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Posts Tagged ‘Mercedes F-Cell’

Despite Skeptics, Fuel-Cell Vehicles Hit the Market

“Fool cells” or “fuel of the future”?

by on Jul.15, 2014

Toyota Executive Vice President Mitsuhisa Kato reveals the company's new FCV fuel cell vehicle in Japan.

Hyundai’s first fuel-cell vehicle, a zero-emissions version of its Tucson sport-ute, has just gone on sale in Southern California, and hydrogen-powered Honda and Toyota models will follow in the months ahead.  Mercedes-Benz is fleet testing its own F-Cell model, and other makers, such as General Motors, may soon enter the fuel-cell market, as well.

To proponents, hydrogen is the ultimate form of clean energy, and one that overcomes many of the drawbacks of battery power such as limited range and long charging cycles. Yet reaction to the technology remains sharply divided.

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Elon Musk, founder and CEO of TeslaMotors, the California-based battery-carmaker, has repeatedly asserted that hydrogen vehicles will never pay off commercially, deriding them as “fool cells.”

But after years on the back burner as money and resources were shifted to battery technology, hydrogen has been regaining momentum in the U.S. and abroad.

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Daimler Betting Big on Hydrogen Fuel Cells

China could be critical electric vehicle market, says CEO Zetsche.

by on Apr.10, 2014

The Mercedes-Benz F-Cell hydrogen car.

Daimler AG’s top executives believe hydrogen fuel cells hold the key to developing a broader range of electric vehicles in the future.

Dieter Zetsche, Daimler AG’s top executive and head of the Mercedes-Benz Car Group, told shareholders at the company’s annual meeting in Berlin the German automaker is committed to electric vehicle technology.  China, the world’s single largest car market, now has plans for putting millions of EVs on the road by the end of the decade.

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“With our Chinese partner BYD, we have developed an electric vehicle in China for China,” he said. The Denza, which was developed with BYD, will debut at the Beijing Auto Show later this month, he added.  “China plans to have five million electric vehicles on the road by 2020 and we’re ready to help,” Zetsche added.

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Toyota’s 2015 Hydrogen Car to Boast 300 Mile Range

Japanese maker is latest to revive interest in fuel-cell technology.

by on Jul.01, 2013

Toyota first showed the FCV-R fuel cell concept vehicle in Tokyo in 2011.

Toyota hopes that it can generate some interest in its planned hydrogen fuel cell car by ensuring the vehicle will deliver range comparable to that of a conventional gasoline vehicle – which means the zero-emissions vehicle will be able to travel about 300 miles between fill-ups.

The Japanese maker has said relatively little beyond confirming plans to go to market with a hydrogen car during the 2015 model-year.  It is now suggesting that the price tag will be somewhere between $50,000 and $100,000, comparable to something between a midsize BMW and a Tesla Model S, according to the Bloomberg news service.

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The production model is expected to draw influence from the FCV-R concept unveiled at the Tokyo Motor Show in 2011, and a more production-ready version is expected to be revealed during the next Tokyo show, this coming November.

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Ford, Daimler and Nissan form Fuel Cell Alliance

Move comes days after BMW and Toyota team up on the technology.

by on Jan.28, 2013

Mercedes-Benz has begun marketing its hydrogen-powered F-Cell in Southern California.

Ford, Daimler and Nissan will now team up in a push to bring hydrogen fuel cell technology to market as early as 2017, the makers have announced.

They collectively hope to produce as many as 100,000 fuel-cell vehicles, or FCVs, they revealed during a news conference in Nabern, Germany. Super-clean fuel cells could serve as an alternative to the battery-electric technology all four of the makers have been trying to sell to a so-far skeptical market.

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“This technology has the biggest potential for emission- free driving,” said Dr. Thomas Weber, Daimler’s technology chief. “This cooperation gives us the opportunity to bind together the know-how of three experienced partners” to enable commercial production of cars running on the powering system.

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BMW-Toyota Alliance Could Signal Revival of Fuel Cell

The technology of tomorrow?

by on Jan.24, 2013

BMW and Toyota officials celebrate their new fuel cell alliance. Shaking hands, in center, are Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda and BMW Chairman Nobert Reithofer.

BMW and Toyota officials today formed a strategic alliance aimed at developing hydrogen-based fuel cell technology – as well as a new “sports vehicle” that will run on the clean, high-mileage gas.

The binding agreement, earlier reported by TheDetroitBureau.com, could help revive interest in the use of hydrogen, a source of energy that some proponents believe will eventually prove the cleanest and most efficient way to power automobiles.  Significant technical advancements have been made in recent years and the BMW-Toyota alliance appears aimed at overcoming the remaining challenges.

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“Toyota and the BMW Group are seizing this unique chance to lead the industry towards the future of mobility,” declared Dr. Herbert Diess, the BMW board member who will oversee the project.  “The binding agreement we signed today moves us one step closer to achieving this vision.”

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Is Hydrogen Power Making a Comeback?

Nissan, Hyundai among makers willing to putting fuel-cell vehicles into production.

by on Oct.08, 2012

Nissan says it would consider putting a fuel cell vehicle like the TeRRA concept into production.

“Hydrogen is the clean, efficient power for the future,” goes the old joke among engineers, “and it always will be.”  Like the sign that offers “free beer…tomorrow,” it’s a cynical sign that while hydrogen power could ultimately be one of the cleanest possible sources of energy, it never seems to quite reach the mass production stage.

Yet, there are small but telling signs that this may soon change.  A growing number of automakers are planning to launch limited production of vehicles using hydrogen fuel cell technology. General Motors, meanwhile, has moved its hydrogen research center in an upstate New York outpost to one of its main Detroit engineering campuses.

