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Honda Clarity FCV Gets 366-Mile Range Rating from EPA

Best of any current Zero-Emission Vehicle.

by on Oct.24, 2016

Owners may need the extra range to get to the few hydrogen filling stations open to the public.

Better late than never – especially if you can come to market with the longest range of any zero-emission vehicle, it seems.

The new Honda Clarity Fuel-Cell Vehicle will deliver an average 366 miles on a tank of hydrogen, and yield the equivalent of 68 miles per gallon, according to EPA testing. Its debut pushed back by a year, the Clarity now becomes the third hydrogen-powered vehicle on the U.S. market, following a fuel-cell version of the Hyundai Tucson and the new Toyota Mirai.

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“Not only does the Clarity Fuel Cell fit five passengers and refuel in three to five minutes, it offers customers a driving range on par with gasoline-powered cars,” said Steve Center, head of environmental business development for American Honda Motor Co.


GM, U.S. Army Unveil Colorado Fuel-Cell Pickup

Project could take hydrogen power to the front lines.

by on Oct.03, 2016

The Chevrolet Colorado ZH2 prototype is a stretched and ruggedized version of the midsize pickup.

By the end of the year, three automakers plan to be selling hydrogen cars in a few select California markets, but General Motors and the U.S. Army are teaming up to see if hydrogen power has the stuff it takes to go to war.

GM and the Army today unveiled a prototype fuel-cell military vehicle based on the Detroit maker’s midsize pickup. Dubbed the Chevrolet Colorado ZH2, the military is looking to see if the technology is not only clean and green, but robust enough for front-line operations. Hydrogen power offers a number of other attractive features, the Army believes.

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“Fuel cells have the potential to expand the capabilities of Army vehicles significantly through quiet operation, exportable power and solid torque performance, all advances that drove us to investigate this technology further,” said Paul Rogers, director of the U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center, or TARDEC, in a statement.


GM, US Army Team Up on Fuel-Cell Pickup

Chevrolet Colorado hydrogen truck to be unveiled in October.

by on Aug.30, 2016

GM is partnering with the Army Tank Command on a hydrogen-powered pickup.

The U.S. Army is enlisting some help from General Motors. They’re partnering on a prototype fuel-cell-powered Chevrolet Colorado that could eventually find applications at military bases and perhaps even on the front lines.

The prototype, set to make its formal debut in October, is a joint project of GM and the Army’s Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center, or TARDEC. It’s the latest in a series of partnerships between the Detroit automaker and the U.S. military, GM earlier this year announcing plans to develop a hydrogen-powered deep sear research mini-sub that will be tested by the Navy.

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”Hydrogen fuel cells as a power source have the potential to bring to the force incredibly valuable capabilities,” TARDEC Director Paul Rogers said in a statement accompanying a teaser image of the hydrogen-powered Colorado.


Ford Lands $6 Mil Federal Fuel Cell Grant

Hydrogen power needs some critical breakthroughs – and soon.

by on Aug.12, 2016

A prototype Ford fuel-cell vehicle.

Ford Motor Co. will get a $6 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy to work on advanced fuel cell technology.

The suburban Detroit maker will share the grant with the Los Alamos National Laboratory as part of the latest push to bring hydrogen technology into the mainstream. Three Asian automakers are currently selling fuel-cell vehicles, or FCVs, in Southern California, but demand is limited due to the high cost of the technology and the lack of a broad refueling infrastructure.

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“The grant will help further our research efforts to develop next-generation technologies for our vehicles,” Ford said in a statement.


GM’s Fuel-Cell Tech May Soon Power Advanced Navy Project

Hydrogen power seen as key to long-range unmanned underwater vehicles.

by on Jun.23, 2016

A prototype Navy unmanned underwater vehicle could soon use a GM fuel-cell system.

Technology some see as the key to the future for the auto industry could also play a significant role for the U.S. military.

General Motors is teaming up with the U.S. Navy in the effort to develop a new generation of unmanned undersea vehicles that would rely on hydrogen fuel-cell technology to operate independently for as long as 70 days at a time. The technology would replace the more limited battery-drive systems currently in use in so-called UUVs, according to Navy officials.

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“If you want long endurance you really need fuel cells,” said Karen Swider-Lyons, head of the Alternative Energy Section at the Naval Research Laboratory.


Nissan Takes Novel Approach to Hydrogen Fuel-Cell Power

Maker’s use of ethanol could overcome infrastructure issue.

by on Jun.15, 2016

The hardware side of the Nissan e-Bio Fuel-Cell.

