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Toyota fuel cell car set for 2015 global release

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January 7, 2014

Toyota has announced its intention to begin selling fuel cell vehicles from 2015

Toyota has announced its intention to begin selling fuel cell vehicles from 2015

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Amongst the incremental improvements seen at CES, Toyota has announced its notable and progressive intention to begin selling hydrogen powered cars starting next year. Roll-out will begin in California initially and will continue around the world, it has confirmed.

The Toyota Fuel Cell Vehicle (FCV) runs on hydrogen that, combined with oxygen, creates a chemical reaction from which electricity can be harnessed. The only by-product of this process is water, minimizing the environmental impact of using the car.

The announcement means that FCVs will be available to consumers less than 20 years after Toyota developed its first Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle (FCEV) in 1996, as part of its research into vehicles powered by alternative energy. The company sold its first Prius in Japan the following year and to-date estimates a reduction in CO2 emissions of 34 million tons (30.8 million tonnes) as a result of subsequent sales.

The FCV will use the Hybrid Synergy Drive technology that is used in the Prius, with a hydrogen fuel cell in place of the gas engine. Toyota anticipates that its FCVs will have a range of 300 miles (483 km) and that refueling will take as little as three minutes.

More information is available in the video below.

Source: Toyota

About the Author
Stu Robarts Stu is a tech writer based in Liverpool, UK. He has previously worked on global digital estate management at Amaze and headed up digital strategy for FACT (Foundation for Art and Creative Technology). He likes cups of tea, bacon sandwiches and RSS feeds.   All articles by Stu Robarts
16 Comments

It's ALL Bush's Fault !!! LOL

"The Bush administration said Tuesday it would provide $119 million in funding for research into hydrogen fuel cells." (Jan 17, 2006)

"The funding is part of President Bush's $1.7 billion hydrogen research program, first detailed in 2003." http://www.enn.com/top_stories/article/3538

Good, clean, sustainable! Drive on . . .

BombR76
7th January, 2014 @ 11:14 am PST

how are they storing the hydrogen and how are we sourcing the gas, the car ugly and pedestrian safety doesn't appear to be considered

Gavin Roe
7th January, 2014 @ 02:07 pm PST

Splitting water into hydrogene and oxygene is the most dangerous thing mankind can do. Over the time a big part of hydrogene will fade away in space and water will be lost for the future. Nuclear plants are toys compared to the long term effects of a global usage of hydrolysis.

Brucy
8th January, 2014 @ 03:25 am PST

Right-O. Nuke is the way to go. It's the densest source of energy currently available. We've improved on cruise ships since the Titanic and we've improved on nuke plant designs too. Right now we have meltdown proof nuclear power plants. Plus, fusion is right around the corner.

RelayerM31
8th January, 2014 @ 05:29 am PST

As hydrogen storage is difficult and dangerous, it's wrong to leave out that detail. Another source (automobilemag.com) says that it is carbon fiber wrapped tanks located under and behind the rear seat. Also, hydrogen will leak thru any solid material, so -- are the loses significant?

Brucy is wrong to worry about loss of water. This technology will be long obsolete before it can make a measurable dent in Earth's water supply. However, the SOURCE of the hydrogen is quite relevant. The only economical source at present is natural gas. Thus, what we have here is a heavily subsidized methane powered car, with the added problems of per-processing the methane and distribution/storage as hydrogen. It's yet another "green" government initiative that will consume more resources than it saves. Please save us from political technology.

piperTom
8th January, 2014 @ 07:43 am PST

Ahead of its time? Fossil fuels are currently the source of hydrogen. That is likely to change but we aren't there yet. This concept looks premature for the masses but an interesting first step

Phillip Noe
8th January, 2014 @ 08:55 am PST

They of course fail to mention that generating free hydrogen is energy intensive and that compressing the hydrogen to useful concentrations is energy energy intensive.

@ Brucy

I agree that the "hydrogen economy" is a bad idea but please keep your objections reality based. water falls from space every day in the form of meteors. The whole running out of water thing is fresh water and is a local problem wherever it occurs. reducing water consumption in New Orleans is not going to help Denver.

Slowburn
8th January, 2014 @ 09:17 am PST

I like any technology that sources its fuel locally. I don't care if it is nuclear, wind, coal, oil, LNG, etc., so long as it is pulled from American soil, air, or water, prior to pumping it into my car.

RelayerM31 hit the nail on the head with this. All these technologies are stop-gaps until we find reliable ways to produce electricity from fusion.

In the mean time, I, personally, am more than willing to spend the extra $$$ on electric vehicles, and will look into leasing this Toyota as soon as my Nissan Leaf lease is up at the end of this year.

Jeff Michelson
8th January, 2014 @ 10:01 am PST

I love all these stupid remarks about the dangers of hydrogen. Hydrogen is the lightest gas and when released and or burned goes straight up. One of the reasons the Hindenburg was so spectacular. What most idiots do not know about the Hindenburg is the little known fact that over half of the people on board walked away and only one ground crew member was killed. If the Hindenburg was instead filled with gasoline all of New Jersey would have burned.

