A new report from Reuters highlight’s the Japanese auto industry’s increasing focus on hydrogen fuel cells, a technology that has long been written off as dead by many industry observers and battery electric vehicle advocates.
Toyota’s first mass production fuel cell vehicle was unveiled today in Tokyo, prices from just under $70,000.
Toyota is wasting no time in moving forward toward a hydrogen future, announcing it will build its FCV Concept-based fuel-cell sedan this December, with sales coming just in time for the big-red-bow-tie Christmas 2014 sales extravaganza.
A new gold rush in California is coming to the fore as private and public investments push hydrogen fuel cell technology forward, and the U.S. Department of Energy is the latest to enter the arena.
Though Toyota will soon end its battery program with Tesla for its RAV4 EV crossovers, the automaker aims to remain R&D partners on battery technology. Meanwhile, Panasonic wants to be the only producer involved in Tesla’s Gigafactory production.
After 20 years of pursuing a battery-powered future, Toyota has decided to take a different course powered by hydrogen.
For 40 years the Shell oil company has been putting out reports on what expects in the future. This year’s report titled New Lens Scenarios sees passenger road transportation being “nearly oil-free” by the year 2070. The report is in the plural, scenarios, because the futurists at Shell envision two possible outcomes, which they call “Mountains” and “Oceans”. In both scenarios the world’s population will grow to 9 billion people by 2050 and by 2070 electricity and hydrogen will be the primary means of fueling road transportation. (Read More…)
At a round-table discussion with reporters during last week’s Detroit Auto Show, Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche proclaimed that any consumer wanting to be green with fuel cells had better be prepared for a decade of disappointment with the technology.
It doesn’t have a name yet, and the prototype that Toyota unveiled at the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show was covered in camo, but the Japanese automaker promises that they will be selling a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle in the United States next year. The company is claiming it will have a range of 300 miles and will refuel in less than five minutes. The Corolla sized sedan has been tested in North America’s hottest and coldest locations and Toyota says that the emissions free car will have an electric motor rated at greater than 100 kW (>130 hp) and be able to accelerate from zero to sixty miles an hour in about 10 seconds.
“We aren’t trying to re-invent the wheel; just everything necessary to make them turn,” said Bob Carter, Toyota’s senior VP in charge of U.S. auto operations. (Read More…)