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Hyundai Set to Expand Line-up of Eco-Friendly Vehicles

Hyundai, Kia to introduce 31 new vehicles by 2020.

by on Aug.17, 2017

The Hyundai Tucson fuel cell model is about to get a sibling in the near term, according to Hyundai officials.

Hyundai Motor Co. is moving ahead with the launch of a group eco-friendly vehicles that include fuel-cell-powered models and a long-range electric vehicle with the capability of traveling more than 310 miles on a single charge.

Executives from the South Korean auto giant said the new fuel-cell model, now slated to debut at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in January, will spearhead Hyundai Motor’s plans to accelerate development of low-emission vehicles.

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The move is in line with Hyundai Motor Group’s renewed goal of introducing 31 eco-friendly models between its sibling automakers, Hyundai Motor and Kia Motors, by 2020.  (more…)

BMW Wants to Combine Solar and Hydrogen Power

Overcoming hydrogen's dirty little secret.

by on Apr.26, 2017

At Hannover, BMW is displaying a 5-Series GT fuel cell model that, it boasts fast refueling times and an ability to cover long distances unlike many battery-electrics.

While fuel-cells are often billed as the most environmentally friendly alternative to the internal combustion engine, there is a dark side to hydrogen power – one that BMW says it hopes to address.

Fuel-cells combine hydrogen and oxygen from the air to produce a stream of current that can run a vehicle’s electric motors. The only exhaust is water vapor. But the issue is where that hydrogen comes from. In most cases, it is produced by breaking down fossil fuels like petroleum or natural gas, a process that creates carbon dioxide and other pollutants.

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At the 2017 Hannover Trade Fair, however, BMW is looking at ways to make fuel-cells even cleaner, by producing hydrogen through solar-powered electrolysis, a process that breaks water down into two parts hydrogen, one part water. (more…)

A Real Gas: First Drive of the 2017 Honda Clarity FCV

Hydrogen-powered sedan is no lightweight.

by on Mar.20, 2017

A bit late, but ready to roll. The new Honda Clarity FCV is the latest fuel-cell powered vehicle to hit the U.S. market.

During a visit to Detroit last week, President Donald Trump all but promised the auto industry his administration will roll back the tough 54.5 mpg federal mileage standard set to go into effect in 2025.

Yet while some manufacturers, especially Detroit’s Big Three, issued a collective sigh of relief, others insisted such a move wouldn’t make much, if any, difference in their long-term plans. That includes Honda, whose CEO recently emphasized his commitment to generating two-thirds of the maker’s sales from electrified powertrains by 2030.

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“Electric” doesn’t necessarily mean “battery,” however, and Honda has become one of the biggest proponents of fuel-cell technology, the Japanese maker recently becoming the third manufacturer to start marketing a hydrogen-powered car in the U.S. market. This past week, it gave TheDetroitBureau.com a chance to put the new Honda Clarity FCV through its paces traversing the mountainous terrain east of Santa Barbara, California. (more…)

GM and Honda Teaming Up on U.S.-based Fuel Cell Manufacturing

Plant will provide hydrogen tech for new products from both companies.

by on Jan.30, 2017

GM Global Product Development Director Mark Reuss and Honda North America CEO Toshiaki Nikishiba celebrate the debut of their new fuel-cell stack.

This story has been updated to reflect additional details and comments by both companies. New pics also have been added.

General Motors and Honda will set up a new plant in Michigan to mass produce next-generation fuel-cell technology that both companies plan to use in upcoming products, the automakers jointly announced Monday.

Honda is currently one of three automakers selling hydrogen-powered vehicles in the U.S., though GM was an early pioneer of the emissions-free technology and had been signaling plans to bring a fuel-cell vehicle, or FCV, of its own to market in the near future.

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The two companies established a research joint venture three years ago,” with each company providing know-how from its unique expertise to create a compact and low-cost next-generation fuel cell system,” said Toshiaki Mikoshiba, chief operating officer of the North American Region for Honda Motor Co., Ltd. and president of Honda North America, Inc. “This foundation of outstanding teamwork will now take us to the stage of joint mass production.” (more…)

Honda Delivers First U.S. Fuel-Cell Vehicle – a Year Late

Sales limited to select regions in California.

by on Dec.20, 2016

Honda's new Clarity fuel-cell vehicle is part of an onslaught of the vehicles that have hit U.S. roads in the last 18 months.

Honda delivered the first of its new fuel-cell vehicles to U.S. customers on Monday, becoming the third automaker to enter the hydrogen car market.

But as with Toyota and Hyundai, sales of the new Honda Clarity Fuel-Cell Vehicle will be limited to select portions of California, including Orange County, San Francisco and Sacramento, where a public supply of hydrogen is readily available.

