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The Detroit News Autos Insider reports that Ford has revealed development of a hydrogen-fuelled engine that meets the world’s toughest emissions standards. It was revealed at the advanced vehicle technology-focused Michelin Challenge Bibendum event taking place in Shanghai.

The report said that with lean NOx Trap (LNT) aftertreatment, Ford’s 2.3-liter supercharged four-cylinder engine meets the most stringent emissions standards known as SULEV-Bin 2.

Ford said its goal for the powertrain is to produce virtually no CO2, and deliver gasoline-like performance. “This is a breakthrough and part of Ford’s better world vision,” said Sue Cischke, vice president, environmental and safety engineering. “No company has ever demonstrated a hydrogen internal combustion engine that can meet these standards and have near zero carbon dioxide emissions.”

According to Dr. Arun Jaura, technical leader for Ford’s hybrid vehicle development, work is continuing on evaluating different superchargers in order to give the hydrogen IC powertrain comparable performance to a conventional gasoline-fuelled motor.

Plans for ‘production real-world use’ of the engine will involve “less than 100 units” to be deployed in fleets in North America within the next 24 months, noted Jaura. Vehicles equipped with the engines may appear in several states, including California, Michigan, Florida and New York, where hydrogen-fuelling infrastructures are being established, the Detroit News report added.