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Bosch exec says fuel-cell tech will be commercially viable by 2025

By 2025, fuel-cell technology will be less costly due to greater economies of scale and will be commercially viable for mass use in vehicles, according to Wolf-Henning Scheider, head of Bosch's automotive division. Fuel cell vehicles still have to gain acceptance due to prohibitive development costs despite their capability to travel five times longer distance than electric cars and take less time to refuel.

Scheider remarked that fuel cell vehicles are a viable alternative to other zero-emission vehicle technologies. He quipped that while fuel-cell powertrains might still be twice as costly to build than those found in electric cars in 2025, the higher operating range of fuel-cell cars would make them a viable alternative.

Carmakers developing fuel cell vehicles include Daimler, Hyundai, Nissan, Ford, General Motors, Toyota and Honda and General Motors are all developing fuel-cell vehicles. Toyota and Honda have plans to commence sales of fuel-cell vehicles next year.

Read the entire article Bosch exec says fuel-cell tech will be commercially viable by 2025

2018 Mercedes-Benz GLC F-Cell combines hydrogen fuel and plug-in power

Recently, Mercedes-Benz came out with the Project One, and that probably is the company's most powerful hypercar to date, giving out as much as 1,000 horsepower. But during Frankfurt, the German automaker introduced us to something more environmentally friendly. This includes models like the EQ A Concept, Vision EQ Fortwo, and the GLC F-Cell in its pre-production stage. The F-Cell is actually a fuel-cell powered luxury crossover that owners can plug in when charging the batteries.

Thanks to its unique powertrain, the GLC was made with a plug-in hybrid that works with a fuel cell stack instead of a combustion engine. All in all, the GLC F-Cell has a total output of 197 horsepower (147 kilowatts) and 258 pound feet (350 Newton-metres) of torque. In terms of range, this setup has a range of 272 miles (437 kilometers) in the New European Driving Cycle test.

The fuel cell portion comes with two carbon fiber tanks that carry as much as 9.7 pounds (4.4 kilograms) of hydrogen. One of the tanks is found under the rear seats, while the other is on the area where the driveshaft usually is.

Read the entire article 2018 Mercedes-Benz GLC F-Cell combines hydrogen fuel and plug-in power

Hyundai will introduce the Genesis luxury EV in 2021

Hyundai Motor Group – including both Hyundai Motor and Kia Motors – has disclosed a wide-ranging plan to introduce 31 environment-friendly models in a new development roadmap that aims to ultimately create a cleaner environment through these eco-friendly vehicles.

While previewing its next generation fuel cell vehicle, Hyundai announced its eco-vehicle development roadmap that entails a multi-pronged approach. This means that Hyundai won't focus its efforts on just one type of eco-friendly vehicle, but will create a lineup that offers various powertrain options like fuel cell, hybrid drive and electric.

Hyundai is pursuing this 2020 plan in response to the growing demand for fuel-efficient, eco-friendly vehicles around the world. As part of this road map, Hyundai will continue pursuing hydrogen fuel cell technology and will exert more efforts to strengthen its leadership in this area. The South Korean carmaker plans to achieve this by putting more focus on improving r&d works to further boost the performance and durability of FCEVs. Likewise, r&d will focus on making the fuel cell technology smaller and cheaper to allow it to be installed in smaller sedans.

Read the entire article Hyundai will introduce the Genesis luxury EV in 2021

Hyundai releases images of long-range fuel cell SUV that will be launched in 2018

Hyundai has recently unveiled an unnamed pre-production model of its new fuel cell SUV. We don’t know what to call this model just yet, but sources say that this model will make its official release next year.

Unusually, the Korean firm already confirmed that this model is “near production ready” even though they have not given it a name yet. The hydrogen SUV is said to be nine percent more efficient and have as much as twenty percent more power than the ix35. But the improvements don’t end there as the Korean automaker plans to give it an official range of 500 miles (805 kilometers).

The SUV will be equipped with three tanks of the same size that store hydrogen before the fuel cell converts it to electricity to power the car.

