Instead of hosting the world debut of the production version of its hydrogen fuel cell sedan at the LA Auto Show this coming week, Honda decided to debut the vehicle in Japan today. And, it's not the production version that was shown off, it was an evolved concept. And, instead of coming in 2015, as previously stated, the car is now scheduled to drop in March 2016 in Japan, followed by releases in Europe and the US.
The Japanese government is really paving the way for hydrogen fuel cell technology on its roads. Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry is changing regulations on fuel tanks to make hydrogen cars more appealing to drivers, which should help put the country ahead of others in the race to develop a viable H2 fleet.
These crossovers are not available in showroom quite yet, but the first batch of Hyundai Tucson Fuel Cell vehicles has made it to California. Hyundai is promising retail availability, "within the next several weeks," which means early June or so for the $499/month CUVs. We previously heard in January that these hydrogen-powered Tucsons were supposed to be in US customers' hands by the end of March, so things are running behind schedule.
Cross Toyota with a former General Motors and Hyundai executive and you might just get some real momentum when it comes to hydrogen refueling station deployment. Toyota and FirstElement Fuel Inc., which is headed by ex-GM and Hyundai executive Joel Ewanick, are working together on a project designed to complement California's agreement to spend about $200 million building 100 stations in the state.
In what some would consider an "If You Build It, They Will Come" scenario straight out of "Field of Dreams," California proponents of hydrogen fuel cell vehicle (FCEVs) adoption say the Golden State may expand its hydrogen refueling station count more than eightfold during the next three years, and such an expansion would finally support legitimate commercial sales of FCEVs.
The Hydrogen Superhighway isn't much more than a dirt path right now, with just 27 hydrogen refueling stations installed in the entire world last year, Green Car Reports says, citing Fuel Cell Today. North America was home to eight new hydrogen stations, and five stations were added in Germany. The 27 stations mark a 15-percent increase from 2011 totals.
Following a record-setting year of plug-in electric vehicle sales in the US, the federal government is continuing an "all-of-the-above" alternative energy strategy to ensure folks don't forget about the wonders of hydrogen fuel-cell electric vehicles (FCEV). In fact, the US Energy Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) is borrowing four FCEVs from Toyota for a couple of years to see just how potentially wonderful they are.
Team efforts to bring hydrogen fuel cell vehicles to market have gone truly worldwide. An announcement today from Daimler, Ford, and Nissan reveals that the three companies are going to work together on a "common fuel cell system" that should "speed up availability" of H2 vehicles at lower costs. The target is 2017, which is two years later than fuel cell vehicles should be arriving from Toyota, Hyundai and, yes, Nissan. Still, the positive spin on today's announcement is that the collaboration
Like resolutions and watered down drinks, the coming of the New Year is the time for industry predictions, and tech-research firm Pike Research didn't disappoint when it comes to what it says is in store for the electric-drive vehicle market for 2013.
Toyota still plans on making "tens of thousands" of hydrogen fuel-cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) annually by the 2020s, Bloomberg News reports, citing Didier Leroy, the automaker's chief of European operations.
I wrote about the Kia Sportage FCEV in Part 1 of this story. Kia is owned by Hyundai, and both are located in Korea. Kia is supposed to be the slightly lower-end and sportier mate to Hyundai's marginally higher-end and luxurious vehicles. So, it is no surprise that they share hydrogen R&D costs and technology.
I mention in most of my posts on hydrogen that it is very early in the development stage, that hydrogen is an energy carrier, not an energy source, and that it takes more power to produce hydrogen at this point than you get out of it. These facts are not enough information to give up entirely on hydrogen for use in automobiles, as evidenced by the recent progress of fuel cell vehicles in Korea.