• Jun 24th 2014 at 6:00PM
  • 23
  • Image Credit: Toyota
  • Image Credit: Toyota
  • Image Credit: Toyota
  • Image Credit: Toyota
  • Image Credit: Toyota
  • Image Credit: Toyota
  • Image Credit: Toyota
  • Image Credit: Toyota
  • Image Credit: Toyota
  • Image Credit: Toyota
  • Image Credit: Toyota
  • Image Credit: Toyota
  • Image Credit: Toyota
  • Image Credit: Toyota
  • Image Credit: Toyota
  • Image Credit: Toyota
  • Image Credit: Toyota
  • Image Credit: Toyota
  • Image Credit: Toyota
  • Image Credit: Toyota
  • Image Credit: Toyota
  • Image Credit: Toyota
  • Image Credit: Toyota
  • Image Credit: Toyota
Japan hopes to expand the use of hydrogen energy by subsidizing fuel cell vehicles, according to The Japan News. The trade ministry plans to include the subsidies in its 2015 budget to coincide with the expected launch of Toyota's Fuel Cell Vehicle and the Honda FCEV hydrogen car. By jump-starting purchases of hydrogen cars, Japan hopes that innovation and mass-production will get a boost and the cost of fuel cell vehicles will be competitive with gasoline-powered models by the year 2025. Japan plans to have 100 hydrogen fueling locations operating by March 2016, and wants to halve the cost of building those stations by 2020. The amount of the subsidies has not yet been set.

Investing website The Motley Fool isn't quite as optimistic as Japan about hydrogen cars, and is instead bullish about Tesla Motors. The Fool points to Tesla's strong stock performance, and predicts future growth will come from more car models in the future - starting with the Model X - as well as the company's proposed Gigafactory for manufacturing batteries. If Tesla's charging technology continues to catch on, that only improves its financial prospects. The article has some harsh words, however, for hydrogen: "Fuel cells are an inferior automotive technology and for fundamental efficiency, cost, and infrastructure reasons always will be mere compliance gimmicks." Yeesh.

As part of a program to build charging stations for the Indianapolis EV carsharing service BlueIndy, utility company Indianapolis Power & Light (IPL) wants to raise its electricity rates an average of 44 cents a month per residential customer to help pay for its share of the project. State consumer advocacy agency Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor and consumer watchdog group Citizens Action Coalition oppose the plan, according to Greenfield, Indiana's Daily Reporter. The BlueIndy program, which is a partnership between the city of Indianapolis and battery manufacturer Bollore Group, will provide up to 500 cars for rent at 25 charging sites around the city. Those who oppose the rate hike call IPL a monopoly and say the amount of the increase is not allowed under state law and that the program wouldn't benefit working class and low-income citizens. A hearing regarding IPL's proposal is scheduled for July 23.

A Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV will run the 2014 Asia Cross Country Rally, Hybrid Cars reports. The rally covers 1,367 miles of woods, swamps and mountains from Thailand to Cambodia. Two & Four Motor Sports rally team will pilot the plug-in SUV, with technical support provided by Mitsubishi engineers. The rally-prepped Mitsu features a raised chassis for more ground clearance, a rally suspension, roll cage, lightweight components, a tuned version of the company's S-AWD system and a really cool snorkel for river crossings. The 19th edition of the rally ceremonies begin in Pattaya, Thailand on August 9. The race starts the next day and terminates in Phnom Penh, Cambodia on Friday August 15.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 23 Comments
      goodoldgorr
      • 1 Year Ago
      I don't like the motley fool financial website, it's full of ads for paying stock pics, I prefer the newsletter of seeking alpha full of free articles. Breaking: the hydrogen success lie in a cheap hydrogen infrastructure, that way it will be sustainable for the endless future. Please make breakthrough hydrogen production done by windmills and solar panels. Do water electrolysis at the point of sale, that's the cheapest lomg-term solution. No pollution and low cost. Don't compare it by charging directly a battery, battery don't hold a big charge, cost a fortune, weight a lot and cannot be recharged while the car is on the road. Hydrogen on the other hand can be accumulated at the station when there is wind and solar and recharge the hydrogen car in 4 minutes.
