CARB Chair And Her Love Of The Toyota Mirai and Fuel Cell Tech

1 year ago by Jay Cole 94

CARB Chair Mary Nicholls Picking Up Her Toyota Mirai From The LACarGuy In Santa Monica

CARB Chair Mary Nicholls Picking Up Her Toyota Mirai From The LACarGuy In Santa Monica

It is no secret that we can thank the California Air Resources Board for the bulk of the advancements in the alternative fuel segment in the United States, and to some degree the rest of the world as well.

Willing to take a stand where other government agencies and associations would not, the majority of the success of the plug-in vehicle segment in the US can be attributed to CARB…and its Chairperson Mary Nichols.

This Is Who You Want Running The Show At CARB

This Is Who You Want Running The Show At CARB

At the same time, we have noted that CARB is as committed to fuel cell vehicle technology as much, if not more than plug-in technology (especially if you go by the rebate incentive dollars, the demographic of people who can receive them and the eligible ZEV credits), and at times we have wondered why.

Now we know, she loves the tech.

Every Sunday, Ms. Nichols picks up her young grandson and takes him for a spin to her favorite refueling station in west LA to top-up her fuel cell Toyota Mirai according to a recent featurette in Los Angeles Magazine.

Ok, maybe we are being a little tongue-and-cheek with the reason fuel cell technology apparently gets so much love in California, but the story on Ms. Nichols’ support of alternate tech, and her commitment to promoting it even after hours is still a good one as she champions the cause for EV and fuel cell vehicles alike.

“He loves to watch his grandma fuel up her brand new Toyota Mirai hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV) and Nichols loves that she doesn’t have to expose her grandson to noxious gasoline odors.”

The magazine asked her a couple questions behind her purchase of the Mirai as she refueled her car in front of a waiting a Mercedes F-Cell – pretty rare occurrence these days.

On why she bought a Mirai:

“Someone told me I should put my money where my mouth is. This isn’t my first clean vehicle, as I also own a Honda FIT electric vehicle that I love. But it is certainly the most luxurious car I’ve ever owned. I really appreciate the sense of comfort I feel when I drive the car, the impressive safety features and I really love the color — maritime blue. That makes me happy.”

On refueling the Mirai:

“The first time I tried it on my own, I have to admit that I had a little difficulty. Even though I was trained the first time I fueled up, I guess I wasn’t paying full attention, so when I returned on my own, I had to call the toll-free number listed on the dispenser. They can monitor the station in real time and the operator was able to detect that I hadn’t properly sealed the nozzle. They talked me through what I needed to do and a few minutes later, I was all fueled up.”

On others buying a fuel cell as opposed to an electric:

“As you can imagine, I’m a fan of all zero emission vehicles. While many electric vehicles are great for most driving needs — and they’re getting more affordable and better range all the time — sometimes you need a vehicle that has more range. Occasionally I have to travel to El Monte or Riverside and it’s perfect for that. I would caution any prospective drivers that there are only a few local fueling stations open right now, but by the end of the year there will be close to 50 stations operating. I’m thinking about testing out the fueling network by driving my Mirai to Sacramento.”

Check out the full interview for more background into Mary Nichols, and fuel cell technology at Los Angeles Magazine here.

Hat tip to sven!

 

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94 responses to "CARB Chair And Her Love Of The Toyota Mirai and Fuel Cell Tech"

  1. Ed Hart says:

    Mary has done a lot of great work in making California livable again, so thanks for that.
    As to the hydrogen fascination, I would like to think that her support is just pushing to see how far it can go. She knows where hydrogen currently come from, and she knows that is not good. But I suspect her hope is that there will be a breakthrough in which a giant Ivanpah-like solar plant in the desert will one day pipe hydrogen to our cities. If so, great.
    If not though, I let’s use the existing “electric pipes” to bring solar power directly to our home to charge electric vehicles.

    1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      One of many, many reasons why hydrogen fuel will never be practical as a mass transportation fuel is because it’s completely impractical to pipe it long distances.

      The fact that it has to be transported in pressurized tanker trucks is one of many reasons why it will always be too expensive to compete with gasoline.

      1. zzzzzzzzzz says:

        There are plenty of hydrogen pipelines around the world. I think one Shell H2 station in California is connected by pipeline too. Some Linde H2 stations use liquid hydrogen delivery.
        Yet XXI age Luddites still continue to trash anything new that they perceive as a threat to their “oppressed” battery cars. You better focus on the end goals of all this. Nothing wrong with battery cars by itself, but they can’t provide solution for all environmental problems in the world.

        1. Brave Lil' Toaster says:

          I for one, used to be one of those wide-eyed true believers in H2 vehicles. Zero emissions! Nothing but water coming out the tailpipe! Most abundant element in the universe! You can make it out of water! Infinite energy for all! Refills as fast as gasoline!

