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Stop the Internet presses! Toyota's fuel cell car is going to be really expensive!

That's the meme going around after Toyota Europe vice president for product planning and marketing, Alain Uyttenhoven, recently told Automotive News that, "We could expect a fuel cell vehicle to retail at about 100,000 euros ($138,000) in Europe." This is indeed noteworthy, as Toyota has previously stated its hydrogen car would cost around $50,000 when it is released in 2015.

So, Uyttenhoven's quote quickly caught fire (see here and here), but we thought that something seemed out of whack. So we asked Jana Hartline, Toyota's environmental communications manager, what was up. The rub is that there was some miscommunication about dates. Hartline told AutoblogGreen, "We anticipate the market price be much lower than this, as previously reported. The article's quoted price is closer to what the cost would be if we came to market today." So, nothing new to read here folks. Not yet, anyway.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 140 Comments
      Dan Frederiksen
      • 6 Months Ago
      I didn't vote you down. it's good that you are learning about electric drive and you are enthusiastic but you seem to have found a somewhat excessive faith in your own knowledge recently that you may want to temper a bit. I have many times mentioned that a 200km pack of A123 batteries can charge 80km in 6 minutes. I've also said that such chargers don't exist for typically heavy cars although chademo could do it for a light and efficient car. you seem to have come to the very erroneous conclusion that I suddenly know nothing about EV tech when in reality I'm way ahead of you. not to make it a pissing contest but it's really disappointing to see you assume that I know nothing. and quite hard for me to understand since I've been quite outspoken about technical details for years... I know RC lipo can be very potent but I also know that for an actual car, reliability is very important. what's acceptable for a toy may not be acceptable for a car.
      Letstakeawalk
      • 3 Years Ago
      Yep, this is about what an FCHV would cost today... no real surprise here. It's also a *European* price, which doesn't really translate to cost in the US due to higher Euro taxes. A standard Prius starts at 27,750 Euros ($38,261 US) by comparison, according to the article. Keep up the good work Toyota, we're eagerly awaiting FCVs!
        Letstakeawalk
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Letstakeawalk
        Here's verification that this is indeed a current price: "Toyota has reportedly cut the cost of its current fuel-cell prototype, the FCHV-adv, down to ten million yen, ($129,270 U.S. at the current exchange rate). This is according to a Toyota engineer who spoke with Ward's Auto at the Center for Automotive Research's Management Briefing Seminars in Traverse City, MI." http://green.autoblog.com/2011/08/03/toyota-says-cost-of-fchv-adv-fuel-cell-protoytpe-is-129-270
      PR
      • 6 Months Ago
      Dave, Why are you trying to evade the issue that it has a 21 kW battery which can be charged by plugging it in? The battery holds 21 kW worth of power. The electricity in that battery can come from either plugging it into a wall, or by the fuel cell charging it. This is REGARDLESS of charge/discharge rate. Charge/discharge rate simply has nothing to do with whether the battery can be charged by plugging it in. The car can be operated in charge-sustaining mode all the time, or it can be run in charge-depleting mode like a plug-in-Prius. I'm sorry this is such a hard concept for you to understand, but Peugeot has already achieved better-than-Volt charge depleting range, and with a battery pack much, much smaller than the Toyota FCEV-adv: "The demonstrator is equipped with a 17 kW GENEPAC fuel cell stack ... a 13 kWh Li-ion battery pack ... has a driving range of 500 kilometers (311 miles), with 75 km (47 miles) in charge depleting mode." http://www.greencarcongress.com/2009/12/fisypac-20091208.html#more
      PR
      • 3 Years Ago
      I think there are some good applications for fuel cells, even fuel cells powered by hydrogen some time in the future. But here is where we are at within the next 5 years: This car will have all the electric motor and battery pack of a plug-in hybrid or REEV. It won't make any sense at all NOT to allow people to plug it in to charge at night. I understand that every day people buy cars that don't make any sense at all, but this would be a glaring omission that would get badly bashed. Since we already have OnStar statistics from Volt owners showing that half of the Volt drivers are driving 80%-99% of their miles on battery power alone, without the gas engine even coming on, we know that a plug-in Hydrogen Fuel cell vehicle can accomplish the same thing. So now we're talking about putting in an expensive fuel cell instead of cheap gas engine, just so that half the drivers can use a fuel cell for 1% to 20% of their driving. That doesn't make any sense at all. Like I said, I believe that fuel cells, even hydrogen fuel cells have their uses. But this exact passenger fuel cell car doesn't seem to offer much competitive advantage over whatever 2nd generation Volt that GM will have available 5 years from now for the majority of passenger car drivers.