Read the entire article Hyundai releases images of long-range fuel cell SUV that will be launched in 2018

Monaco's narrow streets are considered as territory to some of the most impressive supercars in the world. Now, His Serene Highness Prince Albert II and Princess Charlene of Monaco opted not to have an extravagant display for their lap of honor at the start of the 2017 Formula 1 Grand Prix of Monaco. Instead, they were in a Honda Clarity Fuel Cell when they lapped the historic city's circuit. The lap represented the beginning of the race itself, directly preceding the highly anticipated presentation of the Formula 1 drivers and Monaco's national anthem.

As of now, the hydrogen-driven Clarity is still not available in Europe, but Honda is orchestrating a demonstration campaign that will run through 2022 to showcase its futuristic vehicle. The Japanese company will unleash a total of 185 sedans on the roads of Austria, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Italy and the United Kingdom as part of the test. The new vehicle from Honda impressively belts out a range of 403 miles (650 km) in the New European Driving Cycle test.

But according to the Environmental Protection Agency's more strict assessment, the sedan only yielded 366 miles (589 km) with a full tank of hydrogen. This record is still better compared to Tesla Model S 100D's 335 mile (539 km) EPA range and the 321 miles (516 km) that the hydrogen powered Toyota Mirai can accomplish.

Read the entire article Prince Albert of Monaco drives Honda Clarity Fuel Cell at 2017 Formula 1 Grand Prix of Monaco

Before the end of April, Lexus filed for a trademark with the name “LS-FC Concept” that’s for use on “automobiles and structural parts thereof”.

Does this mean that we will finally see the rumored hydrogen-fueled LS model? It has been years since the rumour started. We had learned that an LS model is soon to make its debut after the launch of the LF-FC concept, which was supposed to be a preview of the next-generation LS.

If the rumours are true, then the LS would use a variant of the Toyota Mirai powertrain, with an all-wheel drive that has four separate electric motors powering each corner. The company hasn’t been sharing details regarding this issue just yet.

Read the entire article Lexus trademark filing gives us hints of what the future LS will be like

Toyota Motor Corporation disclosed that it will be bringing two of its Mirai fuel cell vehicles to China by October of this year. Tests will then be conducted on these FCVs in order to determine how they perform under China’s environment. The brand will also study the quality of hydrogen in China and conduct other durability and quality tests.

While this may be the first in China, the Mirai has been tested in different countries like Australia, U.K., the U.S., and even Scandinavia. The testing to be done is China is under the project titled “Accelerating the Development and Commercialization of Fuel Cell Vehicles in China” and will begin on 2017 and end by 2020.

In addition to the tests being conducted, the brand will also conduct promotional activities in order to determine how customers in this country react to the Mirai. An example of such an activity includes, but not limited to, putting the Mirai up for exhibit during domestic events. Toyota says that the main objective of these events is to make consumers know more about FCVs.

Read the entire article Toyota to start 3-year test for Mirai FCV in China by October 2017

Genesis Motors, the luxury vehicle branch of the South Korean automaker Hyundai, is hoping to venture into a new market- the electric run vehicle territory. For years, Genesis only offered sedans but now the game is about to change. Here to pave the way is the futuristic Genesis GV80 SUV.

The South Korean automaker has long hinted the pubic that it is keenly interested in entering the electric vehicle market, with big companies like Ford and Tesla in the same race for producing e-vehicles. Up until now, rumours have been flowing off the shelf that Genesis is gearing up to recreate a pure e-vehicle or a hybrid one. At the recently held 2017 New York Auto Show, all eyes were on the GV80 Fuel cell concept with a metallic finish that offers a subtle glimpse in what the future holds for the car consumers.

This fuel cell powered exclusive SUV is based on the Genesis' Athletic Elegance design and the GV80 will serve as a predecessor to a whole new future lineage of e-vehicles that Genesis is yearning for. The Genesis Athletic design was previously introduced in the G90 forerunner in the year 2015. Manfred Fitzgerald, Genesis Chief, remarked that the GV80 Concept is considered by the company as the most significant breakthrough that paves the way for further expansion of their vehicle line-up.

Read the entire article Genesis Motors unveils latest concept -- the GV80 SUV

Back during the early of part of the year, Hyundai Motor Company became part of the Hydrogen Council which was officially launched during the 2017 Davos World Economic Forum. The goal of this group is to develop and commercialize cars that use fuel cells rather than fossil fuels.

