Toyota says it's found a way to boost hydrogen fuel-cell productivity via platinum observations.
HUMMER H2 News
After passing "a rigorous state performance evaluation," the hydrogen refueling station and research center at Cal State University Los Angeles has become the first station in Southern California allowed to sell hydrogen by the kilogram. Every other station that charges can only charge a fixed amount per tank, regardless of the amount dispensed.
There's a huge international infrastructure dedicated to putting gasoline and diesel fuel into our cars. A nationwide infrastructure for electric vehicles also exists, even if it could be beefed up a bit in some areas. But when it comes to hydrogen cars, the infrastructure hows and wheres and whats don't have complete answers yet. Sandia National Lab says maybe we should be looking underground.
Toyota built 500 Lexus LFA supercars between 2010 and 2012 in what Automotive News has called a "secretive workshop." The automaker has been wondering what to do with that production line since the last LFA rolled off in December 2012 and, like so much else for Toyota these days, the answer is a hydrogen car – and in about the same small numbers.
The bad news, as we've previously reported, is that Honda's first production hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle won't debut until 2016, a bit later than expected. The good news is that the automaker may produce a device that will let that FCV's motor power up other devices as well. So it's a tradeoff of sorts.
Pat Cox does not work for Toyota and we don't think he has any secret inside information. Still, he's the former President of the European Parliament and the current high level coordinator for TransEuropean Network, so when he says Toyota is likely going to lose between 50,000 and 100,000 euros ($66,000 and $133,000) on each of the hydrogen-powered FCV sedans it will sell next year, it's worth noting.
It's no secret that Toyota doesn't really have a heart in pushing pure electric vehicles. The very limited Scion iQ EV project was killed before it went very far and the RAV4 EV project with Tesla was always only meant to produce just 2,600 units, but it didn't even get that far. In short, by all public appearances, Toyota just doesn't see the value of a pure EV.
Turns out, Toyota had a surprising ace in the hole when it came to building the new fuel tanks for the FCV hydrogen fuel cell car, which is coming next year. Well before Toyota became the Toyota Motor Company, it was the Toyota Industries Corporation and it made textile looms. This is important because the main structure of the hydrogen tank is wound carbon fiber. When Toyota set out to increase the strength of the tanks to hold hydrogen stored at 10,000 psi (up from 5,000 in the previous tanks)
At a cost of up to $2 million to install a station and barely any hydrogen vehicles on the roads, it might seem like the payback time on a hydrogen refueling setup would be quite long. However, First Element Fuel (FEF) thinks that it will only take five years to make a profit selling H2 to paying customers.
Last year Elon Musk came straight out and said fuel cells are so bullsh*t. A couple months ago Slashdot ran an article asking where the future of automobiles was going: Fuel Cell or Battery Electric Vehicles. Mercedes, BMW, Mitsubishi, Renault / Nissan and of course Tesla are fully invested in battery powered electric vehicles, and yet somehow hydrogen fuel cells continue to be brought up as a viable alternative.