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The lack of a production and distribution network is considered the single-largest obstacle to widespread adoption of fuel-cell technology. But California and several other states are taking steps aimed at expanding availability of the clean fuel during the next decade. (more…)

Toyota Touts Fuel Cell as Zero Emission Answer

Japanese maker sees fuel cell as the zero emission future.

by on Apr.13, 2016

Toyota leads the way in fuel-cell technology with the Mirai. Officials believe fuel cells are best for moving large vehicles with zero emissions.

Fuel cells using hydrogen remain the best alternative for moving heavy vehicles such as buses and trucks over long distances with zero emissions.

Justin Ward, general manager, Powertrain Systems Controls at Toyota Engineering and Manufacturing North America, iterated his support for the fuel cell during a panel discussion on the future of mobility as the annual Society of Automotive Engineers Congress got underway in Detroit.

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Battery electric vehicles remain the best alternative for short trips in urban areas, while hybrids and plug-in hybrids can work well for consumers who need a larger vehicle. But fuel cells work especially well in larger vehicles such busses and heavy-duty trucks, said Ward, noting extended duty cycles in big vehicles can help cover the cost of fuel cells. (more…)

Affordable Hydrogen Could Send Sales of Fuel-Cell Vehicles Soaring

U.S. “tantalizingly close to a fuel-cell transition,” says U-C Davis study.

by on Aug.15, 2014

U-C Davis Prof. Joan Ogden shown going for a drive in a hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle.

“Hydrogen is the fuel of the future,” goes the adage among automotive and environmental researchers, “and it always will be.”

Back around the turn of the Millennium, its time seemed to come, only to fall out of favor once again, as battery-power gained traction – and R&D dollars. But suddenly, hydrogen is once again gaining momentum, Hyundai recently launching sales of its first fuel-cell vehicle, and with Toyota and Honda planning FCVs of their own next year.

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The makers are all focusing on just the Southern California market, largely because it’s the only place where buyers currently can fill up. But a new study by the University of California, Davis says we may be approaching the tipping point where hydrogen will become the fuel of today. (more…)

Toyota Selling FCV for $70,000 in Japan

Maker’s fuel cell vehicle will hit U.S. next summer.

by on Jun.25, 2014

Mitsuhisa Kato, Toyota Motor Corp. executive vice president, revealed the pricing of the company's new FCV fuel cell vehicle in Japan.

In the battle for zero-emission vehicle supremacy, everyone now knows what the latest entrant – Toyota’s FCV – will cost: about $70,000.

The Japanese automaker announced pricing on its new fuel cell vehicle, which will be available in Japan starting next spring. About the size of a Camry, the car is expected to come to the U.S. and Europe sometime that summer.

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It will join Hyundai’s Tucson fuel cell and a slew of others on the way, on the fuel cell side of the ZEV-side of the aisle, while the Tesla Model S and other EVs sit on the battery electric side. (more…)

California Drops $46.6 Million on New Hydrogen Fueling Stations

Automakers expanding fuel cell vehicle fleet in U.S.

by on May.07, 2014

Hyundai will bring its Tucson-based hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle to market later this year.

While California is generally seen as the land of “green” experiments, the state is putting its money where its mouth is with the installation of dozens of new hydrogen fueling stations across the state.

The California Energy Commission is investing $46.6 million to accelerate the development of hydrogen fueling stations. The cash infusion will add 28 new stations to the existing nine stations. There are another 17 sites in various stages of development, which would bring the total stations expected online in the next couple of years to 54. That commission’s goal is 100 stations.

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The debate over the viability of hydrogen-powered vehicles typically has been a chicken-or-the-egg style debate. Automakers have not pushed the development of the vehicles because there is no infrastructure in place to refuel the vehicles. Of course, the hydrogen fuel providers have countered they don’t want to invest in pricey new stations when there aren’t vehicles using them. (more…)

Toyota Trying to Replicate Prius Success with Fuel Cells

Carter believes Japanese maker is ahead of the curve.

by on Jan.15, 2014

Toyota's Bob Carter reveals the FCV hydrogen car concept vehicle at CES. Carter thinks the FCV could be the next Prius.

Despite the skepticism of some notable critics, the fuel cell represents an emerging of enormous potential as source of power for automobiles. In fact, one company believes that fuel-cell technology is going follow the same arc as hybrids: Toyota.

Robert Carter, senior vice president of Toyota Motor Sales USA, said in a speech to the Automotive News World Congress, automakers must respond to long-term needs “of our customers, our society, and our environment” and fuel cells hold enormous potential, which is the key reason why Toyota has introduced a fuel cell vehicle it plans to sell or lease to consumers in the United States next year.

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“Now, I realize there is no shortage of naysayers regarding the viability of this technology and the infrastructure to support it,” Carter said. “Personally, I don’t care what Elon (Musk of Tesla) or Carlos (Ghosn of Nissan) say about fuel cells. If they want to ‘plug in and tune out’ other technologies, that’s fine,” he said. (more…)