Toyota will begin selling its hydrogen fuel cell vehicle (FCV) in Japan in December. The US and Europe can expect to see the car become available next summer. The FCV, which will likely be called "Mirai" (meaning "future") in Japan, is ready for production ahead of its initial deadline at the end of the fiscal year in March. Toyota planned for annual production of 700 units, but might increase output to meet higher-than-expected demand, which is currently nearing 1,000 units. The cars will mostly be sold in the four cities where a hydrogen fueling infrastructure is already being put in place: Tokyo, Nagoya, Osaka and Fukuoka. Read more at Nikkei Asian Review.

Nissan is testing the Leaf EV as part of an energy management system including "Leaf to Home" technology. The system allows the Leaf to help support the power grid during peak energy usage, or provide backup power to a home or building during outages, particularly in emergencies like natural disasters. Using the Leaf's battery to provide electricity during peak hours would lessen the demand on the grid and make the system work more efficiently. Furthermore, if consumers are compensated for the energy saved by using the Leaf for power during periods of high demand, it could encourage more people to adopt the EV. Learn more in the press release below.

CDP has given Honda a perfect climate disclosure score in its Global 500 Climate Change Report for 2014. CDP keeps track of how much companies are disclosing about their impact on global climate change. "The need for data on corporate climate change impacts and strategies to reduce them has never been greater," says CDP CEO Paul Simpson. "For this reason we congratulate those businesses that have achieved a position on CDP's Climate Disclosure Leadership Index." Other perfect scores were earned by Nissan, BMW, Daimler and General Motors. Read more in the press release from Honda below.

Scientists at Stanford University have developed a lithium ion battery that can warn users before it overheats. A thin layer of copper between the anode and the layer separating the anode from the cathode acts as a sensor. When it detects lithium buildups from overcharging are approaching the separator, it sends an early alert long before it gets to a point where it would cause a short (which could lead to a fire). The new safety measure could be used in all sorts of battery applications, and not be limited to EVs. Learn more at Phys.org.
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Nissan Begins Testing Energy Supply & Demand Management System Using LEAF EVs and "LEAF to Home" Power System

- Nissan is assessing the potential of electric vehicles in energy management systems
- Nissan is participating in the "demand response" energy supply and demand system testing together with businesses and government authorities in Japan

YOKOHAMA, Japan (October 16 , 2014) – Nissan Motor Corporation has begun testing a system to use electric vehicle technology to help power grids cope with peaks in demand. The energy management system has the potential to help ensure continuity of supply during natural disasters. It could also make electricity from renewable sources, like the wind or sun, more viable by storing power to be used during periods of high demand. Nissan is using Nissan LEAF electric vehicles (EV) and the "LEAF to Home" power supply system in the field tests.

The tests are being conducted by ENERES Co., Ltd.. Nissan is using Nissan LEAF EVs paired with the LEAF to Home power supply system for demand response testing at several of its sales outlets run by subsidiary Kanagawa Nissan Co., Ltd. to assess the effectiveness of EV batteries when used for energy management.

Demand response is a strategy to make power grids more efficient by modifying consumers' power consumption in consideration of available energy supply. Since the Great East Japan Earthquake in March 2011 the supply and demand of electricity during peak use hours in Japan has drawn attention. Under the demand response scheme, power companies request aggregators* to use energy conservation measures, and they are compensated for the electricity that they save.

Usually when energy-saving is requested consumers may respond by moderating their use of air conditioning and lighting. However, by using the storage capacity of electric vehicles and Vehicle to Home (V2H) systems, consumers can reduce their use of power at peak times without turning off lights and appliances. This is particularly useful in commercial establishments where it is difficult to turn power off to save electricity.

The demand response scheme involves assessing the usefulness of energy-saving measures using V2H systems during peak-use periods and analyzing the impact of monetary incentives on business. For example, the testing involves a LEAF and LEAF to Home system which is connected to power a Nissan dealer's lighting system during regular business hours using stored battery energy. This reduces electricity demand on the power grid. The aggregator is then compensated for the equivalent of the total amount of electricity that is saved. Two or three tests per month will be conducted on designated days for three hours' each time sometime between 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. from October 2014 through January 2015.

Effective use of renewable energy and improvements in the efficiency of power generation facilities will enable better energy management in the future and help reduce environmental impact. Field tests using EVs' high-capacity batteries that are being conducted globally are proving their effectiveness in energy management. Additionally, if similar compensation schemes for energy-saving activities were applied to EV owners it could accelerate the wider adoption of EVs and reduce society's carbon footprint.

Nissan has sold more than 142,000 LEAFs globally since launch. The Nissan LEAF's power storage capability in its onboard batteries, coupled with the LEAF to Home power supply system, is proving attractive to many customers. As the leader in Zero Emissions, Nissan is promoting the adoption of EVs to help build a zero-emission society in the future. Along with these energy management field tests, Nissan is actively creating new value through the use of EVs' battery power storage capability and continuing to promote initiatives that will help realize a sustainable low-carbon society.

* Aggregators refers to businesses that coordinate two or more consumers (e.g. plants and offices) and trade with utility companies the total amount of the electricity they have succeeded in curbing.


Honda Earns Perfect Climate Disclosure Score of 100 Points in CDP Global 500 Climate Change Report 2014

TOKYO, Japan, October 15, 2014 - Honda Motor Co., Ltd. announced that it has earned a perfect climate disclosure score of 100 in the CDP Global 500 Climate Change Report 2014, which analyzes the initiatives of the world's 500 largest companies in addressing countermeasures against global warming and the disclosure of information regarding greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. With the perfect disclosure score, Honda was listed as one of the companies in the CDP's "Climate Disclosure Leadership Index (CDLI)," which names the world's most advanced companies in the area of disclosures related to global climate change, for the fourth consecutive year.

Earning a perfect disclosure score indicates that Honda was recognized for its commitment to proper disclosures and the ability to utilize its climate data in making corporate decisions toward the realization of a low carbon society.

Comments by Takanobu Ito, President & CEO of Honda:

"With the recognition of environmental issues as one of the highest management priorities among all other business priorities and challenges, Honda has long been committed to minimizing its environmental footprint. It is a great honor that our efforts led to earning this perfect CDP disclosure score for the first time. Toward the fulfillment of the Honda Environmental and Safety Vision - realizing "the Joy and Freedom of Mobility" and "a Sustainable Society where People Can Enjoy Life" - Honda will continue taking on new challenges to further reduce the environmental footprint of our products and corporate activities."

Paul Simpson, chief executive officer of CDP, says:

"Global greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise and we face steep financial risk if we do not mitigate them. The need for data on corporate climate change impacts and strategies to reduce them has never been greater. For this reason we congratulate those businesses that have achieved a position on CDP's Climate Disclosure Leadership Index. These companies are responding to the ever-growing demand for environmental accountability and should inspire others to follow suit."

*CDP is an international non-profit organization that provides the only global system currently available to measure, disclose, manage and share key climate information of businesses and cities around the world. CDP now works with 767 institutional investors with US$92 trillion in assets in the market-economy to encourage businesses to disclose information about their impact on the environment and natural resources and to take measures to reduce such impact.

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