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.
We get an early steer of the Toyota Mirai, Volkswagen Passat HyMotion and Audi A7 H-Tron
Translogic takes a ride in the 2016 Toyota Mirai hydrogen fuel cell vehicle, and follows that with a spin in the Volkswagen Passat HyMotion test vehicle and Audi A7 Sportback h-tron quattro concept at the 2014 LA Auto Show.
Is there some rule that all cutting-edge, ultra-efficient or emissions-free vehicles need to look, uh, weird? No? Then would anyone care to explain the Toyota Mirai, a vehicle that for all it's hugely, wildly promising technology, will forever be pigeonholed based on its odd styling?
$8,000 Tax Credit Could Expire Well Before Car Arrives
The Toyota Mirai is coming to California next year and it will arrive bearing a $57,500 MSRP. Toyota says that with state and federal incentives worth a total of $13,000, interested customers will be able to buy a Mirai for under $45,000. If you're more into leasing, then you can get the Mirai for $499 a month for 36 months (with $3,649 due at signing). Both options come with free hydrogen fuel for "up to three years."
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.
California isn't Nevada, but Golden State residents are nonetheless being given a chance to make a small bet on what may be a large prize, courtesy of Toyota. The Japanese automaker will start selling its first hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles on the West Coast late next year, and before that, Toyota would like to pick up some positive publicity by giving America's first one away to one lucky Californian.
Hyundai may be based in South Korea, but the automaker is touting hydrogen fuel-cell technology as an all-American benefit and is getting some help from the US government to do so. The company said this week that it's collaborating with the US Department of Energy and the House Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Caucus at promoting fuel-cell technology. The timing is good because Hyundai just started selling the first mass-produced fuel-cell vehicle sold/leased in the US (unless you count the Honda FCX Clar
Toyota's confidence in H2 technology remains as strong as ever. The company has released a new commercial that says it's not a matter of if we all start driving hydrogen cars, but when. In fact, the 70-second spot calls 2015 the turning point for the alternative powertrain technology.
Four months have passed since Toyota ended its relationship with Tesla Motors, in which the electric-vehicle specialist supplied full lithium-ion battery packs to the Japanese behemoth for its RAV4 EV rollout, of which 2,500 vehicles will be completed. Now, Tesla founder and CEO Elon Musk has been heard suggesting that a future collaboration is likely within the next two to three years, and that it will probably be much larger than the last one.
You've probably seen your fair share of Ice Bucket Challenge videos online this week, which are meant to raise money to fight amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), often called "Lou Gehrig's Disease." Hopefully, you've seen ours. We've watched a lot of these videos, but haven't seen one that makes an alt-fuel point quite like a new video from Toyota.
Japanese Automaker Predicts H2 Cost Of $5/kg One Day
Anyone who's been paying attention already knows that Bob Carter, Toyota Motor Sales' senior vice president of automotive operations, is confident of the hydrogen future. Very confident, even eight years ago. So his speech today at the 2014 J.P. Morgan Auto Conference was not surprising for its bullish content but for the mention of a few vague specifics. Most important, Toyota is going to make an announcement about hydrogen cars on the east coast of the US before too long.
If California is going to sink millions upon millions to expand its hydrogen-refueling infrastructure, shouldn't at least some of that infrastructure be operated by a company that actually produces hydrogen fuel? Why, yes, and that's the case with Linde North America. The company has announced it will build two publicly-accessible hydrogen stations in Northern California, courtesy of a $4.3 million grant from the California Energy Commission (CEC).
Japan's prime minister has a lead foot, apparently. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe recently had a photo op with Toyota's first production hydrogen fuel cell vehicle, even getting behind the wheel for a spin (no chauffeur for him, so much respect on our part). His primary impression was that the car had great pickup, before settling on the more politically correct view of noting the vehicle's lack of emissions.
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.
Standardizing refueling systems isn't a quick process, and a new set of fueling standards for hydrogen stations were about 13 years in the making. But SAE International (SAE stands for Society of Automotive Engineers) said this week that it finally settled on a hydrogen refueling standard for light-duty vehicles. For the record, it's called SAE J2601.
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.