        Spec
        • 1 Year Ago
        @goodoldgorr
        Gorr . .. . please go ahead and calculate how big the solar PV array would need to be at a service station in order to do on-site electrolysis to create the H2 needed to fuel up a mere 30 cars a day. Then you may understand why this just does not work.
        Weapon
        • 1 Year Ago
        @goodoldgorr
        Personally I think Fool is better than SA, simply because SA doesn't let you view full articles unless you register. Sure, registration is free but still. On top of that SA seems to run into javascript issues. Though SA has a better commenting system for discussions. And no, the cheapest method to get hydrogen is through natgas. That is why the fuel cell lobby asks that 90% of government funding go to getting hydrogen stations using natgas, not water. I mean lets look at the big picture: Infrastructure: Hydrogen: 2- 5 million per pump, hoping to get it down to 1 million per pump. Infrastructure currently is almost non-existant EV: Superchargers cost 150k for 4 pumps, level 2 chargers go for 1-2k and can be refueled at home. 90% of infrastructure is already there in form of the grid, 98% US population coverage with superchargers by end of 2015. Cost of car: Hydrogen: Decent range ~30k car by 2025 EV: Decent range ~30k by 2016/2017 Cost to fuel: Hydrogen: Same as gasoline EV: 2-5X cheaper than gasoline The outcome is obvious. PS a battery can actually be recharged while on the road in form of wireless charging. they have 2 bus lines in south korea that do this already. Unlimited range.
        Joeviocoe
        • 1 Year Ago
        @goodoldgorr
        You keep using that term, "low cost" ... I don't think it means what you think it means. Infrastructure does not get cheaper as you scale. Any claim to the contrary is a lie to get money. Ask the serious question, why does nobody want a LOAN to build an H2 infrastructure? ? Why do they only want free money? So when they overrun costs, nothing can be done, other than paying more.
        Jon
        • 1 Year Ago
        @goodoldgorr
        >Don't compare it by charging directly a battery, battery don't hold a big charge, cost a fortune, weight a lot and cannot be recharged while the car is on the road. I love when hydrogen supporters claim battery cost as a reason BEVs are inferior to HFCEVs. Some serious cognitive dissonance going on there.
      j
      • 1 Year Ago
      "Japan hopes that innovation and mass-production will get a boost and the cost of fuel cell vehicles will be competitive with gasoline-powered models by the year 2025." It's certainly possible. Though it is also possible that EV's will have to an extent, marginalized gas cars by 2025 as well. The king is dead - long live the king! It seems to me that Japan supported it's largest corporations, at times with indifference to the population, even through the the decades leading to "lost generation," refusing to allow their assets to be revalued to market basis. Same story new decade?
      Spec
      • 1 Year Ago
      I really don't understand Japan's plan. Are they going to import LNG at some of the highest prices on the planet, steam-reform the NG and thus lose some of the energy, and then run the hydrogen through expensive fuel cell cars? This makes sense somehow? I don't get it. Tip for Japan: Restart some of the safer nukes, keep building wind & solar, and get into EVs. Heck, your country is not that big and you have one of the best charging infrastructures in the world with Chademo.
        miles
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Spec
        Could they be looking to offshore ice hydrates?
        2 wheeled menace
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Spec
        That wouldn't be viable at all to do; i mean you need to build a bunch of electrical supply to reform your hydrogen so that you can lose energy while making energy.. Surely they will be buying hydrogen from somewhere else and externalizing the pollution to some other country ultimately.
          Jesse Gurr
          • 1 Year Ago
          @2 wheeled menace
          So they will be importing hydrogen just like they do with gas/diesel? That would be stupid too. At least with hydrogen they could somewhat become energy independent with nuclear/geothermal/solar/wind. But at that point, why not just use that energy for electric cars?
        Weapon
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Spec
        Also, geothermal. Japan ranks #3 in geothermal potential. Geothermal is the cheapest form of electricity.
      Ben Crockett
      • 1 Year Ago
      Forget H2 - instead focus that Japanese ingenuity on commercialising the Rayden Battery. http://powerjapanplus.com Outlander PHEV in rally - I wish them every success.