Little known fact #2: All cars burn hydrogen. Gasoline is a hydrocarbon and it is the hydrogen that burns and the carbon that is exhausted.

Quit speaking without having the facts, it's making you look stupid.

T Patrick Culp
8th January, 2014 @ 02:00 pm PST

Hydrogen is the "future mobility", is not a requirement to fill the tank to the fuel cell car with hydrogen, it is enough with compressed natural gas, converting by fracking with a mini plasma reactor to Hydrogen and Blackcarbon as byproduct which by filling the tank with compressed natural gas in the same time the blackcarbon absorved with a vacum mashine, the filling compressed natural gas station has only a compresor and a vacum mashine, the compresed natural gas tank in the car can be reduced about 5.8 times than hydrogen tank by the same 300 miles consumtion, also the byproduct of the fuel cell is water, I sugest a electric in every wheel, so will be enough place for all component for a fuel cell car, the "future mobility" is now here.

Esteban Sperber Frankel
8th January, 2014 @ 06:38 pm PST

I'm waiting for the Flux Capacitor model that Toyota is working on.

Daniel Pitton
8th January, 2014 @ 09:50 pm PST

I don't believe Hydrogen propulsion is being commercialized as the environmental solution many here are criticising. Rather, Toyota knows all too well that the widespread consumption of oil for propulsion purposes has it's days numbered. Oil cannot be indefinitely mined. The whole world will be facing significant problems as the world's oil fields dry up. We use it for heating fuel, vehicle fuel, electricity generation, most plastics and most fertilisers. If we do not have viable alternatives such as hydrogen and electric vehicles, the problems will be exacerbated. Peak oil is the reality that no one wants to speak of. Fortunately the likes of Toyota know in order to secure their manufacturing future they must make inroads with these technologies.

Australian
8th January, 2014 @ 10:36 pm PST

When we have a fuel that cost les then oil prices will drop, supply and demand, regulates cost. With oil so high Food, transportation, farm cost and every thing that is made cost more, When fuel cost goes down there will be more money spent on other goods. But we need to stop from importing so much and go back making things in the USA. We the gov. bailed out Chrysler Corp and they left to Mexice, I wonder if they ever paid it back? GM. has about 365,000 worker's world wide and in the USA. have about 58,000 I wonder how much the other countries gave to GM? The Gov . sold a world war 2 air craft ship for 1 cent. The Gov. personal that sold it for that must have got a big Christmas presant? This hast to stop.

Wade Randall
9th January, 2014 @ 09:08 am PST

I love all this back and forth. The people who don't know anything about science and technology spell doom and gloom and say whatever it is won't work, and it'll harm Aunt Polly's cat or something, and the real technology people come up with creative ways of helping birth out new solutions. Kudos for RelayerM31 - Thorium reactors are the new wave in nuclear energy. Cracking hydrogen off methane or other hydrocarbons is a good way of doing it, and as someone pointed out, could be done on-board. Hydrogen storage systems have always been a big problem, since it DOES leak through anything and everything no matter what. Even steel. Straight through the sidewalls, never mind the valve. That is what causes hydrogen embrittlement in welds (actually just too much hydrogen during welding). A non-sequitur, but helium does the same thing, only faster, and it is a strategic resource stripped out from deep oil wells.

Not only is hydrogen safe, it is quite abundant as it has reacted with almost everything on the planet. Yes, it is a losing proposition to extract hydrogen from any source and then essentially burn it, as the energy required to break the hydrogen bond - say with water, since that is an easy example - is exactly the energy you get back when you recombine it with oxygen. Energy is lost in both processes in the form of heat due to inefficiencies, so you spend a dollar to get seventy cents. It isn't a problem though. We can use other energy sources such as solar, which suffers more conversion losses if you make steam with it, to crack water or hydrocarbons directly and much more efficiently. Catalytic reactors are more efficient too. And, there is a research program that has produced an algae that releases hydrogen.

More on safety. The Hindenburg fire was not really due to hydrogen. Yes, of course the hydrogen burned, but it burns slowly in a big cloud like that. It needs oxygen. The real source of the disaster was the paint they used on the skin. It was a mixture of aluminum dust, nitrocellulose, and rubber. Great stuff if you want to seal a light canvas skin. It is also known to hobbyists today as rocket fuel, since it contains it's own oxidizer. And it burns *very* fast and is easy to ignite.

Dennis Mummert
9th January, 2014 @ 10:03 am PST

We have something better than hydrogen cars already. Battery electric cars.

Ioan Hill
9th January, 2014 @ 03:00 pm PST

Hydrogen can now be stored in solid form at room temperature via reversible metal hydrides, which have the added advantage of greater energy density with reduced volatility.

JohnSF7
15th January, 2014 @ 11:19 am PST
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