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And Dept. of Energy Secretary Steven Chu has signaled a growing interest in hydrogen after earlier dismissing the technology and shifting more than $100 million in federal research money from fuel cells to batteries.

Hydrogen seemed all the rage within the auto industry at the dawn of the new Millennium. And a cursory understanding explained why: the lightweight gas is the most abundant element in the universe and, when used in a fuel cell system, produces electricity and water vapor rather than the harmful emissions found in the exhaust of an internal combustion engine.

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Tapping the Stars

Excerpt from: Tomorrow's Energy: Hydrogen, Fuel Cells, and the Prospects for a Cleaner Planet

by on Mar.12, 2012

Honda has set up a solar-powered hydrogen refueling station near Los Angeles for the maker's FCX Clarity hydrogen vehicle.

Editor’s Note: We hear a lot about battery power these days, some proponents insists that hybrids, plug-ins and battery-electric vehicles will be the only way to achieve the tough new mileage standards set for 2016 and 2025. Yet, not everyone is betting on batteries. There are plenty of proponents who believe the real answer is hydrogen, the most abundant element in the universe and a gas that could truly achieve zero-emission driving.

Among the true believers is Peter Hoffmann, publisher of the Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Letter, and author of the new book, “Tomorrow’s Energy: Hydrogen, Fuel Cells, and the Prospects for a Cleaner Planet.”  TheDetroitBureau.com has this excerpt from that new book, the chapter titled, Terra Transport: Hydrogen for Cars, Buses, Bikes, and Boats.  To read more, Click Here for a link to Amazon.com.

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“Basically, we can mass produce these now. We are waiting for the infrastructure to catch up.”

That’s what Kazuaki Umezu, the head of Honda’s New Model Center, told reporters who in mid-2008 had come to cover a momentous event in the annals of hydrogen and fuel cell technology: the launch of the Japanese carmaker’s—and the world’s—first dedicated fuel cell car assembly plant in Takanezawa, a small town of some 30,000 residents about 80 miles north of Tokyo.

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Hydrogen Power Could Go Mainstream After All

Over 5,000 fueling stations will be in use by 2020, says study.

by on Jul.19, 2011

GM is testing the viability of its hydrogen-powered Equinox prototype as part of a Hawaiian pilot program.

Hydrogen is the fuel of the future, goes the old saw, and always will be.  A decade ago, hydrogen fuel cell vehicles were being billed as the green power source of choice, but interest has waned, in recent years as emphasis shifts to battery power.

But a new study suggests there’ll be a big market for the clean, lightweight gas, after all.  According to Pike Research, there will be at least 5,200 hydrogen fueling stations in operation around the globe by 2020, the result of an estimated $8.4 billion investment effort.

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Demand for the fuel is forecast to grow to 418 million kilograms (920 million pounds) annually, compared to 775,000 kilograms (1.7 million pounds) today.

“Currently, the major players in hydrogen fueling are large multinationals: the industrial gas companies, and the energy and gas companies, both those that operate retail gas stations and those that provide fuels for the grid. These companies tend to favor large-scale hydrogen infrastructure options,” explains Pike senior analyst Lisa Jerram.

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Hydrogen Power Holding On As Hyundai Prepares to Launch Fuel Cell Vehicle

But battery power dominating.

by on Dec.20, 2010

Hyundai plans to launch commercial production of a hydrogen vehicle, like this Tucson IX, by 2015.

Remember the future?  It was supposed to be hydrogen-powered.  At least that was what energy and auto industry leaders were saying for most of the past decade or so.  That was before everyone’s attention turned to lithium-powered battery cars.

Suddenly, hydrogen — and the fuel cell vehicles it was supposed to power — has dropped from the headlines.  But not from the highway.  Despite the attention being lavished on battery power, these days, and the hefty incentives being ladled out by both Washington and plenty of governments abroad, fuel cell technology is alive and well and still very well could become the truly clean and efficient technology of the future.

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Just ask Hyundai or Daimler AG.  Both automakers have made it clear they’re not giving up on hydrogen power in recent days.

The Korean maker is broadly hinting that it could bring a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle to the U.S. as early as 2012, a model that it suggests would look like a downsized version of the Mercedes R-Class crossover/van.

That would likely be a test program, but the maker has also said it plans to begin commercial fuel-cell vehicle, or FCV, production by 2015.

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GM Looking to Commercialize Fuel Cells by 2015

Big technology gains could put hydrogen power back on map.

by on Sep.24, 2009

Actor Bo Bridges tries out a hydrogen-powered Chevrolet Equinox. The latest GM fuel cell "stack" is lighter, smaller and far less expensive.

Actor Bo Bridges tries out a hydrogen-powered Chevrolet Equinox. The latest GM fuel cell "stack" is lighter, smaller and far less expensive.

Fuel cells.  Remember them?

It wasn’t all that long ago that the headlines were filled with talk about hydrogen-based technology as the answer to the auto industry’s environmental problems.  Over the last year or so, there’s been a shift to battery-powered drivetrain systems.  But a numerous of technical improvements could put the fuel cell back in the running as the powertrain of choice for tomorrow’s automobile.

With Daimler AG promising to put the hydrogen-powered F-Cell into production, in the coming months, General Motors is hinting it could commercialize its own fuel cell technology as early as 2015.  That’s a bit later than the troubled automaker once promised, but the news runs counter to those who expected GM to abandon its hydrogen program entirely in order to focus on battery-based vehicles, such as the Chevrolet Volt.

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A release from General Motors hints at some of the reasons for its optimism – though TheDetroitBureau.com recently had a chance to see the new, 5th-generation GM fuel cell technology up close, where some additional details were disclosed.

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