          Then I discovered the sobering truth that it’s all bound up in various hydrocarbons, it’s expensive to extract it, it’s *really* expensive to extract it from water, it’s *really* inefficient to extract it from water, and while the fuel cell stacks are getting cheaper, they’re not doing so any faster than batteries are. Oh, and the fuel stations aren’t cheap either, so infrastructure will arrive even more painfully slowly than DCQC infrastructure. And then there’s the question of the cost of the vehicles and their maintenance, which remains a big, fat question.

          I really don’t think that these cars have any basis in reality. The electric car market has shown us that for as long as BEVs are more expensive than gas cars, they won’t replace them. And the H2 cars are starting out even more expensive than that, the fuel costs are even higher than gas (thus providing no “repayment time” like EVs do), and the chicken-and-egg problem of infrastructure… “real soon now”.

          So I’m the complete opposite of who you think I am. I look at the bottom line and I see nothing good. BEVs at least have promise. H2 is all promises and no delivery.

          1. techguy says:

            You are missing the point of research. We have already cut the energy required to extract H2 from water in more than 50% of what it was.
            Soon we will not need to ship H2, but use solar power at stations to decomposed water directly (with some stored for the night).
            I believe a hybrid electric-fuel is the real deal. Plug-in electric for normal use , and H2 for longer trips. With the advantage of a single drive train

        2. jerryd says:

          zzzzzzzzzzzz Why would anyone buy a car that needs $14/gal/kg fuel?
          Would she buy, use one if she didn’t get massively subsidized fuel for free?
          It can’t get over 140 miles from an H2 station that isn’t broken or 70 miles from a 5kpsi one.
          She or more like the state pays $499/month for it. You can get a far better Tesla that can actually drive across the country with free fuel unsubsidized because it costs so little.
          And has a resale value unlike the Mirai.
          Vs $14/gal/kg that is barely available and mostly, not available.

    2. jerryd says:

      It was CARB in 2000 that abandoned the EV mandate because the car companies said/bribed that FC cars were just a couple yrs away.
      Think about if the EV mandate had been kept then with the 12 yr more production, advancements where we would be?
      250 mile lower cost than gas cars would already be here widely.
      Of course GM selling the NiMH patents to Chevron then not allowing EV size cell to be made stopping the RAV4EV, others didn’t help either.
      But Nissan had a lithium battery EV then and that would have advanced much faster.

    3. Alpha777 says:

      Wow. How about she get her GED, and then go buy a VOLT.

      Then she can drive up to MODOC and get back with no need for an EXPENSIVE NEW Hydrogen Infrastructure ever being built.

      And she can plug in at home and use Wind or Solar Power for 99% of her trips.

      Hydrogen is already Dead.
      But, no, keep spending money on this dead end. There are always winners and losers in technology.

      If you want to invest in the future winners you can now get ETF SPYX, and completely avoid then current bankruptcy of the coal industry, and soon, the bankruptcy of the oil and nat gas industry. Both of which are doing NOTHING to convert into the rapidly growing solar and wind sector.

      It’s your money, Take the Loses if you must.

      1. lithium says:

        SPYX has Berkshire Hathaway as its 5th largest holding. Yes, the same Berkshire Hathaway that single-handedly killed the rooftop solar industry in Nevada. No thanks.

        1. lithium says:

          The same Berkshire Hathaway that owns BNSF railway, using diesel locomotives to haul oil tankers from North Dakota and Canada.

    1. scott franco says:

      Read it, thanks for the entertainment.

      California gets the government it deserves (and voted for). This only scratches the surface of Democrat cronyism in the (tarnished) golden state.

      For further entertainment, read what happened to the money from all the bond issues they floated to finance new dams and water projects in CA to solve the drought.

      1. Speculawyer says:

        Oh yeah, those Republicans that all completely deny climate change while collecting massive campaign contributions from fossil fuel companies are SOOOOO much less corrupt.

        1. Anon says:

          +10,000

          Arguments based on False Equivalency are a common method to avoid making better choices.

      2. Dragon says:

        Spending billions building an unnecessary dam with taxpayer money was a bad consequence of Prop 1, which I voted against. However, according to http://www.waterboards.ca.gov/water_issues/programs/grants_loans/proposition1.shtml the bond money has yet to be spent on dams, and may not be.

        From http://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-leslie-dams-wont-fix-california-water-20150712-story.html

        “It’s possible that Democrats have inserted enough snares in Chapter 8 to confound the water buffaloes. The projects must “provide a net improvement in ecosystem and water quality conditions,” a standard that virtually no dam achieves. In addition, ecosystem benefits must constitute at least half of all public benefits from the project, ensuring that environmental concerns are addressed ahead of things such as recreation and flood control (which is allocated $395 million in another part of the bond).”

        “The water-storage bond provision, known as Chapter 8, was included largely at the insistence of the Legislature’s Republican minority, whose support was needed to reach the two-thirds threshold to qualify the bond for the ballot.”

        Hmmm. What were you saying about Dems vs Repubs again?

