The Truth About Cars » fuel cells http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Thu, 31 Jul 2014 20:58:02 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.1 The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars no The Truth About Cars editors@ttac.com editors@ttac.com (The Truth About Cars) 2006-2009 The Truth About Cars The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars » fuel cells http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/themes/ttac-theme/images/logo.gif http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com Toyota Aiming For Modest Annual Sales Of Fuel Cell Cars http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/12/toyota-aiming-for-modest-annual-sales-of-fuel-cell-cars/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/12/toyota-aiming-for-modest-annual-sales-of-fuel-cell-cars/#comments Thu, 12 Dec 2013 12:15:57 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=678458 Toyota believes fuel cells are the future, becoming a competitive technology up against other zero-emission compliance tech by 2030 at the latest. In fact, the automaker plans to hedge their bets in the near future by setting an annual sales goal of 5,000 to 10,000 fuel-cell powered machines beginning in 2015. Part of this push […]

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Toyota FCV Concept

Toyota believes fuel cells are the future, becoming a competitive technology up against other zero-emission compliance tech by 2030 at the latest. In fact, the automaker plans to hedge their bets in the near future by setting an annual sales goal of 5,000 to 10,000 fuel-cell powered machines beginning in 2015.

Part of this push is due to falling costs in fuel cell technology; when the above-pictured FCV enters showrooms in early 2015, just over half the $99,000 price tag will come from its smaller fuel cell, down from just over $1 million in 2007 when the tech debuted in the first of many concepts. Component sharing also helps to maintain a lower cost of entry, though Toyota says the FCV won’t be underpinned by the Prius due to differing structures between the two.

The automaker hopes sales of the FCV and other future fuel cell vehicles will rise to tens of thousands of units by the start of the 2020s, no doubt helped by a push to reduce costs through R&D to one-fifth of what a fuel cell costs to make at this point in time.

The FCV won’t be alone in this march toward progress; Honda plans to deliver a successor the FCX Clarity in the same year as the former’s debut, while Hyundai will lease 1,000 Tucsons fitted with fuel cells worldwide in 2014.

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Los Angeles 2013: Honda FCEV Concept http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/11/los-angeles-2013-honda-fcev-concept-harbinger-of-fcx-successor/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/11/los-angeles-2013-honda-fcev-concept-harbinger-of-fcx-successor/#comments Thu, 21 Nov 2013 05:13:30 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=658658 Honda’s successor to the FCX Clarity isn’t set to arrive on our shores until 2015, but those in LA bore witness to what its successor would look like through the eyes of the FCEV Concept. The FCEV can ferry up to five passengers due to the totatlity of the drivetrain stored within what Honda calls […]

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Honda FCEV 06

Honda’s successor to the FCX Clarity isn’t set to arrive on our shores until 2015, but those in LA bore witness to what its successor would look like through the eyes of the FCEV Concept.

The FCEV can ferry up to five passengers due to the totatlity of the drivetrain stored within what Honda calls “the engine room.”

As for power, hydrogen is used to create the electricity needed to drive the wheels forward. The automaker has improved this process since the FCX, managing 3 kW per liter of hydrogen consumed.

Honda expects the FCX’s successor to have a range of 300 miles, with only three minutes spent at the pump.

Honda FCEV 01 Honda FCEV 02 Honda FCEV 03 Honda FCEV 04 Honda FCEV 05 Honda FCEV 06

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Never Say Never: Hydrogen, Diesel En Vogue Again http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/11/never-say-never-hydrogen-diesel-en-vogue-again/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/11/never-say-never-hydrogen-diesel-en-vogue-again/#comments Mon, 18 Nov 2013 14:44:19 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=654082 Remember this piece from the Honda Summer 2008 Hydrogen Collection? It was supposed to point the way to future of green fuel technology before the Tesla brought plug-in sex appeal down the ramp with their Roadster and, later on, the S, as well as the trend of compliance EVs from Chevrolet, Volkswagen and Kia. But with […]

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Honda FCX Clarity

Remember this piece from the Honda Summer 2008 Hydrogen Collection? It was supposed to point the way to future of green fuel technology before the Tesla brought plug-in sex appeal down the ramp with their Roadster and, later on, the S, as well as the trend of compliance EVs from Chevrolet, Volkswagen and Kia.

But with sales of plug-in hybrids advancing far slower than originally expected regulators are taking another look at alternative ZEV powertrains.

Back in 2009, U.S. President Barack Obama set a goal for 1 million EVs on the road by 2015, going so far as to place a $5 billion bet on Tesla and Fisker among other automakers. Since then, only 95,000 units have managed to leave the showroom for the open road, with sales of over 500,000 predicted for 2015 by West Bloomfield, Mich.-based Baum & Associates analyst Alan Baum. With the current administration downplaying their role in the EV market, President Obama is awarding $4 million to aid in the development of fuel cell technology and storage for hydrogen-powered vehicles.

