Cars Won't Run Out Of Gas. They'll Just Use Different Gas

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt
cars won t run out of gas they ll just use different gas

EVs are the darling of the media. In Europe, the Leaf is the COTY. In the U.S. and Canada, the range extended Volt is the COTY. Then why are most big European manufacturers (except Renault) and most Japanese manufacturers (except Nissan) dragging their heels when it comes to wholesale electrification of their fleets? Maybe because they are working on wholesale adoption of hydrogen. As previously reported, there are agreements between automakers and governments in Europe, North America, Korea and Japan to prepare for the mass introduction of fuel cell cars by 2015. Japan is ahead of the game.

Thirteen Japanese companies (no bad omen in Asia, nine would be bad, four would be really bad) got together to move ahead with hydrogen: Toyota, ,Nissan, Honda on the manufacturer side teamed up with supplier-side companies JX Nippon Oil & Energy, Idemitsu Kosan, Iwatani, Osaka Gas, Cosmo Oil, Saibu Gas, Showa Shell, Taiyo Nippon Sanso, Tokyo Gas, and Toho Gas. Note the presence of gas and gasoline companies. Note the presence of Nissan.

Today, these 13 companies jointly announced:

  1. As development of fuel-cell systems progresses, Japanese automakers are continuing to drastically reduce the cost of manufacturing such systems and are aiming to launch FCVs in the Japanese market—mainly in the country’s four major metropolitan areas—in 2015. The automobile industry hopes to popularize the use of FCVs after their initial introduction as a way of tackling energy and environmental issues.
  2. Hydrogen fuel suppliers are aiming to construct approximately 100 hydrogen fueling stations by 2015, based on the number of FCVs expected to initially enter the market, to ensure a smooth launch and to create initial market.
  3. With an aim to significantly reduce the amount of CO2 emitted by the transportation sector, automakers and hydrogen fuel suppliers will work together to expand the introduction of FCVs and develop the hydrogen supply network throughout Japan. The two groups are looking to the government to join them in forming various strategies to support their joint efforts and to gain greater consumer acceptance.
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  • Carlson Fan Carlson Fan on Jan 13, 2011

    My wife gave me one of those little hydrogen cars for christmas a couple years back. Even comes w/solar panel if you want to fuel it up w/sun versus 2 AA batteries. Expect electric cars to have a good run before hydrogen powered vehicles start showing up.

  • 202mph 202mph on Jan 14, 2011

    I assume most of you know Honda already sells FC vehicles in the states? Ya might want to view this if you haven't.

  • JamesGarfield What charging network does the Polestar use?
  • JamesGarfield Re: Getting away from union plantsAbout a dozen years or so ago, Caterpillar built a huge new engine plant, just down the road here in Seguin TX. Story has it, Caterpillar came to Seguin City council in advance, and told them their plans. Then they asked for no advanced publicity from Seguin, until announcement day. This new plant was gonna be a non-union replacement for a couple of union plants in IL and SC, and Cat didn't want to stir up union problems until the plan was set. They told Seguin, If you about blab this in advance, we'll walk. Well, Seguin kept quiet as instructed, and the plan went through, with all the usual expected tax abatements given.Plant construction began, but the Caterpillar name was conspicuously absent from anywhere on the site. Instead, the plant was described as being a collective of various contractors and suppliers for Caterpillar. Which in fact, it was. Then comes the day, with the big new plant fully operationa!, that Caterpillar comes in and announces, Hey, Yeah it's our plant, and the Caterpillar name boldly goes up on the front. All you contractor folks, welcome aboard, you're now Caterpillar employees. Then, Cat turns and announces they are closing those two union plants immediately, and will be transporting all the heavy manufacturing equipment to Seguin. None of the union workers, just the equipment. And today, the Caterpillar plant sits out there, humming away happily, making engines for the industry and good paying jobs for us. I'd call that a winner.
  • Stuki Moi What Subaru taketh away in costs, dealers will no doubt add right back in adjustments.... Fat chance Subaru will offer a sufficient supply of them.
  • Dartdude Lorenzo, the reason for low manual transmission here is that most dealers won't stock them. I wanted a 2012 Kia Koup with manual tranny it was available, but no dealers ordered any from the factory hence there was none available. Go on any car manufacture's web site and price and build and build your model and you would be lucky if the model existed and was available.
  • The Oracle Good news is that based on the model years many of these have already been junked or experienced terminal engine failure.