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Posts Tagged ‘fuel cell news’

VW, Stanford U Partner to Develop New Fuel Cell Technology

New process could cut price significantly.

by Joseph Szczesny on Sep.28, 2018

New technology being developed by Volkswagen and Stanford University might make this type of fueling up a reality.

Volkswagen has teamed up with Stanford University to develop a process to manufacture the fuel cells that can power vehicles in the future by reducing the amount of platinum used.

Fuel-cell technology is regarded as a serious alternative to battery-electric technology, but it has always come with a comparatively high cost.

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One of the biggest cost drivers for fuel cells is the use of the platinum, which is required as a catalyst to operate the fuel cell.  (more…)

Japan Going All In on Fuel Cells

Country plans to have 800,000 fuel cell vehicles on roads by 2030.

by Joseph Szczesny on Mar.08, 2018

Toyota's Yoshikazu Tanaka, the chief engineer of the Mirai fuel-cell vehicle, confirmed Toyota's commitment to fuel cell vehicles.

Japan is gearing up to put 800,000 vehicles powered with fuel cells on the road by 2030.

Japanese experts from business and academia outlined Japan’s fuel-cell push at the “Coping with Change: Global Warming and Decarbonization,” an international symposium organized by Venice International University and Alcantara, the Milan-based maker of luxury fabric used for automotive interiors. Japan’s fuel cell push has the support of the Japanese government.

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Yasuhiro Daisho, senior research professor at Waseda University and an emeritus researcher for Japan’s Next Generation Vehicles Research Council, offered a broad overview of the goals set out by Japanese industry and Japanese government. (more…)

Toyota Setting up LA Plant to Convert Animal Waste to Clean Hydrogen

California pilot program could keep thousands of zero-emissions cars, trucks fueled up.

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Nov.30, 2017

Toyota's Doug Murtha talks about the automaker's hydrogen plant during the Los Angeles Auto Show.

Animal waste from the farms of California’s fertile Central Valley will soon be used to fuel up a new generation of ultra-clean cars and trucks, Toyota announced Thursday during a news conference at the Los Angeles Auto Show.

One of the industry’s biggest proponents of fuel-cell vehicles, or FCVs, Toyota hopes the Tri-Gen Project it is setting up at the Port of Long Beach, in suburban Los Angeles, will help overcome the chicken-and-egg problem that has so far limited acceptance of hydrogen power: the lack of a production and distribution network.

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“We believe hydrogen technology has the potential to become the powertrain of the future,” said Doug Murtha, a group vice president for strategic planning with Toyota’s North American operations. Adding the project, which will generate 1.2 tons of hydrogen a day, will be “a key milestone in Toyota’s larger commitment to clean mobility.” (more…)

Bigger is Better with Hydrogen Power, GM Concludes

Automaker’s fuel-cell efforts will target big SUVs, pickups, commercial and military vehicles.

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Oct.18, 2017

SURUS was designed to form a foundation for a family of commercial vehicle solutions that leverages a single propulsion system integrated into a common chassis.

It’s been four decades since General Motors rolled out its first fuel-cell vehicle, a large van offering the room needed to haul around all the powertrain hardware and tanks full of hydrogen.

These days, all that technology has been downsized to the point where it can fit inside a compact car and leave plenty of room for passengers and cargo. But while some competitors – including Toyota, Hyundai and Honda – are focused on bringing to market small, hydrogen-powered passenger cars, GM is, in a sense, going back to its roots.

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The automaker is betting that it makes more sense to electrify small vehicles, like its Chevrolet Bolt EV and the roughly 20 other BEVs it plans to bring to market by 2023. When it comes to hydrogen, the head of its fuel-cell program sees the biggest opportunity for vehicles like large SUVs, full-size pickups and commercial and military vehicles. (more…)

Hyundai Set to Expand Line-up of Eco-Friendly Vehicles

Hyundai, Kia to introduce 31 new vehicles by 2020.

by Joseph Szczesny on Aug.17, 2017

The Hyundai Tucson fuel cell model is about to get a sibling in the near term, according to Hyundai officials.

Hyundai Motor Co. is moving ahead with the launch of a group eco-friendly vehicles that include fuel-cell-powered models and a long-range electric vehicle with the capability of traveling more than 310 miles on a single charge.

Executives from the South Korean auto giant said the new fuel-cell model, now slated to debut at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in January, will spearhead Hyundai Motor’s plans to accelerate development of low-emission vehicles.

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The move is in line with Hyundai Motor Group’s renewed goal of introducing 31 eco-friendly models between its sibling automakers, Hyundai Motor and Kia Motors, by 2020.  (more…)

BMW Wants to Combine Solar and Hydrogen Power

Overcoming hydrogen's dirty little secret.

by Joseph Szczesny on Apr.26, 2017

At Hannover, BMW is displaying a 5-Series GT fuel cell model that, it boasts fast refueling times and an ability to cover long distances unlike many battery-electrics.

