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Ford A/C provides more than just cool air

By Steve Schaeber, MACS Technical Editor

Over the years Ford has been at the forefront of automotive engineering and design, and not just in the styling and horsepower departments but with air conditioning, too. Back in the 1950’s they came out with the first mixed air heater, and it was in the 1970’s that they developed the spring lock connector, widely used in fuel and A/C lines. Now they’re onto a new innovation, which may one day bring cool fresh water to the dashboard in your new car or truck.

And you never know where the spark for such innovation will come from either. In this case, Ford engineer Doug Martin came up with the idea after reading about a billboard in Lima, Peru that condenses water out of the air and provides a source of drinking water for the local residents who didn’t otherwise have access to clean water. So he thought of a way to do something like that with cars.

His innovation collects the A/C condensate that normally drops off the bottom of the car after it drips from the evaporator. He then filters the water and pumps it to a faucet in the passenger compartment for drinking.

Doug Martin, On-the-Go H20 Innovator

Ford engineer Doug Martin poses in a Ford C-Max with his water spout invention which provides filtered water for vehicle passengers, sourced from reclaimed condensate water from the vehicle’s air conditioning evaporator.

Martin developed the system with his colleague John Rollinger and sees it as a big benefit in developing countries where there is a shortage of clean water. Even in places where they do have access to water, but it’s not so clean, an adapter kit for Ford’s system can filter outside water and clean it for drinking.

On-the-Go H2O System

Mounted at the vehicle’s center console cup holder, this faucet provides clean drinking water recycled from the A/C evaporator’s condensate drip.

On-the-Go H2O System

Simply press the faucet’s dispensing button to release cool, clean, recycled drinking water directly into your cup. Who wouldn’t love to have a water fountain in their car?

Maybe one day Mo Rocca will pick up this story and put it on The Henry Ford’s “Innovation Nation,” the Saturday morning show on CBS that showcases present-day change makers from all over the world who are creating solutions to real needs. Check out their website at for more information about the show!

More information about Ford and their “Further with Ford” news program can be found on Ford’s media website at this address:

Check out Ford’s “On-the-Go H2O” video on the MACS YouTube channel by clicking here:

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