 Buckeye Bullet's electric motor, while Ballard supplied the 400 kW hydrogen fuel cells.
Ford retiree Rick Byrnes, a veteran Bonneville racer, piloted the Ford Fusion Hydrogen 999 on its record breaking run. Ohio State students have designed their streamliner, dubbed Buckeye Bullet 2, from the ground up.
Ballard donated the hydrogen fuel cells for Ohio State's car, Roush its engineering services and Ford has provided overall project coordination and expertise in fuel cell drivetrains. (All photos by Sam VarnHagen/Ford)