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Posts Tagged ‘fuel cell vehicle’

Honda Set to Unveil All-Electric, Plug-in Versions of Clarity at NY Auto Show

New models complement Clarity fuel-cell model.

by on Mar.09, 2017

Honda teases the three versions of the Clarity model it will show off at the 2017 NYIAS.

The first version of the new Honda Clarity has only just gone on sale but Honda is already rolling out two other variants.

With the Clarity FCV, Honda became the third automaker to launch a fuel-cell vehicle in the U.S. market last year. Now, it says, it will debut both the Clarity Plug-in Hybrid and the Clarity Electric at the 2017 New York International Auto Show. All three models are based off the same, unique midsize platform, and all are equipped to carry five passengers.

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Honda boasts Clarity will be “the first vehicle series to offer customers an expanded array of electrified vehicle choices with fuel cell, battery electric and plug-in hybrid powertrains.” But other makers are also working up multi-use platforms, including both Hyundai and its Korean sibling Kia.

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Fuel-Cell Vehicles Need More Time, Says Toyota Chairman

Infrastructure needs more time.

by on Jan.20, 2017

A Toyota Mirai fuel-cell vehicle.

Fuel-cell vehicles will take longer to popularize than other recent green car technologies, such as hybrids, the chairman of Toyota Motor Corp. said during a speech at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

The Japanese automaker has been an active proponent of hydrogen power, last year launching in the U.S. its first retail fuel-cell vehicle, the Toyota Mirai. There are now two other FCVs on the market, including the Honda Clarity and a version of the Hyundai Tucson, with several other automakers expected to bring their own models to market over the next several years.

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But while public acceptance of the original hybrid-electric vehicle, the Toyota Prius, was “much faster than we had anticipated,” Takeshi Uchiyamada told a reporter for Bloomberg news, that’s not likely to happen with vehicles like the Mirai, the chairman said, because “the infrastructure needs to be prepared before it becomes major in the market.”

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Chevrolet Gets a Jump as Bolt Production Begins

Sales set to begin before year-end.

by on Nov.07, 2016

A prototype Chevrolet Bolt rolls down the line at the GM plant in Orion Township, Michigan.

The line is moving at a snail’s pace, but production of the Chevrolet Bolt is finally ramping up at the General Motors assembly plant in the Detroit suburb of Orion Township, with the first of the new, long-range battery-electric vehicles, or BEVs, set to go on sale before the end of the year.

Parent General Motors is hoping that it can steal a march on a variety of competitors, notably Tesla Motors, who hope to get their own long-range electric vehicles into showrooms over the next several years. With regulators in the U.S., Europe, Japan and China pushing the industry to expand sales of zero-emissions vehicles, the Bolt could provide the first real test of a vehicle designed to overcome so-called range anxiety.

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But whether motorists will take to the $37,495 Chevy Bolt – or any of the other, more mainstream BEVs to follow is far from certain. Fully electric models have accounted for just 0.4% of the U.S. market so far this year. Adding in plug-ins and conventional hybrids, battery-based vehicles still only make up a miniscule 2.5%.

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Long-Skeptical Toyota Reversing Course on EVs

Pressure from China and the U.S.; hydrogen infrastructure “isn’t there.”

by on Nov.07, 2016

Toyota worked with Tesla to develop the RAV4 EV it sold from 2012 to 2014.

Long focused on hydrogen fuel-cell technology, Toyota Motor Co. is reversing course and will now make a push into long-range battery-electric vehicles, according to several sources.

The move would add the Japanese giant to the list of manufacturers looking to market vehicles that get more than 200 miles per charge. A senior source within the company told TheDetroitBureau.com that Toyota will continue to work on hydrogen power, but he acknowledged the necessary “infrastructure isn’t there,” leaving the company no alternative if it hoped to meet stringent new emissions and mileage regulations.

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“China has been pressure Toyota,” the source said, noting that the Asian nation has been aggressively promoting electrification as a way to address its endemic smog problems. U.S. regulators and clean advocates are also calling on Toyota to deliver battery cars, he said, adding, “That’s the big change for us.”

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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