For those who have long followed developments at Hyundai, this is not a surprise as the brand has been leading the pack in developing hydrogen vehicles for 20 years now. Back in 2013 for example, it released the ix35 Fuel Cell, also known in some markets as the Tucson Fuel Cell. It became the first ever hydrogen-powered car in the world to be mass produced. In fact, it is still on sale in 17 countries worldwide.

With this in mind, Hyundai unveiled during the 2017 Geneva Motor Show its latest offering in the field of hydrogen powered vehicles. Dubbed as the FE Fuel Cell Concept, the “FE” refers to “Future Eco” which reveals the pioneering technologies that match the environment-friendliness of this model. One of its main features is the internal air humidifier. This part recycles the water that is emitted by this model in order to have a cabin environment that offers more comfort.

Read the entire article Hyundai unveils hydrogen-powered FE Fuel Cell Concept

It was in April of last year when Honda first revealed plans that it was planning to build a plug-in hybrid version of the Clarity. There will also be an all-electric one. Recently, Automotive News reported initial details with regards to the electric version. According to the said report, the EV version of the Clarity is estimated to have a maximum range, on a single charge, of 80 miles (129 km).

Honda however said that this is not due to any disadvantage related to engineering but rather to factors that were made when the project was started. In particular, there were two considerations that needed to be met without question. The first focuses on the physical size of this variant given that it has the same architecture as that of two versions under the Clarity range. The second important parameter was that the final production car should have a cost of at most $35,000, before any government incentives or tax credits.

Honda has always been about affordability and coming out with a long-range electric car that comes at a high price is not something the brand would want. This was the statement released by Honda of America Vice President of Environmental Business Development Steve Center to Automotive News. He added that if that happened, many of its customers would not be able to buy it.

Read the entire article Report says Honda Clarity EV’s range is a short 80 miles

As the Dieselgate scandal continues its run, German carmaker Volkswagen AG and supplier Robert Bosch GmbH each reached a settlement agreement with owners of VW, Audi and Porsche diesel-powered vehicles found to be cheating emissions tests. The agreement, once approved, would entail a payment of at least $1.6 billion to accommodate specific actions – repair, buy back or compensation – meant to settle the companies’ differences with affected customers.

VW’s settlement agreement covers around 78,000 VW, Audi and Porsche vehicles powered by the group’s 3.0-liter TDI V6 diesel engine. This agreement became necessary because of the so-called Dieselgate scandal, which is basically a scheme implemented by VW to sell around 590,000 diesel-powered vehicles in the US – from model years 2009 to 2016 -- by making it seem that these units were cleaner than they actually were. Regulators have found out that VW employed a defeat device that helps these vehicles cheat on emissions tests.

Under the 3.0-liter TDI settlement program, Volkswagen would pay up to $1.2 billion in benefits assuming that 100 percent of affected customers take part; all eligible Generation 1 vehicles are bought back; and Generation 2 vehicles are fixed with an Emissions Compliant Repair to bring them to same emissions standards as they were certified.

Read the entire article VW and Bosch to pay at least $1.6B to customers over Dieselgate scandal

A definitive fruit of a 2013 master collaboration agreement between American carmaker General Motors and Japanese auto company Honda has finally been realized.

Considered as two of the leaders of in fuel cell technology among carmakers, GM and Honda inked in 2013 a long-term agreement to co-develop the next-generation fuel cell system as well as hydrogen storage technologies. The two carmakers also aimed to advance refueling infrastructure to improve the viability of fuel cell vehicles. To achieve this, GM and Honda planned to share expertise and economies of scale as well as pursue common sourcing strategies – thereby making fuel cell systems less costly to produce for the carmaker and more affordable to end consumers.

The agreement resulted in the establishment of the Fuel Cell System Manufacturing LLC (FCSM), a manufacturing joint venture – as its name obviously indicates -- that will focus on the mass production of an advanced hydrogen fuel cell system that will be employed in the upcoming products from GM and Honda. The two carmakers will invest in equal amounts a total of $85 million in the joint venture – the first in the auto industry – with an aim to commence mass production operations by the end of the decade (2020). FCSM will be based within GM’s battery pack production site located in Brownstown, Michigan.