        Dave
        • 6 Months Ago
        @PR
        "This car will have all the electric motor and battery pack of a plug-in hybrid or REEV." Wrong. The current Toyota FCEV has a ~1.5 kwh battery pack. Just like a Prius. It is not a plug in sized battery pack by any stretch of the imagination.
      Joeviocoe
      • 3 Years Ago
      And... when long range and quick fill up time is needed (at the same time as low emissions)... Natural Gas Vehicles are MUCH cheaper to build, to operate, and to establish an infrastructure. Hydrogen advocates don't seem to take everything into account! They either compare FCVs to ICEVs and remark on how clean, quiet, and cheap to operate FCVS are. Or They compare FCVs to BEVs and remark on their longer range and quick fillup times. But they tend to avoid talking about NGVs because they use the same fuel source, have none of the disadvantages, and can be done for MUCH cheaper. Nonetheless, since this Hydrogen fantasy is nothing more than a money grab from congress (notice how many of the advocacy groups are in DC)... since there is MUCH more profit to be made with hydrogen than with BEVs or NGVs.
        JakeY
        • 6 Months Ago
        @Joeviocoe
        To be fair, NGVs have tailpipe emissions and they will always run on natural gas, while HFCVs at least have the potential to run on other sources. @DaveMart "The last sentence claiming that hydrogen powered vehicles are simply a money grab as there is more profit to be made from them is simply weird, since you have on many occasions sought to argue that both the fuel cell vehicles and the infrastructure would cost far too much to ever be competitive. Which is it?" You have to look at his whole statement. He says it's "a money grab from congress". That means most of the extra cost will be borne by Congress and NOT by automakers or oil/energy companies (who will be making the profits AFTER that infrastructure is built). The letter of understanding by automakers on hydrogen is "subject to a variety of prerequisites and conditions"; the only one they explicitly state is "hydrogen infrastructure network of sufficient density by 2015". The letter was in response to funding cuts in the US, so it's unlikely they'll spend their own money to built that kind of infrastructure by then. Besides from a handful of demonstrations stations useful for PR, oil companies also don't want to invest in this.
        DaveMart
        • 6 Months Ago
        @Joeviocoe
        Your blinkers seem to be obscuring your vision! :-) Your premise is that NGVs are cheaper than fuel cell vehicles at the moment, and so will always remain so. The major difference is that hydrogen, although at the moment coming from reforming NG, can be obtained in a whole host of ways. The conversion losses in producing hydrogen from NG are cancelled by the greater efficiency of fuel cells, which remain pure electric vehicles and share much of the drive train with BEVs, and also like them eliminate point of use pollution. The tank on an NGV takes up a lot of the space compared to the petrol version, and in reality most are inconvenient compromises. So you are advocating vehicles which are bound in fossil fuels, as opposed to one which has many sources of fuel supply, and creating an extensive and expensive infrastructure for this, when they also miss out on one of the key advantages of fuel cell vehicles, the compatibility of them with a large, plug in battery. The last sentence claiming that hydrogen powered vehicles are simply a money grab as there is more profit to be made from them is simply weird, since you have on many occasions sought to argue that both the fuel cell vehicles and the infrastructure would cost far too much to ever be competitive. Which is it?
          Chris M
          • 6 Months Ago
          @DaveMart
          There are fuel cells that can run directly on natural gas, no reformer needed, and at a much higher efficiency than using a steam reformer and H2 fuel cell. Then add in the fact that natural gas has 3x the volumetric energy density compared to H2, and the result would be a natural gas fuel cell vehicle with greater range and much lower fuel costs. Also, natural gas is the only "fossil fuel" that also comes from renewable sources.
