Toyota VP: Fuel Cell System In Mirai Is “Simply A Better Battery”

JAN 23 2015 BY ERIC LOVEDAY 105

Toyota Mirai

Toyota Mirai

That's One Part Of The "Better Battery"

That’s One Part Of The “Better Battery”

The breakthrough battery has apparently arrived in the form of the Toyota Mirai.

At the 2015 J.D. Power Automotive Summit in San Francisco, California, Bob Carter, Senior Vice President – Automotive Operations at Toyota U.S.A.,  pitched the fuel cell Mirai as an electric car with the ability to produce its own electricity.

“Since we launched Mirai, I’ve been asked by members of the media why we chose fuel cell technology over electric vehicles. In reality, Mirai IS an electric vehicle. But the electricity is produced onboard… versus off the grid.”

“Mirai is an electric-drive… midsize four-door sedan that operates like a normal car. Its front wheels are driven by an electric motor… and the electricity that powers that motor is made onboard… on-demand… by combining hydrogen gas with oxygen… producing zero emissions… other than water vapor.”

“And unlike other electric cars with limited range and long recharge times… Mirai can be re-fueled in three to five minutes and travel about 300 miles on a single fill-up.”

But it’s this statement that stuck with us:

“In other words… the Toyota Fuel Cell System in the new Mirai… is simply… a better battery.”

So, the battery breakthrough is here (sarcasm intended) in the form of a fuel cell system that cost upwards of $50,000 and can only be “recharged” at ~12 sites in the whole of the U.S.

Those Hydrogen Tanks Are Part Of The "Better Battery" Too

Those Hydrogen Tanks Are Part Of The “Better Battery” Too

Here’s the rest of Carter’s speech containing comments on Mirai:

And Toyota is playing a leading role in bringing together automakers, energy companies, government agencies and others to help build the required refueling infrastructure.

By the end of 2016, 48 refueling stations are scheduled to be opened throughout California… and we’ve announced plans to develop refueling infrastructure throughout the Northeast… starting with 12 stations in five states.

In addition, we’re very happy that consumer interest in Mirai is exceeding our projections. In Japan, we received 15-Hundred orders for Mirai in the first month… nearly four times our initial annual target. And here in the U.S., we’ve already had 16-Thousand handraisers tell us they want a Mirai in their own driveway.

Toyota is investing in Mirai for the long-term. That includes sharing our fuel cell knowledge… by offering royalty-free licenses to more than 56-Hundred fuel cell-related patents we hold globally. The licenses will be available to automakers and energy companies on mutually agreeable terms.

We hope sharing these patents will spur more widespread use of fuel cell vehicles, which will expand hydrogen station infrastructure… bringing us closer to achieving our vision of a future hydrogen society… and helping us to improve lives for generations to come.

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105 Comments on "Toyota VP: Fuel Cell System In Mirai Is “Simply A Better Battery”"

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The battery in my car charges at home while I sleep. How is this “battery” better in that respect?

Sublime

Notice he didn’t say WHO it was better for.

Mike

Exactly. Because he and the CEO are either being Bribed or Extorted to push this inferior solution on to the American and Japanese public.

So the Toyota Mirai has a better “primary battery” (ie: can’t plug-in to recharge) … while all PEVs use a “secondary battery” (that can recharge from electric power).

LuStuccc

Fool cell cars is a large scale scam Attemp for the only benefit of oil and gas companies who own the distributing chain and the NG from which hydrogen is extracted.
And YOU pay for it with your tax dollars… A lot of them. Stop this nonsense!

Bob is right. Think about the non-rechargeable AA and AAA chemical batteries. The chemicals react and produce electricity. A fuel cell is exactly that – H2 reacts with O to produce electricity. So, yes, it is a better (non-rechargeable) battery with nothing to recycle. You just fill it up with new chemicals in 3 minutes, and get an almost new battery for next 300 miles.
Way to go Toyota!

The comment in the article “recharged” at ~12 sites in the whole of the U.S.” is meaningless. If I live and work around one of those 12 sites, it is good enough for me. Why do I care about the billions of power outlets in homes all over the world? I simply care for the one I use – it should work fast and be free when I go.That’s it.

I love Eric’s article. The fanboy-ism is so cool.

koz

You are a savant of something

Wraithnot

“if I live and work around one of those 12 sites, it is good enough for me.”

Most people like to at least occasionally drive more than 150 miles from where they live.

Speculawyer

If you are happy with just driving 150 miles around your local area then it would be much more convenient to go electric. You can then charge up at home. And you can put PV panels on your roof and ‘grow your own’ fuel.

Good idea, but there is no electric car with 300 mile range. Even the $100K+ Model S only goes 265, if you drive carefully.
And why would I put up PV panels when I can fill up with free H2 from Toyota?

Tell you what, in the last 2 years, I have never gone farther than 90 miles in car. Planes, yes. Before 2 years, yes, thousands of miles, but with 7 people in an SUV.

John Hansen

Today, in a $70k Tesla, I can go almost anywhere I want to go. I live in Madison, WI. I can go to Chicago, Detroit, Minneapols, up north, etc. The only current gap in the SuperCharger network is southwest of me, and that gap will be filled next year.

Today, if I had a fuel cell vehicle, I could drive it for approximately 300 miles before the H2 it came with was used up, then I would buy a new car.