While fuel-cells are often billed as the most environmentally friendly alternative to the internal combustion engine, there is a dark side to hydrogen power – one that BMW says it hopes to address.

Fuel-cells combine hydrogen and oxygen from the air to produce a stream of current that can run a vehicle’s electric motors. The only exhaust is water vapor. But the issue is where that hydrogen comes from. In most cases, it is produced by breaking down fossil fuels like petroleum or natural gas, a process that creates carbon dioxide and other pollutants.

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At the 2017 Hannover Trade Fair, however, BMW is looking at ways to make fuel-cells even cleaner, by producing hydrogen through solar-powered electrolysis, a process that breaks water down into two parts hydrogen, one part water. (more…)

A Real Gas: First Drive of the 2017 Honda Clarity FCV

Hydrogen-powered sedan is no lightweight.

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Mar.20, 2017

A bit late, but ready to roll. The new Honda Clarity FCV is the latest fuel-cell powered vehicle to hit the U.S. market.

During a visit to Detroit last week, President Donald Trump all but promised the auto industry his administration will roll back the tough 54.5 mpg federal mileage standard set to go into effect in 2025.

Yet while some manufacturers, especially Detroit’s Big Three, issued a collective sigh of relief, others insisted such a move wouldn’t make much, if any, difference in their long-term plans. That includes Honda, whose CEO recently emphasized his commitment to generating two-thirds of the maker’s sales from electrified powertrains by 2030.

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“Electric” doesn’t necessarily mean “battery,” however, and Honda has become one of the biggest proponents of fuel-cell technology, the Japanese maker recently becoming the third manufacturer to start marketing a hydrogen-powered car in the U.S. market. This past week, it gave TheDetroitBureau.com a chance to put the new Honda Clarity FCV through its paces traversing the mountainous terrain east of Santa Barbara, California. (more…)

GM and Honda Teaming Up on U.S.-based Fuel Cell Manufacturing

Plant will provide hydrogen tech for new products from both companies.

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Jan.30, 2017

GM Global Product Development Director Mark Reuss and Honda North America CEO Toshiaki Nikishiba celebrate the debut of their new fuel-cell stack.

This story has been updated to reflect additional details and comments by both companies. New pics also have been added.

General Motors and Honda will set up a new plant in Michigan to mass produce next-generation fuel-cell technology that both companies plan to use in upcoming products, the automakers jointly announced Monday.

Honda is currently one of three automakers selling hydrogen-powered vehicles in the U.S., though GM was an early pioneer of the emissions-free technology and had been signaling plans to bring a fuel-cell vehicle, or FCV, of its own to market in the near future.

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The two companies established a research joint venture three years ago,” with each company providing know-how from its unique expertise to create a compact and low-cost next-generation fuel cell system,” said Toshiaki Mikoshiba, chief operating officer of the North American Region for Honda Motor Co., Ltd. and president of Honda North America, Inc. “This foundation of outstanding teamwork will now take us to the stage of joint mass production.” (more…)

Honda Delivers First U.S. Fuel-Cell Vehicle – a Year Late

Sales limited to select regions in California.

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Dec.20, 2016

Honda's new Clarity fuel-cell vehicle is part of an onslaught of the vehicles that have hit U.S. roads in the last 18 months.

Honda delivered the first of its new fuel-cell vehicles to U.S. customers on Monday, becoming the third automaker to enter the hydrogen car market.

But as with Toyota and Hyundai, sales of the new Honda Clarity Fuel-Cell Vehicle will be limited to select portions of California, including Orange County, San Francisco and Sacramento, where a public supply of hydrogen is readily available.

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The lack of a production and distribution network is considered the single-largest obstacle to widespread adoption of fuel-cell technology. But California and several other states are taking steps aimed at expanding availability of the clean fuel during the next decade. (more…)

Toyota Touts Fuel Cell as Zero Emission Answer

Japanese maker sees fuel cell as the zero emission future.

by Joseph Szczesny on Apr.13, 2016

Toyota leads the way in fuel-cell technology with the Mirai. Officials believe fuel cells are best for moving large vehicles with zero emissions.

Fuel cells using hydrogen remain the best alternative for moving heavy vehicles such as buses and trucks over long distances with zero emissions.

Justin Ward, general manager, Powertrain Systems Controls at Toyota Engineering and Manufacturing North America, iterated his support for the fuel cell during a panel discussion on the future of mobility as the annual Society of Automotive Engineers Congress got underway in Detroit.

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Battery electric vehicles remain the best alternative for short trips in urban areas, while hybrids and plug-in hybrids can work well for consumers who need a larger vehicle. But fuel cells work especially well in larger vehicles such busses and heavy-duty trucks, said Ward, noting extended duty cycles in big vehicles can help cover the cost of fuel cells. (more…)