          Joeviocoe
          • 6 Months Ago
          @DaveMart
          Claiming that H2 would be produced by any other source other than Natural Gas, is greenwashing. If you have the decision in the hands of corporations who only have profit in mind... then consumers will have NO CHOICE. Just because H2 COULD be made from other sources... does NOT make it an automatic benefit. Just like saying that we COULD get 100% of our petroleum from sources other than the Middle East. It may be true... but since the Middle East has that cheaper light sweet crude so close to the surface and easily extractable compared to tar sands... then oil companies WILL buy from the Middle East. I am talking about what is MOST LIKELY TO HAPPEN... and that is FCVs will be just as tied to Natural Gas as NGVs are. And since they use the same source, why not use the cheaper solution. And yes, I have always agreed that the fuel cycle of SMR to H2 (even with conversions and compression) FCVs are still more efficient and cleaner than NatGas ICE vehicles... but not by much. Certainly not enough efficiency and cleanliness to warrant spending billions (if not trillions) on this unnecessary technology. Especially since BEVs can handle the lions share of personal transportation.... heavy duty fleet users will need a cost effective solution over the "most efficient" or "cleanest". -------------------------- And this is what it comes down to... diminishing returns! NGV are good, but not perfect. "Perfect is the enemy of Good" Why spend so much money trying to reduce tailpipe emissions to a low as possible... when a MUCH cheaper solution can get you 90% there? NGVs are vastly cleaner than gasoline/diesel engines. And that is good enough for the heavy duty fleet. So many buses are there already. Yeah, there will be a market for HFCVs. I've admitted that many times before. But it will not be big. And it won't be even close to the BEV domination of alt vehicles in the passenger fleet. And HFCVs will also not eclipse NGVs in the heavy duty fleet. Since the infrastructure problem is an economic block, the only HFCVs on the road, I predict, will be localized fleet operations with fueling stations owned and operated by the same company running the vehicles.
          Letstakeawalk
          • 6 Months Ago
          @DaveMart
          "Claiming that H2 would be produced by any other source other than Natural Gas, is greenwashing. If you have the decision in the hands of corporations who only have profit in mind... then consumers will have NO CHOICE." California law requires that hydrogen sold as transportation fuel be a minimum of 30% renewably-sourced.
      EZEE
      • 6 Months Ago
      "Aerodynamics and weight.. we'll argue about that in another thread ;)" :D
      Letstakeawalk
      • 6 Months Ago
      PR, you owe yourself a *facepalm*.
      EVSUPERHERO
      • 6 Months Ago
      These fuel cells will have to be replaced more often than lithium batteries, is that the reason the auto corps want them instead of EV's?
      Dave
      • 6 Months Ago
      21 kw is correct ~1.5 kwh is correct unfortunately, you don't know the difference kwh is the size of the battery. kw is how fast the battery provides power. watt hours=vots x amp hours=273.6 volts x 6.5Ah=1778wh ~ 1.8kwh. GET IT?????????
      2 Wheeled Menace
      • 3 Years Ago
      $50k is a bit more sane than what's been projected before. I'll let LTAW field this question though: Currently a lot of hydrogen comes from natural gas, am i right? And oil companies are in support of hydrogen because of this ( what better way to sell all their natural gas than to repackage it as a clean emission free fuel? ) Is there a viable, cost effective way to produce hydrogen without emissions / dirty fossil fuel input? Because IMHO, that's the hold up for me.
        Letstakeawalk
        • 3 Years Ago
        @2 Wheeled Menace
        "Is there a viable, cost effective way to produce hydrogen without emissions / dirty fossil fuel input?" Short answer, yes - there will be. The longer answer requires understanding the development path of photoelectrochemical hydrogen production. Just as the current production of electricity requires the use of fossil fuels such as coal and natural gas due to cost realities, production of hydrogen will initially be fossil fuel based. But that won't always be so! :)
          wardialer
          • 6 Months Ago
          @Letstakeawalk
          the correct answer was NO. here's one for you while i 'cope' w/ your answer. The shortest distance between 2 points is a straight line. is this statement TRUE or FALSE? as for DaveMart spreading disinformation about the payback period on solar, please read my post above w/ all the calculations in it. they can be proven easily by anyone that wants to check market prices on the internet (without ANY subsidies). please save your insults for others until you do some research and are ready to backup your claims w/ unbiased, publicly-accessible links on the interweb. also, payback period is not the only metric used in capital budgeting... its actually a pretty bad one, and is rarely used. net present value (NPR) and internal rate of return (IRR) give you a much better understanding so you can compare apples to apples... at least that's what my finance book says. instead of getting hostile and stealthily insulting others then quickly following it up w/ a random :-) or LOL!, try to understand what others are trying to tell you, then follow up on it (by all means!) and adjust your opinion accordingly.
