Is BMW prepping a hydrogen fuel-cell concept with a touch of 1990s flair? According to leaks from the Chinese patent office, it's coming to LA.
Fuel Cell Vehicles
Toyota has been teasing its upcoming hydrogen fuel cell sedan – due in 2015, maybe, see below – for years. The information we've heard is that the car will have a 300-mile range and cost between $50,000 and $100,000, but the one thing we haven't had is a glimpse of what it will look like. That changes now.
A French consortium has launched a national study to analyze the potential of hydrogen and fuel cell electric vehicles. Twenty partner members in the "Mobility Hydrogen France" group think that a hydrogen refueling infrastructure could increase deployment of electric vehicles in Europe and strengthen renewable energy production in France. The study will also look at whether this plan for a private and public infrastructure deployed between 2015 and 2030 could be economically competitive and cost
Some automakers want to get serious about bringing hydrogen-powered fuel cell vehicles to market if a big wall can be climbed – the one that puts the cost of H2 vehicles out of reach for some OEMs and at least $50,000 for others. That number could slide down thanks to researchers from South Korea, Case Western University and University of North Texas who have discovered an inexpensive and easily produced catalyst that could replace pricey platinum, the catalyst for the required oxygen-redu
The town of Honeoye Falls, NY, got a jolt on October 5, when General Motors announced it would be closing down its fuel-cell research facility there. The 220 GM employees were given the opportunity to move to Pontiac, MI, where GM will be consolidating its fuel cell program to capitalize on "synergies" with the automaker's Global Powertrain Engineering headquarters.
Global automakers are taking a European road trip together to promote hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. On September 13, seven different fuel cell cars from Mercedes-Benz, Honda, Hyundai, and Toyota started a one-month tour with stopovers planned for nine European cities as a way to introduce more people to the technology.
The UK's first public-access hydrogen fueling station – the one opened by Honda just days ago – dispenses hydrogen at 350 bar (5,076 psi) and 700 bar (10,153 psi). The reason is that these are the two standard filling pressures adopted by the world's major automakers, and it requires a lot of technological work to keep the H2 in a tank that pressurized. But what if 500 psi becomes the standard?
UK drivers wishing to skip battery electric vehicles while maintaining "zero-emissions" motoring now have a new alternative since Honda has opened the UK's first public-access hydrogen refueling station. Ironically, no automakers offer a fuel cell vehicle in the UK, not even Honda.
Last year, General Motors' chief executive officer Dan Akerson says the Toyota Prius is a geekmobile he "wouldn't be caught dead in." That comment caught a bit of fire, and his latest – that hydrogen fuel cell vehicles won't be practical until at least 2020 – will likely do the same.
Of the 1,076,350 alternative-fuel automobiles made available in the U.S. in 2009, nearly 75 percent (805,777) were flex-fuel capable (E85) vehicles, according to the report "Alternatives to Traditional Transportation Fuels 2009" recently released by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). The EIA notes that most of the E85-burning vehicles manufactured in 2009 were sold to private individuals and not to commercial or government fleets.