After all but falling off the radar as the spotlight shifted to battery power, fuel-cell technology is suddenly drawing attention again. Hyundai, Toyota and Honda will all be marketing hydrogen cars this year, and a Mercedes-Benz model is set to follow in 2017.

But those and other fuel-cell vehicles in the works will be offered in only limited areas due to the limited availability of hydrogen pumps, an issue that could take decades to resolve. Or maybe not. Nissan has revealed it is taking a novel approach to fuel-cell design that could sidestep the infrastructural challenge.

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According to a report on a Nissan blog, the maker is developing a fuel-cell vehicle, or FCV, that uses ethanol as the source for its hydrogen. The form of alcohol found in beer, wine and liquor, ethanol can be sourced from corn and other crops, rather than using hydrocarbons.


Mercedes-Benz to Join Hydrogen Car Club

Mercedes GLC F-Cell will be first hydrogen plug-in hybrid.

by on Jun.14, 2016

The latest version of the Mercedes-Benz GLC will get a hydrogen-plug-in driveline in 2017.

Mercedes-Benz is the latest automaker to confirm plans to put a hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle into production, joining a small but growing list that could reach 17 or more different models over the course of the next decade.

The luxury arm of Daimler AG has been fleet testing a number of hydrogen-powered vehicles in both California and Europe in recent years, including one off the small B-Class. But the production model will be based on the next generation GLC compact crossover. And the Mercedes GLC F-Cell will be the industry’s first to back up its hydrogen fuel-cell system with a plug-in hybrid.

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The upcoming launch of the F-Cell is part of Daimler AG’s broader green car strategy, the German maker intending to spend around $8 billion on alternative powertrain technologies during just the next two years, said R&D chief Thomas Weber. Instead of focusing on one or two possibilities, Daimler will test the waters for a broad variety of technologies, each with “their justification and chances” for acceptance.


At Least 17 Fuel Cell Vehicles Set to Reach Market Over Next Decade

But hydrogen power still faces major infrastructure challenges.

by on May.06, 2016

The Toyota Mirai fuel-cell vehicle went on sale in Southern California late last year.

While new, long-range electric vehicles, such as the Tesla Model 3 and Chevrolet Bolt, have dominated headlines lately, a number of major automakers are working up a green alternative, and at least 17 new hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles will be on the market around the world by 2027, according to a new study by IHS Automotive.

There are currently just two, the Toyota Mirai and Hyundai Tucson Fuel Cell Vehicle, with Honda set to launch its new Clarity model later this year. But manufacturers such as General Motors and Daimler AG are working up their own offerings. The big challenge is coming up with the refueling infrastructure needed to support hydrogen powertrain technology.

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“This could be a ‘now or never’ situation for FCEVs (fuel-cell electric vehicles) in mass market mobility,” said Ben Scott a senior IHS analyst, depending on the simultaneous launch of more vehicles and the addition of refueling stations.


Honda Rolls Out Clarity, Confirms Hydrogen Car Talks with General Motors

Project could speed up sales of fuel-cell vehicles.

by on Mar.10, 2016

Honda Chief Executive Officer Takahiro Hachigo with the maker's Clarity fuel-cell vehicle.

Honda has officially rolled out its new Clarity fuel-cell-vehicle, with sales set to begin in Japan before expanding to the United States later this year.

The Japanese automaker becomes the third to come to market with a zero-emissions hydrogen car, though it expects sales numbers to be extremely small in the near-term.

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Longer-term, Honda is hoping to improve the viability of fuel-cell technology, while also lowering costs as part of a proposed manufacturing partnership with General Motors, the Japanese maker’s CEO said Thursday, confirming a prior report on TheDetroitBureau.com. GM separately acknowledged discussions are underway.


A Fuel-Cell Primer

Q&A on hydrogen power.

by on Jan.25, 2016

Honda revealed its Clarity fuel-cell vehicle in LA, and will put it into production later this year.

Honda has put a price tag on the new Clarity Fuel-Cell sedan it plans to launch in the U.S. later this year. For $60,000, you’ll be able to buy what proponents bill as the cleanest technology on the highway.

But what exactly is a fuel-cell, and where do you get the hydrogen needed to bill a vehicle that the Honda Clarity. With three of these vehicles set to be on sale by year-end, it’s probably a good time to get down to some of the basics. Here are 10 key questions – and answers – about fuel-cell technology.

Q: What exactly is a fuel-cell vehicle?