      3. super390 says:

        Meanwhile, in other states a certain political party has unconstitutionally made abortion impossible (TX), allowed students to carry guns on state college campuses yet made voter IDs laws that recognize gun licenses but not student ID (TX again), made voting extremely difficult in heavily black counties (AL), forced heavily black cities into bankruptcy as an excuse to terminate their elected governments and replace them with corporate-pimped appointee dictators (MI), tried to save money on water by cutting off poor people who couldn’t afford the new rates and by piping them water contaminated with lead (MI again). Then there’s ultra-Republican OK and KS, where fracking-required wastewater dumping has suddenly made them among the world’s most active earthquake zones. In FL, Republicans can’t even discuss climate change while their state faces utter ruination of fresh water supplies by rising ocean levels.

        I guess if you can say that California is suffering from 1st World problems, the Red States are beginning to suffer from 3rd World ones. Thus, Trump vs. Cruz.

        1. Mister G says:

          FEEL THE BERN

      4. Alpha777 says:

        I laughed at the R-MO republican who blasted Elizabeth for helping POOR People get out of poverty, by restricting pay-day lender rates.

        Senior House Financial Services Committee member, Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-MO) told a conference of bankers Wednesday morning that they needed to “find a way to neuter” Sen. Elizabeth Warren, according to Politico.

        http://www.rawstory.com/2016/03/congressman-calls-on-bankers-to-neuter-elizabeth-warren-the-darth-vader-of-wall-street/

        So, to a “Republican” take the MILLION DOLLARS and Sell Out your Constituents. Also, Create a Local Community RECESSION by transferring wealth out of poor neighborhoods to the 1% Money Hoarders, who avoid their taxes and transfer wealth out of the nation.

        Then I saw what happened when states Turned Republican. Completely DESTROYED Economically.

        http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2016/03/gop-must-answer-for-what-it-did-to-kansas.html

        Then I stopped laughing.
        The only thing a Republican is good at is building a propaganda news media to fool the gullible.

        Republicans are Economic CANCER.

        And Scientific Idiots:
        http://m.phys.org/news/2016-03-hot-february-astronomical-strange.html

        And just plain aholes:
        http://www.prwatch.org/news/2016/03/13062/chris-horner-revealed-counsel-coal-company-alpha-natural-resources

        And now taking the blame for Trump.
        Because they won the south but only because of hate.
        http://www.redstate.com/kimberly_ross/2016/03/16/lets-assume-some-responsibility-for-trump/

    2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      @Get Real:

      Thanks very much for lining to those expose articles. It was pretty obvious that the California Fuel Cell Partnership group, including the Big Oil & Gas companies which are members, was using undue lobbying influence on California politicians, but it’s nice to see some details on that.

      Sad that there hasn’t been a great public outcry about the many millions of taxpayer money being wasted on this boondoggle.

      1. SparkEV says:

        Well, H boondoggle is nothing compared to CA high speed rail. It was to cost $70B, but only Burbank to Merced will exceed $30B, one of the cheapest legs. At that price, they can give out 6 million free SparkEV lease at $5K for 3.25 years (or 14 million at full $70B).

  2. Stephen says:

    “He loves to watch his grandma fuel up her brand new Toyota Mirai hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV) and Nichols loves that she doesn’t have to expose her grandson to noxious gasoline odors.”

    My son loves to see me plugging in my EV at home (again no noxious odors) and enjoys playing with me while it charges.

    1. Brian says:

      Excellent comment. The only thing you could do to make charging an ev less timely is wireless charging. My wife loves “fueling” at home and does not like going to the gas station anymore. Neither do I. I loved Cng technology but with the 50 or so SoCal stations I began to hate driving even to those to fuel and they had pressure most of the time!

  3. evcarnut says:

    Must a worth her while , there is definatley an AGENDA there…Anyone that buys or promotes these R0LLLING BOMBS has Good Reason ,0r, Knows Nothing about cars ! Why they promote this nonsense is beyond me & many others in the know…THERE IS FOR SURE AN AGENDA INVOLVED ,,,An agenda that we are not yet aware 0f…….

    1. David Murray says:

      Calling a Miraie a rolling bomb is about as biased and uninformed as calling an EV a fiery death trap by the likes of Fox News. So while there are plenty of arguments against fuel cells, this is probably not the best.

      1. Andrew says:

        Agreed. I think the Mirai is a ridiculous contraption but I sincerely doubt there is anything to worry about in regards to safety, as compared to a gasoline baseline.

        Toyota is likely taking extreme precaution at great expense to make sure that fueling and operation is extremely safe with this car.

        1. Anon says:

          How long do you think a 10,000 psi pressurized fuel system is going to hold up under normal wear and tear over the lifetime of the vehicle? Add in the highly corrosive, embrittling, leaky qualities of Hydrogen into the equation…

          We’ve already seen a number of CNG vehicles (only 3600 psi) burn and explode already– just do a YouTube Search.

          So never say never…

          1. sven says:

            The FUD is strong with this one.

            Hopefully, the 10,000 psi pressurized fuel system in the Mirai will hold up longer than the short circuiting charging system in the Model S that caught fire in Norway while Supercharging.