      Grendal
      • 1 Year Ago
      Let's address each of these: 1. Japan supports Fuel Cells for Honda and Toyota. No surprise there. Japan is spending money to support some of their major businesses. 2. Motley Fool supports Tesla. Well yeah, they've invested a lot of money in Tesla. It makes sense that they would agree with them. 3. The Indy Utility is charging customers extra money to support a program they are invested in. There might be a conflict of interest in the electric monopoly. 4. There is a rally in Thailand and Cambodia. Cool.
        NestT
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Grendal
        The Motley Fool owns Tesla and Ford stock. They don't disclose exact figures. Ford is not in the "dedicated electric car business" according to Ford CEO.
          Dave
          • 1 Year Ago
          @NestT
          "January 28, 2013 - 6:25 am ET -- UPDATED: 1/28/13 9:08 am ET - adds photo, includes video NABERN, Germany -- Daimler, Ford and Nissan joined forces today to develop a line of affordable fuel-cell cars for sale starting in 2017 in what could be the first major advance for the promising zero-emission technology. The three automakers, in a statement, said the new alliance sends a clear signal to suppliers, policymakers and the industry to encourage the further development of hydrogen infrastructure worldwide. "We believe we were never as close to reaching a breakthrough in fuel-cell cars as today thanks to this partnership," Daimler AG research and development chief Thomas Weber said. The partners are targeting production of at least 100,000 cars, Weber said today at a press conference in Germany. The manufacturers will invest equal amounts in the project to develop fuel-cell stacks and systems, they said in the statement, without giving details." http://www.autonews.com/article/20130128/OEM05/130129909/daimler-ford-and-nissan-sign-deal-on-fuel-cell-cars#
          Grendal
          • 1 Year Ago
          @NestT
          So that was a year and a half ago, I sure haven't seen much from any of them. So a meeting and agreement still isn't what Toyota and Hyundai have done. I'll stick with saying that Ford is not heavily into Fuel Cells yet. They are open to them and willing to go that direction if the opportunity arises. Which goes back to the original point, a Motley Fool writer parroted what Elon Musk said. It doesn't mean a lot considering they are invested in Tesla. Ford is not so heavily into Fuel Cells that they are betting their house on them and a different Motley Fool writer says otherwise.
          Grendal
          • 1 Year Ago
          @NestT
          Ford isn't heavily involved in Fuel Cells, so I'm not sure what your point is.
      Joeviocoe
      • 1 Year Ago
      "Fuel cells are an inferior automotive technology and for fundamental efficiency, cost, and infrastructure reasons always will be mere compliance gimmicks." 100% Agree
      • 1 Year Ago
      BlueIndy will actually have 200 locations with 1,000 charging stations in Indianapolis.
      Levine Levine
      • 1 Year Ago
      As to Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicles, Japan is the stalking horse. At this time, only the suckers are following the herd. Converting to hydrogen fuel is great for the environment but very expensive on the pocket book. First, you have to install the special under ground tanks; install special dispenser; buy a fleet of special tankers to transport the hydrogen; build hydrogen production factories; build massive hydrogen storage tanks; and sell the hydrogen at a competitive price relative to the electricity.
      bluepongo1
      • 1 Year Ago
      Good luck with your Rube Goldberg vehicles Japan !!!
      Letstakeawalk
      • 1 Year Ago
      "Toyota City, Japan, June 25, 2014―Toyota Motor Corporation has revealed the exterior design and Japan pricing of its hydrogen fuel cell sedan, first unveiled as a concept at the Tokyo Motor Show last year. The car will launch in Japan before April 2015, and preparations are underway for launches in the U.S. and European markets in the summer of 2015. In Japan, the fuel cell sedan will go on sale at Toyota and Toyopet dealerships, priced at approximately 7 million yen (MSRP; excludes consumption tax). Initially, sales will be limited to regions1 where hydrogen refueling infrastructure is being developed. U.S. and Europe prices have not yet been decided. Likewise, more detailed information, such as specifications, exact prices and sales targets, will be announced later." http://newsroom.toyota.co.jp/en/detail/3286486/ I might be wrong on the currency exchange, and there may be tax differences, but that would be around $69k.
      Ben Crockett
      • 1 Year Ago
      Forget H2 - instead focus that Japanese ingenuity on commercialising the Ryden Battery. http://powerjapanplus.com Outlander PHEV in rally - I wish them every success.
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