          Letstakeawalk
          • 6 Months Ago
          @Letstakeawalk
          "can hydrogen (well-to-wheel--all costs considered) compete w/ PV-EV in terms of minimal environmental impact (all processes considered), efficiency and cost per mile?" There's not a simple yes or no answer. You're just going to have to cope with that. Sorry!
          Chris M
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Letstakeawalk
          "photoelectrochemical hydrogen production." is a fancy way of saying "use solar cells to produce electricity, then use the electricity to electrolyze water. Well, they may shorten the electrical path a bit by immersing the solar cells directly in the water, but we get the picture. Problem is, there is still the energy losses inherent in that process, so it still will end up requiring 3x more solar cells and be 3x more expensive than using solar cells to recharge an EV.
          Letstakeawalk
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Letstakeawalk
          "I hope you prove me wrong, LTAW." That would require you to understand longer answer. Seeing as how you just dismissed it, I'm doubtful you could be dissuaded from your preconceived notions.
          2 Wheeled Menace
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Letstakeawalk
          Actually, solar pays off in about 15 years or less, then you have 10-15 years left of free energy after the investment cost has been accounted for. I have not calculated my savings yet, but $200 worth of panels is providing power for my ebike ( main source of transportation ) and laptop ( machine i use to make a living doing web development )... Not feasible, you say? Now i understand that an electric car requires 10 times more electricity to operate, going off my calculations. Let's be pessimistic here and say that $8k of panels ( 2.4kW array ) = free electricity for 30 yrs. for an electric car given that you drive less 50 miles or less a day on average, . ( ok, realistically you will be running on grid power for a few months during the winter. And if you live in say, Oregon, you can forget these calculations entirely. ) 8 hrs x 2.4kW = 19.2kWh, btw. let's assume efficiency losses mean that you only get 12kWh out of that.. that's half a charge every day for a Nissan Leaf battery. For 30 years in a gasoline or hydrogen car, how much would you spend on fuel, do you think? There are plenty of folks that pay $100/mo in fuel. $8000 is 6.6 years of fuel at that rate. 23.4 years of free energy remain from said panels. Now ok; you can get back to telling me how panels don't pay off, alternative energy numbers don't work out in real life.
          Letstakeawalk
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Letstakeawalk
          LOL again! "The shortest distance between 2 points is a straight line." Not necessarily... http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=football-science-hypotenuse The playing ground for BEVs and HFCVs is not predictable, no matter how much you stamp your feet and try to make it. There are a huge variety of factors at work, all of which make it difficult to answer your question with the childish simplicity you demand (maybe I am getting a little churlish, now), so instead of getting all bent out of shape that I have a different opinion than you, maybe it would be best if you avoided these discussions altogether, since you won't be happy unless someone tells you you're right. I'll restate the original question, and my original answer: "Is there a viable, cost effective way to produce hydrogen without emissions / dirty fossil fuel input?" "Short answer, yes - there will be." And that is what I believe, based on current research into hydrogen production. http://www.hydrogen.energy.gov/pdfs/progress10/ii_0_hydrogen_production_overview.pdf
          Letstakeawalk
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Letstakeawalk
          Wardialer I didn't insult anyone, but I assume you're referring to my comment that 2WM prefers not to look into the potential of photoelectrochemical hydrogen production? As for going on the defensive - have you ever stopped to wonder why readers like yourself and 2WM feel the need to go on an anti-hydrogen offensive in almost every positive FCV post? Seriously, if you don't like it, just ignore it, and let those of us who are interested simply keep up with the latest progress without continually being forced to defend our interest. You are correct in stating that I do not have complete answers - but at this time I don't think anyone does, and I would prefer to keep my options open. That's why I support PHEVs, BEVs, and FCVs, and why I eagerly read each post to keep myself abreast of the current info. "hydrogen IS and always WAS a hoax." I suggest you learn what a hoax is. Hydrogen technology might not be your preferred route, but it is a real tech, and your casual dismissal is insulting to many people who are working diligently to make the world a cleaner place.
          DaveMart
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Letstakeawalk
          Bill Clinton's expertise in solar appears to equal his expertise in nuclear power. It is excellent news that solar is now completely competitive, so that you presumable advocate the immediate cessation of all subsidies on the grounds that they are not needed. Unfortunately it is of course complete bunkum.