Leading the charge toward the hydrogen future is California. Aside from passing a measure to provide 100 hydrogen fueling stations as part of their clean technology vision, the state’s legislature has fine-tuned the Zero-Emission Credit formula to better benefit hydrogen vehicle producers — such as Honda and General Motors, who announced a partnership to develop their respective technologies back in July — while drawing down power from Tesla to as much as 40 percent by 2015 for each S sold.

Back in D.C., Audi is putting the pressure on the Environmental Protection Agency to change their mileage formula for the showroom window sticker, and to level the playing field in taxation between diesel and gasoline. The reasoning, according to Audi of American president Scott Keogh, is that the current formula favors gasoline power on the assumption that most driving is done in the city; diesel it at its most efficient on the highway, and is one-third more efficient than gasoline in otherwise equal conveyances according to the U.S. Department of Energy. The diesels used today are cleaner as a result of the advent of ultra-low sulfur fuel and tailpipe exhaust treatment.

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Hyundai Says Fuel Cells Will Be Cheaper Than Batteries, Will Debut Hydrogen Fuel Cell CUV Next Year http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/11/hyundai-says-fuel-cells-will-be-cheaper-than-batteries-will-debut-hydrogen-fuel-cell-cuv-next-year-for-sale-in-2015/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/11/hyundai-says-fuel-cells-will-be-cheaper-than-batteries-will-debut-hydrogen-fuel-cell-cuv-next-year-for-sale-in-2015/#comments Tue, 12 Nov 2013 10:30:25 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=648018 Fuel cells are back in the news, with Toyota revealing the FCV concept and Tesla CEO Elon Musk comparing fuel cells to bovine excrement. Now Hyundai says that they are preparing an electrically driven CUV powered by a fuel cell for a North American debut next year. Just before he was apparently forced to resign […]

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Fuel cells are back in the news, with Toyota revealing the FCV concept and Tesla CEO Elon Musk comparing fuel cells to bovine excrement. Now Hyundai says that they are preparing an electrically driven CUV powered by a fuel cell for a North American debut next year. Just before he was apparently forced to resign over quality control issues, Kwon Moon-sik, Hyundai Motor Group’s president of r&d,  told Automotive News that the Korean automaker sees fuel cells and not batteries as the future for EVs. He said that money is the reason, seeing greater opportunities to reduce the cost of hydrogen fuel cells than batteries.

“There is no problem with the technology — only with the cost and profitability,” Kwon said of battery EVs. “We cannot make a profit with them.”

Besides Hyundai and Toyota, Honda, Daimler, General Motors, Ford and Nissan have announced plans to have more hydrogen powered vehicles on the road by the end of this decade. When Toyota puts the FCV into production, it will cost just 5-10% of the cost of their first fuel cell vehicle in 2007, which was said to cost the Japanese automaker a million dollars each. By 2020, Toyota predicts, fuel cell production costs will fall by half again.

Hyundai’s fuel cell vehicle will be based on the Tucson compact crossover, with plans to make 1,000 vehicles for sale around the world by 2015.

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Toyota FCV Concept Previews Hydrogen Fuel Cell Car To Go On Sale in 2015 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/11/toyota-fcv-concept-previews-hydrogen-fuel-cell-car-to-go-on-sale-in-2015/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/11/toyota-fcv-concept-previews-hydrogen-fuel-cell-car-to-go-on-sale-in-2015/#comments Tue, 05 Nov 2013 14:25:22 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=642065 At Toyota’s recent Hybrid World Tour event, managing office Satoshi Ogiso made it clear that the company continues to see hydrogen fuel cells as part of the future drivetrain mix and that Toyota’s first commercially available hydrogen fuel cell vehicle will go on sale in 2015. Ogiso indicated that at the upcoming Tokyo and Detroit […]

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At Toyota’s recent Hybrid World Tour event, managing office Satoshi Ogiso made it clear that the company continues to see hydrogen fuel cells as part of the future drivetrain mix and that Toyota’s first commercially available hydrogen fuel cell vehicle will go on sale in 2015. Ogiso indicated that at the upcoming Tokyo and Detroit auto shows Toyota will be showing “a well-defined mid-size four-door sedan concept” powered by the company’s latest fuel cell. Images of the Toyota FCV (Fuel Cell Vehicle) Concept have now been released in advance of the Tokyo show. “Well-defined” appears to mean close to production ready.

The four seater, said to cost up to $100,000 when it does arrive in production form, will likely have a 300 mile range. The FCV Concept has two 70 MPa high pressure tanks for storing hydrogen located below the body which feed a small, lightweight fuel cell stack, a proprietary Toyota design. The “Toyota FC Stack” has a power output density of 3 kilowatts per liter, more than twice the power density of Toyota’s current “Toyota FCHV-adv” fuel cell stack. The system also includes a “high efficiency boost converter”. The result is higher voltage, allowing the use of fewer cells in the stack and smaller electric motors. That means reduced costs but also reduced weight, a critical factor in electrically powered vehicles.