            Anon, didn’t you once say: “constantly harping about only the negative aspects of something as a source of personal fullfilment– actually diminishes the depth and quality of your brief existence.” Perhaps you should practice what you preach. 😉

            http://insideevs.com/tesla-model-x-test-drive-review-electric-suv-is-mind-blowing/#comment-802925

            1. Anon says:

              I did, and I think the blast from a 10,000 psi tank (remember, the system has TWO), is far more likely to hurt someone and cause wide collateral damage, than an isolated electrical fire in a parking lot. Again, turn to the videos of CNG vehicles going KA-BOOM if you want proof the unthinkable can and will happen with highly pressurized (ie, component stressed) hydrogen fuel systems in the near future.

              As per usual, Tesla has already investigated and addressed this particular issue. Psst: GM would just let people burn in their cars and pretend it didn’t happen (they have historical trends one can project into future decisions). If your short term memory servers, you know they have tested an OTA update to address the rare situations where a short has occurred while fast charging. Result: Highly unlikely event, will be even less unlikely in the near term.

              Again, you’re backing the wrong technology. You can’t just fix a 10,000 psi fuel system wirelessly, when there are leaks, corrosion or embrittled metal parts that need replaced.

              The woman who owns the car, couldn’t even do it properly when she tried it the first time, and this was after being trained. This should be a red flag about what it will be like at Hydrogen Fueling Stations when they become more common. Scary. People not being able to seal and pump their hydrogen properly, and pumps malfunctioning. Fun stuff to look forward to.

              Science and physics are my guides, while your personal opinion seems hell-bent to disregard basic, indisputable facts and cling to a potentially fatal, false fuel, stripped out of fossil-based hydrocarbons.

              I guess you only hang out here to mock EV’s, since there are no Hydrogen Car Blogs yet.

              1. sven says:

                Anon said:
                “I guess you only hang out here to mock EV’s, since there are no Hydrogen Car Blogs yet.”

                Actually, I was mocking you. 😀 And FYI, there are Hydrogen Car Blogs already.
                http://www.hydrogencarsnow.com/

                Anon said:
                “Again, you’re backing the wrong technology.”

                I own Volt. Since I live in a very densely populated city, air quality is very important to me. Thus, I am a ZEV advocate who is technology agnostic. I don’t care if a ZEV runs on batteries, hydrogen, alien technology, or unicorn farts. As long as its a ZEV, its alright by me.

              2. ModernMarvelFan says:

                “Psst: GM would just let people burn in their cars and pretend it didn’t happen (they have historical trends one can project into future decisions).”

                Anon, the usual GM hater will always manage to insert his personal hatred of GM into his daily post…

      2. evcarnut says:

        U N0 N0THING! Get in a severe crash & then LIVE TO tell us about…If they crash tested these Rolling Bombs,, they would Explode on impact ! EveryTIME! go ahead & buy one !but! They should NOT be allowed on the roadS as They are a danger To the public & other drivers..The TANK IS Basically a HYDROGEN BOMB!!!!Who in the Hell is allowing This!!

      3. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        Yup. I’ve pointed out several times that gasmobiles are a much greater fire hazard than “fool cell” cars. There are a lot of reasons to oppose any taxpayer money spent on supporting this dead-end technology, but safety concerns are not one of them.

        I wish we could stick to the facts instead of trying to use hysterical overstatements, like labeling FCEVs “bombs”, to oppose something just because we don’t like it. Actual facts, actual science, and actual economics are entirely sufficient to prove that hydrogen fuel will never be practical for mass transportation.

        A relevant article: “Here’s why hydrogen-fueled cars aren’t little Hindenburgs”

        http://www.computerworld.com/article/2852323/heres-why-hydrogen-fueled-cars-arent-little-hindenburgs.html

    2. Speculawyer says:

      I’m not so worried about the hydrogen exploding, I’m just more worried about a highly pressurized system in general. Even SCUBA tanks that contain nothing but air can be VERY dangerous.

      The hydrogen is a bit scary too though . . . if there is a leak and the hydrogen accumulates in a closed space, you can end up with quite an explosion. It was hydrogen that caused the explosions at Fukushima.

      1. Anon says:

        Yeah , it’s oddly ironic the Japanese are pushing hydrogen gas, after they’ve seen what it can do under the right conditions. Odd mental disconnect…

        1. ffbj says:

          They estimate 4 decades before they are able to decommission all of Fukishima.

          Yeah, they are really swimming in waters too deep for them to navigate, when it comes to choosing the correct path, regarding their transportation needs and how to address them.

      2. evcarnut says:

        As long as I am the HELL far away from one of these , I don’t worry about them Blowing Up Either …L M A 0….

      3. Chris O says:

        Nothing to worry about, Mirai is fitted with hydrogen detectors.

        It’s the last sound you will ever here after you turn on the light in your garage to check what’s going on.