          Joeviocoe
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Letstakeawalk
          DaveMartin, Maybe in your country solar costs are much different. But according to Bill Clinton, the cost of Solar has dropped below Nuclear, and is still dropping (and yes, that is before subsidies).
          wardialer
          • 6 Months Ago
          @Letstakeawalk
          the length of this comments thread is getting ridiculous. i really wish we could take this elsewhere and archive it. hydrogen IS a hoax. it is a sinkhole for taxpayer funding that could be better spent (opportunity cost) on something that is already viable and available on the market with much greater efficiency, promise and the option of SELF-SUFFICIENCY for the end user. so here is the quadrillion dollar question i pose to you and anyone else who thinks they have their ducks in order on this tireless debate: can hydrogen (well-to-wheel--all costs considered) compete w/ PV-EV in terms of minimal environmental impact (all processes considered), efficiency and cost per mile? a simple yes or no please. don't answer that question w/ a question. also, i sincerely hope that you're not 'laughing out loud' in real life while i'm trying to make a very obvious point here otherwise you either have the worst sense of humour of anyone i've ever known or are downright malicious and hostile.
          DaveMart
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Letstakeawalk
          2WM There is currently no cost effective way of using solar pv to produce power, but that does not stop you advocating it. Why the dual standards? In any case, with natural gas so cheap you could not produce hydrogen any other way cheaper, but that does not mean the cost could not be affordable. A kg of hydrogen contains around 36kwh of power. At 70% efficiency it could be produced by electrolysis with electricity including taxes costing 12 cents/kwh for around $6 kg. Add a dollar for the electrolysis equipment and so on, and you come out to perhaps $7 kg At the 72 miles per kg the Hyundai Tucson fc gets, that is a reasonable 10 cents/mile. That is a worst case scenario, so cost will at worst remain comparable to those for gasoline, and any progress at all means that they can do better than gasoline.
          EZEE
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Letstakeawalk
          How does 2Wheel's '15 years or less' comment get downgraded? He is talking about his situation. May not be for everyone, but, simply stating of facts.
          SNP
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Letstakeawalk
          lol 2 Wheeled Menace, On another post, you said you can recoupe solar investments in 30yrs. It's quite a leap to suddenly claim payback in 15yrs. Solar is only profitable on a very large industrial scale. Think, solar power plants. Solar powered homes are a massive waste of money unless your area loses power often or you have a lot of annual sunlight. The govt is working on a fusion plant with testing concluding next yr. I'll wait for that before advocating an obviously unsustainable solar technology.
          DaveMart
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Letstakeawalk
          2WM said: 'Actually, solar pays off in about 15 years or less, then you have 10-15 years left of free energy after the investment cost has been accounted for.' To arrive at those figures you have to ignore the subsidy, which is around as much as you yourself pay, and also ignore costs on capital employed. Dodgy accounting does not make solar any more viable.
          wardialer
          • 6 Months Ago
          @Letstakeawalk
          ok. LTAW, i don't think you realize just how passive aggressive you are being in these posts. when your POV can't be defended rationally, you always manage to throw in a word or two that's just downright offensive to anyone. as for PV... here are some 'non-casual' numbers (from someone who took 4th year micro and macro as well as finance 1 and 2). solar panels offer a perpetuity in energy payback that is scaled for both inflation and rising energy costs as far as market prices are concerned. manufacturers of PV offer a warranty of around 80% energy yield for ~25 years for your investment. for your annual driving needs of 15,000 miles, 2-3 kWp is enough for most inhabited parts of NA. considering $500 buys you a good 200W panel, you'd need 15 x 200W to get 3 kWp + inverter ($3000) + mounts and wires. price per watt keeps dropping because thin film is increasingly cheaper to produce threatening mono- and poly-crystalline panels. that's a $15,000 investment (roughly), that will offset annual gas purchases of $2000 to drive the same distance in an ICE car. so along those lines, the payback period is 7-8 years (if gas prices stay the same). if you live in ontario like me, the microFIT program offers 80.2 cents/kWh, to offset this investment in clean energy and take the strain off nuclear and others (which are also heavily subsidized because they are considered public goods--abatement costs factored in) which lowers the payback period even further. i strongly urge you to do some research. google 'sunny boy portal' and look up DuROCK as a frame of reference (easy 'cause they have 10 kWp installed for easy division). i'd much rather be self-sufficient than rely on collusive hydrocarbon oligopolies to dictate market prices on transportation. sincerely, casual
          Letstakeawalk
          • 6 Months Ago
          @Letstakeawalk
          "ok. LTAW, i don't think you realize just how passive aggressive you are being in these posts. when your POV can't be defended rationally, you always manage to throw in a word or two that's just downright offensive to anyone." LOL. My point of view is irrational? I'm not the one making statements condemning a whole tech sector as a "hoax". Again, please enlighten me as to why I should even be forced to defend my POV regarding hydrogen? This ABG article was clearly written to dispel malicious misinterpretation of projected HFCV costs, and to ensure that accurate information is available to those of us who are interested in HFCVs. Why do you feel the need to attack HFCVs in the first place, if you're so sure they'll never work? LOL!
