A state owned 1996 Force electric vehicle (EV) will be equipped with the fuel system. In choosing the Force, a retrofitted Geo Metro produced by Solectria of Wilmington, MA, consortium members can rely on a safe, reliable and energy efficient four door platform. The Force includes an AC motor/controller, drive system, regenerative braking system and battery thermal management.
To minimize costs and help pave the way for fuel cell commercialization, a 5 Kilowatt fuel cell was chosen to optimize range as a so called "range extender." With its complement of 13 lead acid batteries, the Force can achieve 50 miles at 45 MPH. As planned, the vehicle will be equipped with advanced batteries and ten hydrogen bottles that will take the New Jersey entry 400 miles at 45 MPH. The Consortium intends to reduce battery weight and increase energy density to offset weight associated with the fuel cell system and hydrogen storage. This strategy will meet the range and performance demands of the Tour de Sol. At this time, cost, re-fueling infrastructure and technology development impede the entry of a "pure" fuel cell powered car.
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