      4. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        Speculawyer said:

        “…if there is a leak and the hydrogen accumulates in a closed space, you can end up with quite an explosion.”

        But that’s even more true of gasoline vapor, or natural gas, propane, or just about any other common form of liquid or gas fuel. Those all contain considerably more chemical energy per liter than does hydrogen. The situation of leaking hydrogen accumulating inside a container, rather than leaking out and quickly dissipating in the open air — it’s lighter than air — is a pretty rare event. Contrariwise, car fires involving gasoline are so common that they are almost never reported as news.

        Just because the news media reports an accident doesn’t mean that type of accident is likely to happen. Often, as with EV battery fires, it’s the very rarity which makes it news.

        1. ModernMarvelFan says:

          “But that’s even more true of gasoline vapor, or natural gas, propane, or just about any other common form of liquid or gas fuel. Those all contain considerably more chemical energy per liter than does hydrogen.”

          H2 is more dangerous due to its wider range of mixture ratio for ignition.

          Most fuels requires a “narrow band” of oxygen to fuel ratio before they can ignite. Hydrogen has one of the widest band of mixture ratio, ~20% to 80%. Wider than any band. Also, the amount of energy to “ignite” Hydrogen is also very low. The combination of those two factors are what makes the H2 more dangerous.

          1. super390 says:

            But H2 is only a fraction the weight of air, and its tiny molecules will squeeze out of all sorts of solid barriers. So it will escape through the roof of the garage.

            A better argument against H2 is those tiny molecules and the hassles they present for piping.

  4. SparkEV says:

    Another crooked politician bought off by Toyota! How does she afford Mirai? For that much money, she could get Tesla S and have more benefits; she can actually travel all over the country, not only to Riverside.

    In a side note, too bad Honda killed FitEV. They should bring it back.

    1. Andrew says:

      They’re not particularly expensive to lease, which is almost surely the finance path she has taken. With the extremely generous FCEV state rebate ($5,000 cash), Toyota’s bonkers $499 lease deal, and a $15,000 fuel credit, it probably costs her no more to lease the Mirai than a loaded Prius.

      Teslas are amazing but one is hard pressed to take one home for under $800 a month + tax.

  5. Ray says:

    Still unimpressed with hydrogen fuel cells, no infrastructure and much less efficient than ev.

    1. zzzzzzzzzz says:

      If you are looking for best infrastructure, look no further than gas cars. Newest technologies will never have the best infrastructure around.

      As for the efficiency, Musk ads that formed your opinion are totally wrong or intentionally misleading. Try calculating full energy path, do not pretend that pink unicorns will power your electric outlet when sun is not shining and wind is not blowing. 1. Mining using diesel powered mining equipment and producing lithium battery 1. Burning gas or coal. 2. Direct energy losses in electric grid and much bigger losses for grid maintenance and backup power plan maintenance. 3. Charger losses.
      Versus storing solar/wind energy in hydrogen that can be done for months for relatively low price. Sure you can burn that hydrogen to charge a lithium battery too, but the electric energy distribution & charging efficiency and lithium battery energy density/price/weight is not very favorable for lithium batteries.

      1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        We don’t need Elon Musk, or anybody at Tesla, to explain why “fool cell” cars waste about about 70-80% of the energy that goes into fueling them. Nor do we need them to explain why the inefficiencies of hydrogen fuel are all a direct result of the physical properties of the element hydrogen, which can never be improved or changed.

        That’s not opinion, it’s established fact based on solid science. Refusal to recognize reality does not actually change reality.

        http://phys.org/news/2006-12-hydrogen-economy-doesnt.html

        https://web.archive.org/web/20150419031629/http://www.energyandcapital.com/articles/hydrogen-economy-fuel+cell/480

        http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2014/08/05/3467115/tesla-toyota-hydrogen-cars-batteries/

        http://www.alternet.org/story/15239/a_hydrogen_economy_is_a_bad_idea

        1. zzzzzzzzzz says:

          Did you care at least read what you are posting? Just take the first post from 2006 from phys.org, of course all efficiency percentages are outdated. But it isn’t the main issue, the main issue is just as with Musk advertising, it connects straight from “renewable AC electricity” to the grid! Are you able to provide the answer how to do it or will you continue to ignore it just like Musk in his ads? Hint: there are no lithium batteries that can store solar energy over winter and will not be any time soon. Maintenance of electric grid is not free, in fact it is very expensive and retail/wholesale electricity prices differ at least twice for reason. Grid is not some “free battery” even if you may be convinced otherwise by net metering incentive – it is just an incentive for early adopters that will go away as solar/wind penetration will increase, together with “free backup from grid fossil fuel power plants on demand” idea.

          1. zzzzzzzzzz says:

            Another link from the same phys.org:
            http://phys.org/news/2016-03-toyota-partners-wind-power-hydrogen-fuel.html#nRlv

            Can you store electrons in hyperspace for a month to power up your electric outlet in case you will need to charge when wind is not blowing? No you can’t. Sure you can burn the same stored hydrogen to make electricity or even use industrial scale fuel cell power plant. But you then you will need to redo all the efficiency calculations another way, that is not so favorable for batteries.