          Letstakeawalk
          • 6 Months Ago
          @Letstakeawalk
          "photoelectrochemical hydrogen production." is a fancy way of saying "use solar cells to produce electricity, then use the electricity to electrolyze water. Well, they may shorten the electrical path a bit by immersing the solar cells directly in the water, but we get the picture." If you don't understand something, you should really ask for an explanation. Your description is incorrect as to be misleading. It is by using sunlight to directly split water into hydrogen and oxygen. There is no generation of electricity, no use of an electrolyser to split water. Feel free to read up, and acknowledge your misunderstanding. http://www.hydrogen.energy.gov/annual_progress10_production.html#g
          2 Wheeled Menace
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Letstakeawalk
          Sounds like that's a fancy way of saying no. As for the generation of electricity, we already have multiple ways to produce it without producing emissions at a cost that isn't all too far off from Coal or Nuclear. Hydrogen seems to be a very expensive and energy-lossy way of burning natural gas at this time. I hope that changes, but like a biofuel that replaces gasoline entirely, cold fusion, etc it does seem like a pipe dream so far. I hope you prove me wrong, LTAW.
          wardialer
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Letstakeawalk
          LTAW, i guess if you don't have an answer the easiest thing to do is insult others or go on the defensive. give me the TOTAL cost per mile including abatement costs (if anything detrimental to the environment is released in the extraction/refinement/delivery/compression/consumption) to bring electric and hydrogen on par in terms of environmental impact. TOTAL COST PLEASE! people in california have been charging electrics off PV for years now, w/o relying on collusive hydrocarbon oligopolies for automotive transportation. please tell me how fuel cells can compete with EV+PV now and in the future... especially when major players like Sharp recently announced 36.9% efficiency PV cells compared to a current 12-15% efficiency. http://www.tomsguide.com/us/solar-cell-sharp-triple-junction,news-13089.html hydrogen IS and always WAS a hoax.
          DaveMart
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Letstakeawalk
          2WM: BTW, the form of argument you have chosen to deploy is also dishonest, since you already had your preconceptions lined up, and were trying to present your argument as an innocent question when it was no such thing.
        EVSUPERHERO
        • 3 Years Ago
        @2 Wheeled Menace
        Yes and the oil corps are already selling our reserves to other countries much like they did with oil in the early days. History repeats itself only the fossil fuel has changed.
        Elmo Biggins
        • 3 Years Ago
        @2 Wheeled Menace
        Its just a "sweet spot" feeler. Look at all the EVs and how far projections were off just months before release. We're talking 5 years out on a new automotive technology with little infrastructure to support it...that is still being tinkered with....yeah. I wouldn't bet $1 on that figure...they're being rosy with these projections to the point of being insincere. Expect that launch date to get punted into infinity.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Is there any updated news about GM's fuel cell research? A couple of years ago at the NAIAS in Detroit I enjoyed a test ride in a GM fuel cell powered SUV, a good interesting learning experience. But as I and other riders asked at the time, where's the refueling infrastructure development and what about the high cost? It was suggested ongoing R&D and mass production should, eventually, lower the cost. More information from the OEMs about any plans and economics for increasing availability of FCV refueling stations would be welcome.
        Chris M
        • 6 Months Ago
        Latest news that I've heard is that GM plans a "plug-in hybrid" type of H2-FCV, probably based on the Equinox SUV, and using a battery pack similar to the one in the Volt. Production still planned for 2015, as that's what the Dept. of Energy had scheduled, but of course plans could change a lot in 4 years.