Read the entire article GM and Honda create Michigan-based joint venture for mass production of fuel cell systems

Nikola Motor’s hydrogen-powered semi-trailer truck is highly appealing with its many advancements but don’t expect it to arrive in the near future. In November 2016, Toyota announced the possibility of applying hydrogen technology to semi-trailers, so such trucks might come soon. But while Toyota is still conducting a California-based feasibility and exploration study, Utah-based Nikola Motor Company has already unveiled a hydrogen-powered semi-trailer truck that could put current conventional trucks on the road to shame.

Nikola Motors is proud to unveil its Nikola One hydrogen-powered semi-trailer truck, which employs a full electric drivetrain as powered by high-density lithium battery pack with 320-kWh of capacity. This large high-capacity battery pack gets its juice from hydrogen fuel cells. Its electric drivetrain could provide more than a thousand ponies and around 2,000 ft. lbs. (2,711 Nm) of torque – which is nearly double the amount that conventional semi-trailer trucks could provide with the powerful diesel engines.

This means that Nikola One could haul heavier loads as needed. In addition, Nikola One’s fuel cell-powered battery pack – a massive one – could contain enough energy to allow the green yet mean semi trailer truck to travel between 800 miles and 1,200 miles (1,287 to 1,931 kilometers), depending on the battery specs and the size of the hydrogen tank. This means that the Nikola One semi-trailer truck is very suitable for long-haul operations, effectively getting rid of the so-called range anxiety common with electrified vehicles. This hydrogen tank can be filled up at any of the planned 364 stations across the United and Canada. These hydrogen refilling stations will be built starting 2018.

Read the entire article Pre-orders of Nikola’s 1000hp One hydrogen-powered semi-trailer truck have surpassed $4 billion

Regardless of what people may say, those who want to lower greenhouse-gas emissions would do better to choose vehicles that use electricity compared to models that utilize hydrogen fuel-cell as the former is cheaper. This was the conclusion reached by a study published in the journal Energy and conducted by researchers at Stanford University and the Technical University of Munich.

In the study, the researchers revealed that when putting energy production and vehicle-operating costs into consideration, vehicles powered by fuel cells need twice the amount of electrical energy needed by electric vehicles. The study is saying that for those who want to have lower emissions, plugging a vehicle is a lot more cost-effective compared to putting hydrogen inside it. This is good news for customers considering that many of them find it difficult to choose between the two as both show no emissions. A reason cited as to the difference in cost is that it is more expensive to put up hydrogen generation infrastructure.

The actual study itself was conducted at Los Altos Hills in California, located around 40 miles in the southeast direction from San Francisco. Through the use of a case study, the researchers assumed that by 2035, 38% of the vehicles running around town would either be powered by fuel cells or with electricity. The study also assumed that by 2025, electric vehicles would be more cost competitive when compared to standard vehicles.

Read the entire article Journal says EVs are more cost-effective than fuel-cell vehicles

Does the future of heavy-duty hauling involve hydrogen cells? Too early to say for now, but it is not impossible. In fact, this possibility is being researched on by one of the pioneers of hydrogen fuel cell-powered vehicles in the world – Japanese auto giant Toyota Motor Corp.

Interestingly, Toyota’s first fuel cell vehicle now out in the auto market is called Mirai, which is derived from the Japanese term for “future.” In a sense, the Mirai jumpstarts Toyota’s battle-cry for the future of mobility. The Mirai also expresses the carmaker’s confidence that consumers would accept hydrogen as a clean fuel alternative in the next five years.

The Mirai employs the so-called Toyota Fuel Cell System (TFCS) that boasts of the combination of fuel cell technology and hybrid technology, making use fuel cell (FC) stack, high-pressure hydrogen tanks and FC boost converter. This FCV could be completely refilled with hydrogen in around three minutes and that already allows the Mirai to travel up to a distance of around 300 km or 186 miles.

Read the entire article Toyota will launch California study on feasibility of fuel cell-powered semi-trailer trucks

So, it is official! The new Honda Clarity FCV has the longest verified range of any zero-emissions vehicle currently on the road in the United States.