            Another fallacy with these efficiency based advertising is that efficiency can be a good crude estimate if project makes sense, but it is not a substitute for full cost analysis. If you can make fuel cell car $10,000 cheaper than similar battery car due to lower weight and simpler fuel cell stack compared to battery car, nobody will care about efficiency. Wind or solar energy is not some limited resource that gets more expensive with higher usage like oil does, you can have as much of it as you want.

            1. super390 says:

              But no one is actually making a fuel cell car $10,000 cheaper than a comparable battery car. We’re looking at several long-range EVs selling for $35,000 before incentives next year, and the Bolt and Model 3 are actually fast. A lot faster than the Mirai. You know perfectly well the price of li-ion batteries dropping in half since 2010 if you actually bother to read anything at EV sites. It appears it will drop in half again by 2020. The question now is, when will EVs reach price parity with ICE.

  6. scott franco says:

    Shes a lawyer by background, and has a long list of environmental causes.

    Before we go running off and demonizing the chairwoman of the carb.

    1. Leptoquark says:

      I’ve followed her for several years, and while no one is perfect, she’s about as good as it gets. She should be the next US Secretary of Transportation.

      1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        I would prefer a Secretary of Transportation who does not support wasting tens or hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars supporting the “hydrogen highway” or any other hopelessly impractical boondoggle.

  7. mustang_sallad says:

    I’ve met folks in similar roles up in Canada with the same, unexplainable preference for H2 over EVs. It could be that these folks have been in the game longer than others and have been pushing hard for H2 since back when it seemed like the only hope. Good that she has a Fit EV, but it’s too bad that she doesn’t seem to think PHEVs can fill that gap for people that can’t work with a pure EV, and without the massive public investment required in fueling infrastructure.

    1. Speculawyer says:

      From someone that probably doesn’t understand or care about the technology behind the cars, the Mirai probably seems like a nice step up from the Honda Fit EV due to the range tripling.

      1. Philip d says:

        It’s true she probably likes the longer range but it think the most telling statement was when she said “..I also own a Honda FIT electric vehicle that I love. But it is certainly the most luxurious car I’ve ever owned. I really appreciate the sense of comfort I feel when I drive the car, the impressive safety features and I really love the color.”

        She doesnt really seem to be an objective tech savy person and isn’t thinking very deep about the technology at all but is impressed with superficial aspects like interior comfort and the paint color. These upgrades certainly could be acheived with an EV like the upcoming Bolt over her older spartan Fit EV.

    2. zzzzzzzzzz says:

      She isn’t some battery car zealot and isn’t supposed to be. They have preference for H2 because they know the subject and understand that H2 makes much more sense long term for environment if it can be realized. Other people just focus on what they can buy right now to get their trendy shiny badge and are unable to think long term, so it is hard to explain something to them.

      By the way, you should realize that fuel cell cars are electric. The only difference with your beloved lithium battery cars is different type of energy storage. The drivetrain is the same. Primary energy sources are mostly the same too – natural gas (burned in power plants or reformed to hydrogen), wind/solar (not very useful for grid & battery charging or used for electrolysis), coal (burned in power plant or not very useful for H2 production) and so on.

      1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        Yes, FCEVs are indeed EVs. The important difference is that hydrogen is a massively inefficient energy carrier, and its inefficiencies are almost entirely due to the physical properties of hydrogen itself, which can never be changed or improved.

        Contrariwise, using batteries to store energy is already much more efficient — and therefore much less polluting. Battery-powered cars will become more and more competitive with gasmobiles as the tech is rapidly improving every year. Hydrogen powered cars, obviously, won’t.

        1. zzzzzzzzzz says:

          Batteries so far are useless as long term energy storage. Sure you can always charge from coal or fracking gas burning power plants. Is it what you want?

          1. Bill Howland says:

            Yup I would LOVE to charge my cars overnight from a modern Coal fired power plant. We used to have 2 large ones in the greater buffalo area (one for over 100 years) but now as of 2 weeks ago, we have none.

            Now my property taxes will grow, and the majority of people in my town feel as I do.

            China is building so many coal fired power plants in the future that what we do in the states isn’t going to make any measurable difference, – and that’s even if you believe in the polemic, which I do not – as mentioned several times, with plenty of heavy duty people agreeing.

            The marginal extra coal use from charging many evs will be very low, since a lot of the juice will just come from increased efficiency of operation.

            Now Fracking gas I’m dead set against, again as mentioned several times here. I want gently extracted Natural Gas and Coal that doesn’t harm the neighborhood, – that’s why I always want LOCAL PEOPLE to have complete say so as to what goes on in their towns, and any incidental damage to them be fully compensated.

            Natural gas SHOULD be viewed as a Premium Fuel – since it is so clean I heat my family room with no chimney or exhaust. The same way I cook my food.