      Dan Frederiksen
      • 3 Years Ago
      you might ask current EV owners a few interesting questions: 1) would you exchange your current EV for a hydrogen equivalent? 2) would you do it if there were hydrogen filling stations at every gas station but it would be 3x less efficient than your EV and most of the hydrogen would come from fossil fuel. 3) would you if the hydrogen car cost twice as much as your EV. I think the ensuing number of people will be so low that no car maker would launch a mass production. and from follows that toyota will not offer a hydrogen car in 2015 at any price. once we get even remotely efficient EVs with sub 10 minute top up times then HFC is at a devastating disadvantage. HFC will never be
        2 Wheeled Menace
        • 6 Months Ago
        @Dan Frederiksen
        Keep downrating me if you hate facts and figures from someone who is designing electric drive systems. I'm not going to stay quiet, and i'm not going anywhere, and i will continue to comment for years to come, so you might as well argue with me or ask for further explanation.
          EZEE
          • 6 Months Ago
          @2 Wheeled Menace
          Not downgrading, but have my smart-a** reply (one of my popular ones - the 'news flash' to the people talking infrastructure) 1910 - Internal Combustion Engine Vehicles cannot replace horses due to no infrastructure - Report provided by Big Hay ('Big Hay' - laughing at my wit)
          Joeviocoe
          • 6 Months Ago
          @2 Wheeled Menace
          Keep commenting at least until 2015... when the road is filled with FCVs... or the automakers are still promising they will start as soon as the fueling infrastructure gets built.
        2 Wheeled Menace
        • 6 Months Ago
        @Dan Frederiksen
        Sub 10 minute recharge times are already a reality with a few existing lithium chemistries. The infrastructure is not there yet, that's the only problem. Do check out the 'nano-tech' lipo packs on hobbyking... they have a 15C charge rate! These have been out for over 6 months.. just an example of new lithium tech trickling down into the consumer market. Current EVs are amazingly efficient already. Even my cheapo electric hub motor musters an 80% efficiency from the battery to the wheels. Electric cars have motors that are far better than mine ( high voltage, low amp, high RPM = win ). There isn't much improvement to make, electric drive is pretty damn good already. Aerodynamics and weight.. we'll argue about that in another thread ;)
        SNP
        • 6 Months Ago
        @Dan Frederiksen
        i've heard about these 10 minute recharge times, BYD had one for 20minutes. just seems so unlikely. There's a reason why 110V outlets take 10hrs to recharge an EV, 220V take 4hrs, and almost no homes have outlets of higher delivery. I dare ya to force drain your outlets and see what happens. At a 10minute full charges, that's like plugging 5 ACs to a single socket. Electric drive is far from perfect, and pure EV technology is far from mass market on the million vehicle per month scale, globally. There arent enough resources, the infrastructure is not there, there isnt enough grid power, and you dont know what you're talking about.
          Chris M
          • 6 Months Ago
          @SNP
          Nobody is proposing very high speed charging at home, it's not needed there, "overnight" charging is sufficient, and standard home wiring can easily support 4 hour charging for even longer range EVs. Where high speed (under 1 hour) charging is needed is along highways for long distance travels, and there commercial/industrial grade electrical connections are available to support high speed charging. Doing high speed charging at home is like having a home IMAX theater - awesome, but not at all practical or reasonable.
          2 Wheeled Menace
          • 6 Months Ago
          @SNP
          The limit is household wiring and our infrastructure, SNP. When the gasoline car came around, we had to build all sorts of infrastructure for it. It's not as if we can't do the same for electric! We had to build freeways, roads, refinieries, gas stations, pipelines, delivery systems, and wells. You already have the infrastructure for an electric car in your home. You would obviously not do a 10 minute charge at home, unless you conveniently lived next door to a power plant. that's for a rapid charge station, which would be the equivalent of a gasoline pump. If you sleep for 4 hours, a recharge time of 4 hours from a 220v outlet wouldn't be so bad, don't you think? .... if you can manage to plug your cell phone in at night, i think you could handle owning an electric car too.
          Spec
          • 6 Months Ago
          @SNP
          I think there is little reason for fast charging. 100 mile range is enough. If you plan to driver further than that, then buy/rent hyrbid or ICE car. Very few people drive more than 100 miles a day on a regular basis. And those that do, should not buy an EV. (And should consider moving closer to work.)
          2 Wheeled Menace
          • 6 Months Ago
          @SNP
          Correction: i meant to say 'you already have part of the infrastructure in your home'.
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