 

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Elon Musk: “A Fuel Cell Is So…” http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/10/elon-musk-a-fuel-cell-is-so-bullsht/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/10/elon-musk-a-fuel-cell-is-so-bullsht/#comments Wed, 23 Oct 2013 11:00:28 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=632154 Speaking to Tesla enthusiasts at a Tesla service center in Germany, Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk insisted that batteries made more sense for powering electric vehicles than hydrogen fuel cells, calling them “bullshit” and saying that hydrogen isn’t safe to use as an automotive fuel. “Oh god, a fuel cell is so bulls**t. Hydrogen is […]

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Click here to view the embedded video.

Speaking to Tesla enthusiasts at a Tesla service center in Germany, Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk insisted that batteries made more sense for powering electric vehicles than hydrogen fuel cells, calling them “bullshit” and saying that hydrogen isn’t safe to use as an automotive fuel.

“Oh god, a fuel cell is so bulls**t. Hydrogen is suitable for the upper stage of rockets, but not for cars,” said Musk, not missing an opportunity to promote his SpaceX enterprise.

Musk was trying to get his audience to become evangelists for EVs and sustainable transportation to get people to see that electric vehicles are the next step beyond burning hydrocarbons. Getting on to the topic of hydrogen and hydrogen fuel cells, the Tesla CEO insisted that the major automakers that were investigating hydrogen either as a fuel for combustion engines or with fuel cells for EVs were doing so strictly for marketing reasons.

Musk went on to lay out what he believes are technical reasons for batteries’ superiority to fuel cells, power density relative to mass and volume along with the fact that fuel cells are expensive. Then he got on to an explosive topic, the safety of carrying around a pressurized vessel filled with hydrogen. “Hydrogen is quite a dangerous gas. you know, it’s suitable for the upper stage of rockets, but not for cars,” he said.

The Tesla head was in Germany to help boost sales of the Model S, which have been slow. Hoping to sell 200 to 300 cars per week in Germany by the end of next year, Musk announced that the company was developing an “Autobahn tuning package” for the Model S that will be offered to existing and future owners, though he didn’t give many details beyond improved high-speed handling. It’s possible that the package would allow more high speed accelerations than the current Model S does before artificially limiting power to preserve the batteries. No word on whether that feature will just be available in Europe.

Germany has higher speeds and the faster you go the less range your EV will have, so Musk also announced that installations had begun for the first six of what will be a countrywide network of Tesla Supercharger stations. Totaling between 40 and 50 stations, nobody in Germany would have to drive more than 200 kilometers (124 miles) to find the next charge. Superchargers have also been upgraded from 120 kW to 135 kW with even greater outputs anticipated. Tesla also will be be building enough service centers to have 80% of the German population within 100 km (62 miles) of a Tesla service location.

Musk’s remarks begin at ~16:20 in the video above.

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BMW And GM Cooperate On Hydrogen Car http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/12/bmw-and-gm-cooperate-on-hydrogen-car/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/12/bmw-and-gm-cooperate-on-hydrogen-car/#comments Sat, 10 Dec 2011 18:52:41 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=421957 At the Tokyo Motor Show, the announcement that Toyota and BMW are in cahoots over batteries, diesel engines and possibly more was the talk of the show. Back in Bavaria, BMW displays a promiscuous bent. BMW will cooperate with GM, yes GM, on fuel cells. This at least if the German magazine Wirtschaftswoche is correctly […]

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At the Tokyo Motor Show, the announcement that Toyota and BMW are in cahoots over batteries, diesel engines and possibly more was the talk of the show. Back in Bavaria, BMW displays a promiscuous bent. BMW will cooperate with GM, yes GM, on fuel cells. This at least if the German magazine Wirtschaftswoche is correctly informed.

Sources told Wirtschaftswoche that a cooperation between BMW and GM is as good as done. A MOU will be signed with great fanfare at the Detroit motor show in January, says the magazine.

BMW has no comment, but confirms that there are negotiations with GM. BMW is not known for its fuel cell prowess. According to the information of Wirtschaftswoche, highly profitable BMW will share the cost of fuel cell development with GM, and will be supplied with hydrogen-powered fuel cells by GM.

The on-again, off-again hydrogen fuel cell is definitely on again.  In our interview a month ago, Toyota’s chief for new technologies, Satoshi Ogiso, confirmed that the technology is ready for prime time, the only remaining problem is cost. Toyota will launch a mass produced fuel cell car in 2015. Ogiso promised it will be affordable by 2020. GM is looking back at a long history of fuel cell development and will also sell a hydrogen-powered car by 2015. So will Hyundai. Nissan (cooperating with hydrogen-pioneer Daimler)  likewise signaled that it will not place a single bet on EVs, and that fuel cell cars are in the cards.  BMW once had planned to launch an ICE that runs on hydrogen (see above), but that idea, well, bombed.

 

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