            The crime is using it for Boiler Fuel, when Coal is so much more suited for this. Sulfer Dioxide (98%), Mercury (90%) and Drywall are all efficiently recovered, or used to be until the ones near me were forcibly turned off.

            CNG,LNG for transportation (as well as EV’s), household clean fuel for heating, cooking, washing, drying, and possibly air conditioning, feedstock for modern plastics and fertilizer – if there was no Natural Gas wasted as Boiler Fuel there’d be plenty available for these value-added chores without ANY horizontal hydrofracking, which is ruining peoples’ lives and their health.

  8. Speculawyer says:

    ” and I really love the color — maritime blue. That makes me happy.”

    Must. resist. Temptation to mock.

    1. ffbj says:

      Like you could say Sail On, Sail On, Sailor…
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RQOaLP-qPmk

  9. Omar Sultan says:

    She is a public figure and she has a role to play–can’t fault her for dong her job.

    1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      We shouldn’t merely fault her for promoting the waste of tens or hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars. At a minimum, she should be removed from office for malfeasance. Quite possibly she should be prosecuted for aiding and abetting fraud benefitting Big Oil & Gas.

      1. Omar Sultan says:

        I am pretty sure that CARB is not a monarchy, that is what the B stands for . 🙂 Believe me, I have mixed feeling about CARB, and their advocacy for spending public funds on FCEV infra drives me nuts, but for the general public, she is doing her job, showing ZEVs are viable for everyone.

  10. Mister G says:

    She is bought by fossil fuel industry…I hope she gets replaced by a person with integrity.

  11. James says:

    The Mirai is luxurious??? I’ve never been in any Toyota that’s luxurious, and certainly not one the size of a Prius.

  12. Michael says:

    If there really are fifty hydrogen stations in California by year end, they certainly will not be in response to demand.

    Instead, most will be built to serve early adopters and the politically well connected.

    We might want to count a percentage of the millions spent for hydrogen fueling stations as part of her compensation when considering whether her results are good value for their cost.

    Surely there are better uses for the money to get off petroleum. But perfect is often the enemy of any progress at all, and this is far less than is wasted as subsidy to big oil.

    1. zzzzzzzzzz says:

      The goal isn’t to get rid of petroleum, or satisfy some conspiracy theorists, or make cars as cheap as possible. The goals are to make air cleaner locally and to reduce world-wide pollution. Hydrogen is better suited to accomplish both these long term goals, not just shift emissions from streets to power plants and continue burning of various kinds of fossil fuels pretending how “superior” and green/trendy you are.

      1. floydboy says:

        Holy sheep dip!

        Are we back to the power plant again?! What a BEV emits at the power plant is going to be less than a FCEV, simply because of all the extraneous crap that it doesn’t have to deal with. Thereby making it, yes, ‘greener’. Not to mention the fact that you can put up solar panels and a battery bank, ditching the power plant altogether. Thus being ‘greener’ still.

      2. scott franco says:

        “Hydrogen is better suited to accomplish both these long term goals, not just shift emissions from streets to power plants”

        Yes, way better to just shift it to a few blocks away.

    2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      Michael said:

      “If there really are fifty hydrogen stations in California by year end, they certainly will not be in response to demand.”

      If there really are 50 H2 stations open to the public by year’s end, I’ll eat my hat. There were supposed to be 49 open by the end of last year. The same thing which prevented that from actually happening — economic reality — will prevent it this year, too.

      I don’t know if this woman is really so blinded by her idealism that she actually hasn’t grasped the reality that hydrogen can never be a practical fuel, or if she’s been so heavily bribed that she has become nothing but a mouthpiece for Big Oil & Gas.

      1. sven says:

        Actually, 41 public retail hydrogen fueling stations are planned to be open in California by the end of 2016.

        If 40 are open to the public by year end, will you still eat your hat? And exactly what type of hat are we talking about? A baseball hat, a fedora, a sombrero, or a beany with a propeller? 🙂

        1. SparkEV says:

          I volunteer to eat a chocolate hat.

  13. Chris O says:

    Maybe experiencing for her self what it is driving a car that’s big and heavy, yet only seats four, is expensive yet not particularly quick, takes a long time to fill up and needs to be filled up a lot more often than gasoline cars, has fuel cost equivalent to driving a Prius on $10/gallon gasoline will at some point make her see the light:

    OMG, nobody is going to buy this!

    1. Khai L. says:

      considering that she owns a Fit EV, I find it especially telling that she didn’t highlight the Mirai’s performance!

  14. zzzzzzzzzz says:

    What a nice bunch of Musk zealots desperate that somebody may take their fake “green” tag away. Keep hating!

    1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      Gosh, it’s amazing how physicists and economics analyzed the “hydrogen highway” and pronounced it both impractical and unaffordable before Elon Musk ever coined the phrase “fool cell” car. Gosh, Elon must have amazing powers of both time travel and mind control! 😀

      And dude, pointing out the difference between wishful thinking and reality isn’t “hating”.