One of the main discouragements over zero-emissions vehicle is the amount of distance it could travel on a single charge or a single tank. This has caused the so-called range anxiety, in which drivers were wary of being trapped somewhere between where they took off and to where they are going. The possibility of being stuck while driving on a highway and leaving their cars behind has somewhat discouraged consumers from adopting clean and green cars.

So far, carmakers have been doing what they could to address this issue. Carmakers producing electric vehicles have been working hard to beef up their battery packs to increase the range of their offerings. One of these carmakers is Tesla, which produces the range-topping Tesla Model S P100D with a range of around 315 miles. This means that a fully charged Model S P100D could go for around 315 miles before needing to recharge again. Of course, actual range also depends on the driving habits and techniques, weather conditions and road situations.

Read the entire article 2017 Honda Clarity FCV gets an EPA driving range rating of 366 miles

Toyota and BMW continue to fund and develop hydrogen fuel cell technology even as they remain on the race to build electric vehicles. Global warming has been one of the most pre-dominant issues in our society today. With a growing population and greater demand for technologies that are both cheap and efficient, companies are rushing to become the first ones to create environment friendly technologies.

Vehicles have been pinpointed as one of the main contributors of global warming and its emissions are known to have adverse effects to the O-Zone layer. Once fossil fuels like petroleum or diesel are burned to power our vehicles, carbon dioxide is emitted into the atmosphere, slowly boring a hole into our O-Zone layer that protects us from the harmful rays of the sun.

Aside from Global warming, fuel prices have also gone high as demand for more vehicles are also increasing. Moreover, increases in the number of vehicles also mean an increase for the demand in fuel. However, oil companies are now having a hard time to meet these demands so now automakers are in the process of researching alternative ways to power their vehicles.

Read the entire article Fuel-cell-powered BMW i8 may soon be a reality

Toyota has been known for its its massive assembly lines producing thousands of vehicles every day. Yet, it has established a workshop that builds just three vehicle everyday, manned by just 13 people. This workshop is for its futuristic fuel cell sedan, the Mirai. What is ironic is that while Mirai is Toyota’s most advanced vehicle, it seems to have a low-tech birth – no conveyors, no andon lines, just a small-batch, kid-glove approach.

Assembly is also done by hand. “Compared with other plants, this has very low productivity,” remarked Mitsuyuki Suenaga, an assistant manager at the Motomachi workshop, which was tasked to build the Mirai. “It is all manual,” he said. But everything has a purpose, as President Akio Toyoda says the Mirai represents a return to roots, in attention to quality and pioneering spirit.

While actual actual production of the Mirai started in December 2014, Toyoda remarked he deliberately chose Feb. 24, 2015, to celebrate as it marks the fifth anniversary of what many in the carmaker consider as its lowerst point.

Read the entire article Toyota starts at basics with Mirai assembly in Japan

Audi has secured a crucial fuel-cell technology that will be vital in advancing the Volkswagen Group’s development of green vehicles. Under a deal valued up to $112 million, Canadian tech firm Ballard Power Systems will transfer automotive-related patents to VW Group for $50 million and will provide engineering services until March 2019.

Audi intends to make the technology available to other Volkswagen brands like Porsche, Bentley and Lamborghini. Fuel cell technology could make possible zero-emission vehicles to have longer ranges than current electric cars while only emitting heat and water as waste.

Despite that some top auto executives like Carlos Ghosn of Renault-Nissan and Elon Musk of Tesla Motors have been critical of the economic viability of the fuel cell technology as well as the large investment required to set up hydrogen fueling stations.

Read the entire article Audi acquires fuel-cell patents from Ballard Power Systems

The Toyota Mirai hydrogen fuel cell vehicle finally had its debut in the East Coast at the DC Auto Show. Toyota will commence sales of the Mirai in the United States later this year, bannering the vehicle’s ability to travel 300 miles on a single tank that takes only around 5 minutes to fill while emitting just water vapor.

During the event, Nihar Patel, Toyota's Vice President of North American Business Strategy, called for a concerted effort and collaboration between carmakers, government regulators, academia and energy providers as the need for sufficient hydrogen infrastructure becomes more of a reality.

He called on the Congress to reinstate the tax incentives for hydrogen firms that build refueling stations and for consumers buying fuel cell vehicles.

Read the entire article 2016 Toyota Mirai arrives on East Coast at DC Auto Show
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