The chief engineer of the Toyota Mirai doesn't think that there's a future in fast-charging EVs because they put too much strain on the electrical grid and have a short range. Unsurprisingly, he thinks the future is in hydrogen.
Reuters reports that the Japanese government will probably not meet its target of having 100 hydrogen stations up and running by early next year. After the last deadline for financial subsidies passed, only 76 stations had been approved.
Demand for the Toyota Mirai is higher than the company says it anticipated, but the wait to get one in Japan reportedly sits at over two years. With Toyota's slow pace of production, the early success might hurt the sedan's prospects in the long run.
Toyota's New Video Series Takes Us Behind The Scenes
In a series of newly released videos and photos, Toyota is taking people behind the scenes at its Motomachi factory campus to show off the 13 people responsible for putting together the Mirai fuel cell vehicle.
We take a walk about the Washington Auto Show with Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz – and are then told we can't film him. So, instead, we just go look at the mostly empty displays on the first (and only) media day and made a little video.
Toyota Senior VP Bob Carter responds to recent comments by Tesla CEO Elon Musk that hydrogen fuel cells are "an extremely silly way to store energy" and that FCEV shortcomings will become plainly evident in the next few years.
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.
Australian car site Motoring reports that the Lexus LS will get a variant with a hydrogen fuel-cell powerplant that will be released by 2017. It would take the top spot in the range, rolling in above the LS Hybrid.
ChargeNow, ParkNow And DriveNow Will All See Enhancements
BMW's stand at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show will be the place to go for updates. News about advances in electric vehicle infrastructure, hydrogen fuel cells (maybe) and BMW's suite of connected vehicles app things will all make an appearance at the show next month.
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.
The last semi-official number we had for pre-orders for the 2016 Toyota Mirai fuel cell vehicle was around 200. But demand is strong enough that Toyota is saying that it will spend 20 billion yen ($168 million US) to expand annual production capacity at the "secretive workshop" where the Mirai will be built from 700 in the first year (2015) to around 2,000 after that.
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.