      1. sven says:

        Even former U.S. Energy Secretary Stephen Chu, a renowned physicist and hydrogen-hater, changed his mind about hydrogen fuel cells, flip-flopped, and now supports hydrogen fuel cells. There might still be hope for you Pushmi-Pullyu. 😀

        Chu @1:20:

        1. Mister G says:

          When a news channel is sponsored by BOSCH clean diesel…it is full of crap.

        2. pjwood1 says:

          Can’t fault Chu’s science, but lots of policy Koolaide in this video:

          -There’s no more market selling carbon monoxide, than there is selling CO2 in “enhanced oil recovery”.
          -Natural gas, even if it’s hit $1.50/mmbtu at the well-head, is far more expensive energy through either a CNG network, or especially H2 delivery
          -Plugs in every home, cheaper DCFC, and all that..

    2. super390 says:

      What makes your green credentials fake is that, like “safe nuclear power”, you depend on technologies that are still in the lab, like cheap mass electrolysis and cheap mass production of fuel cells, and then demand that our tax dollars be used to spend ANOTHER 20 years trying to get them to a tipping point, while BEVs and solar panels are actually selling now and improving.

      It’s not surprising that many fuel cell advocates are also nuclear power advocates. Keeping power generation centralized makes it sound plausible to co-generate H2 directly in reactors and skip the inefficiency of the extra conversion step of electricity for electrolysis. If we go to a decentralized grid with people making most of their power at home with solar panels, the entire reactor-utility lobbying complex dies. But few people think that home electrolysis stations or H2 storage will become a good idea.

      So this is all about the centralization – and thus the very need for big energy companies to exist.

      1. pjwood1 says:

        So long as coal and natural gas are around, the safety of nuclear is fine by me.

  15. ModernMarvelFan says:

    ““The first time I tried it on my own, I have to admit that I had a little difficulty. Even though I was trained the first time I fueled up, I guess I wasn’t paying full attention, so when I returned on my own, I had to call the toll-free number listed on the dispenser. They can monitor the station in real time and the operator was able to detect that I hadn’t properly sealed the nozzle”

    I guess all we need is one of those leaks to cause a huge fire ball and all over the news to kill off the wasted effort…

  16. Model S says:

    Ugly

  17. rs_rwc says:

    You will not find a stronger, more effective advocate for EVs than Ms Nichols. On balance she and CARB have have done an outstanding job – and I say this as a native Californian who has lived here all of my 50+ years. I am shocked and dismayed by, of all things, the vitriol toward her expressed BY THIS EV COMMUNITY. So she drives a Mirai, so CARB is trying out many things, what of it? You blowhards have lost all perspective – she is one of the best friends EVs have ever had.

  18. Bill Howland says:

    I’ve always taken a middle position on fuel-cells – and I’ve never ‘insulted them’ by calling them names, since, Nasa has gotten limited usefulness out of them, and there have been some natural gas to electricity fuel cells installed at a few local motels in years past.

    But just as the former CARB head seriously didn’t care for EV’s (see ‘who killed the elctric car’), coincidentally just happened to get a very high paying job from BP soon afterwards, I wonder what fine jobs with plenty of $$$$$ are going to be in the future of the current fine CARB administrator?

    I thought you could only lease a Fit EV anyway.

    1. sven says:

      Mary Nichols is a longtime environmental lawyer. Ironically, Nichols’ husband, John Daum, is a lawyer for ExxonMobil, and one of the lawyers who represented ExxonMobil in the Exxon Valdez oil spill lawsuit filed against ExxonMobil.

      Lawyers can make for strange bed fellows.

      1. Priusmaniac says:

        So you mean she is in bed with big oil litteraly.

      2. Bill Howland says:

        Ha! It isn’t Ironic at all..

        Right up there with big wigs ‘regulating’ PG&E’s $7 Billion ‘Smart Meter’ program calling up the utility to correct their overcharges on their own homes.

        Or the ‘opt-out fee’, where people now have to pay a monthy fee to have a plain old meter that they used to get feeless, that was admitted to be set at the rate, not to cover costs, but to prevent the admitted majority of poor people who would ‘opt out’ of the program if they could afford the fee.

        I’m continually surprized at the rates people pay for electricity in California. Richer areas like Southern California Edison, and San Diego pay even higher rates.

        Must be nice to be rich. Better hope the California Economy never runs into trouble.

  19. Nichen says:

    Sorry but there should have been a real infrastructure by now. I’m tired of waiting, and I don’t want to pay premium for hydrogen.

  20. pjwood1 says:

    Mary Nichols and James Inhofe both sitting in a clean tree:
    http://ngtnews.com/senator-wants-volkswagen-to-consider-cng-as-diesel-alternative/

    1. Trace says:

      Sen. Global Warming is a Hoax himself. Amazing

      1. Mister G says:

        He’s also known as Sen. Snowball.

  21. bfearn says:

    Hey, this is the USA. Any idea that makes money is good, real good. Wrecking the planet and spending needless billions are just fine if someone make a big buck!!