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.
Production Starts In December At Same Secret Workshop That Made Lexus LFA
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.
Electrolyzers, Natural Gas And Grid Balancing Are The Keys
There's a problem that need solving when it comes to renewable energy. Where do you put it when it's not needed? Graham Cooley, CEO of ITM Power, has what he says is the best answer: you turn it into hydrogen.
Pat Cox Explains Europe's Current Hydrogen Infrastructure Situation
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.
H2 Tanks Will Likely Need To Be Inspected Every Few Years
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)
Dealer Added $70 A Month To Advertised Price, Which Tipped The Scales
They say you can always tell the pioneers. They're the ones with the arrows in their backs. Unfortunately, that was our experience pursuing – and eventually rejecting – the new hydrogen fuel cell-powered Hyundai Tucson.
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.
Hydrogen Is The Fuel Of The Future, And Always Will Be!
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.
With the two main Japanese automakers, Toyota and Honda, leading the charge for hydrogen vehicles (along with Korea's Hyundai), we shouldn't be too surprised that the Japanese government is supporting the technology big time. We knew the national government is ready to kick in the equivalent of $20,000 for a new FCV, but now we learn that at least one prefectural government is ready to chip in another substantial sum: $10,000.
That tailwind Toyota may be feeling in Japan won't be from a stiff breeze off the northern Pacific Ocean. The Japanese automaker is getting ready to start selling its first production hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle in its native country next year. And the government is ponying up real big in incentives, Reuters says.
Zero-emissions vehicle development has never focused purely on off-the-line acceleration. So when a research executive with Mercedes-Benz parent Daimler says it's Okay that companies like Toyota and Hyundai will have a head start selling hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle, it's somewhat believable. But is Daimler really fine with being two years behind? It appears so.
Toyota has finally unveiled its FCV hydrogen fuel cell sedan and its Japanese price. We won't have to wait too long to see the first of these revolutionary vehicles on the roads. It will go on sale in Japan in April 2015 and will come to the US and Europe later that summer.
There is death. There are taxes. And there is the US Department of Energy (DOE) periodically funding millions of dollars worth of grants towards advancing hydrogen fuel-cell technology. This time, the DOE says it will write checks for $20 million, and the goal is pretty specific: bringing the production and distribution costs of hydrogen to less than the equivalent of $4 a gallon.
This would really be news is if a publicly accessible hydrogen refueling station was opening outside of Southern California. But we'll have to wait a bit more for that. What we have here is Cal State Los Angeles announcing that a new hydrogen station is up and running as of Wednesday. And it's within spitting distance of a bunch of freeways, which is always a good thing.