Ford Airstream Concept Crossover
The Ford Airstream Concept
is a crossover vehicle that is also one of the first plug-in
electric hybrid vehicles shown by a major auto manufacturer.
In fact, the Ford Airstream
is so green with its 41 mpg combined city / highway driving
that it is also a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle as well.
Ford Motor Company combined forces with travel trailer icon,
Airstream to design this space age vehicle complete with aircraft
rivets standard on other Airstream products. With the Airstream
Concept, Ford is featuring its HySeries Drive system, which
is already in use in a Ford Edge prototype that is racking up
highway test miles. The HySeries Drive system uses a 336-volt
lithium-ion battery pack for pop and powers the vehicle solely
for the first 25 miles.
After that, the Ford Airstream kicks in its hydrogen fuel cell,
which supplies power to the lithium-ion batteries that in turn
spew out watts to drive the electric motor. When the 280 mile
range from the hydrogen side is coupled with the hybrid electric
side, the total range of the vehicle is calculated at 305 miles.
The Airstream Concept's HySeries Drive was partially funded
by the U. S. Department of Energy. Ford also teamed up with
Canadian company Ballard which supplied the fuel cell for the
crossover vehicle. With crossover demand expected to hit the
3 million mark by 2010, Ford wants to be ready and is ahead
of the curve in showing off its wares.
The inside of the Ford Airstream Concept vehicle is said to
be designed from the inspiration of Stanley Kubrick's 2001:
A Space Odyssey movie. In the back seat area is a 360-degree
entertainment screen that is part lava lamp, part virtual fire
and part live camera feed. The screen can also be used for playing
games or other entertainment.
In the front seat area of the Ford Airstream are captain's
chairs for driver and passenger, which help with socializing
that may be essential for long, cross-country road trips. From
the shotgun side, the passenger can also watch DVDs or post
mobile blogs. At the driver's disposal is a floating instrument
panel with touch-screen controls, containing essential driving
The Ford Airstream may just be the silver bullet the company
needs to get out of the red, into the black and headed for a
very green future.