Dear John, I understand that you have too much money to waste, but don’t be silly! The H2 is gratis from Toyota for 3 years. At least buy the new car after that. == From Toyota = Toyota wants those early adopters to be super happy with their new tech, so the Mirai package comes with 24/7 concierge service, 24/7 enhanced roadside assistance (including towing), battery and flat tire assistance, trip interruption reimbursement, a loaner vehicle, three years of free factory maintenance up to 12,000 miles annually, an eight-year/100,000-mile warranty on fuel cell components, Entune and three years of complimentary Safety Connect including hydrogen station map app. Plus complimentary hydrogen fuel for up to three years. The biggest issue of course is the infrastructure, a problem to which Toyota has this answer: Research at the University of California Irvine’s Advanced Power and Energy Program (APEP) has found that 68 stations, located at the proper sites, could handle a FCV population of at least 10,000 vehicles. Those stations are on their way to becoming a reality. By the end of 2015, 3 of California’s 9 active hydrogen stations and 17 newly-constructed stations are scheduled to be opened to the general public,… Read more »
John Hansen

The nearest H2 station is about 2000 miles from me, so that doesn’t do me much good.

ffbj

Is it Toyota’s fault that you live in the 97% of the country they do not even cover? It took Tesla less the 2 years to cover most of the U.S. with free for life fuel, so lets see how long it takes Toyota to cover the U.S. with fueling stations. What a joke.

Joshua Burstyn

At up to 2M per site, good luck with that. TSLA reportedly spends 150K/site. Not really comparable.

Mint

On top of that, Tesla’s infrastructure is being used for only ~10% of mileage (maybe 20% long term). ~300 stations lets you visit 99.9% of places in the US.

Toyota needs stations for 100% of the Mirai’s mileage, i.e. at least 10,000 stations in the country (gasoline has 100,000+).

krona2k

Yes let’s see. Want to bet Toyota’s hydrogen stations will be built at anywhere near close to the speed of Tesla’s rapid charging stations.

The dozen California current and several dozen future H2 stations are all government funded.

Tesla works at the speed of a well funded Silicon Valley private company with “free forever” and world class performing cars.

Pretty easy choice for most people.

Get Real

And you probably work for them See-no-evil.

Here is an investigative report on the naked corruption of First Element Fuel:
http://www.dailynews.com/opinion/20140512/conflict-of-interest-cronyism-along-the-hydrogen-highway-thomas-elias

Joshua Burstyn

Wow. 10,000 cars. Good work. Only 68 x ~1.5-2.0M per station to get 10,000 cars on the road. (Presumably on a good day where everything is timed just right.)

But what if there were a network of “plugs” where people could either charge at home, at work or in a public area. A method that uses an existing infrastructure and costs exponentially less per fuelling station and requires few if any fossil fuels as a base.

Nah… that would never work.

Mint

Get a new car? What is your Mirai gonna sell for in three years when hydrogen costs $8/kg for the next owner? You’ll be lucky to get even $20k resale value on your $70k purchase.

This is a temporary incentive. Toyota can’t build a business on this price model. By contrast, Tesla’s lifetime free supercharging is entirely viable.

If your tax dollars were paying for those 12 sites that you could never use, you might care.

Rick

My tax dollars are also paying for tens of thousands of EVs that I will never use.

Lad

The hydrogen fuel cell were created initially as red herring vapor to stop the production of GM’s electric car; which was very much a threat to the oil industry’s dominance of American’s energy.

The fuel cell is also a bridge to continued dominance of energy by the oil industry because the only methodology to produce enough hydrogen for FCVs is to reform natural gas using more energy to create it than it will ever produce.

The idea of producing hydrogen via electrolysis, even using solar cells, is still a lab experiment and the idea of the on-board generation of hydrogen is a complete lie.

Nope!, I’m betting on a 300 mile BEV that bypasses all the complication and danger of using fuel cells. With the use of the inefficient fuel cells you are still a hydrocarbon based economy and still very much dependent on economy decisions made by middle eastern dictators. With renewables and pure electric cars, our economy become local.

Peder

Once I started to do my laundry at home, I never wanted to visit a laundromat agin.

Why on earth, if you have the ability to charge at home would you ever want to go to a fueling station again?

My wife is liberated from the gas station and she loves it!

LuStuccc

It’s so easy to know what is technology is a scam that will only benefit big oil and/or big car. ..if SeeThrough approves, don’t touch it!

I blame CARB and their super generous fool cell credits.

Robert

I had the same thought.

JakeY

“And here in the U.S., we’ve already had 16-Thousand handraisers tell us they want a Mirai in their own driveway.”

I wonder where he pulled that from. I get so much deja vu with Hyundai’s claim of 88000 interested in their Tucson FCV.

http://www.autoblog.com/2014/01/23/88000-interested-hyundai-tucson-fuel-cell-ev/

Mr. M

Do never missunderstand “to be interested” vs. “want to buy”. I’m also very interested in the mirai, but i will never buy one. Others are interessed in the mirai to see it fail.

But i never understand, why toyota is not allowing to charge the car at home. At least like the Volt for the first 40-50 miles.

Or why can you not fill in your own water, can it plug in and it generates hydrogen? Sure that would be massive inefficient and expensive, but that would be so easy! At least easier than to find everywhere where you want to drive a hydrogen station.

Cheap electric drive the first 40 miles, long trips the expensive hydrogen way. This is what it should be!

Mint

The Mirai’s battery is like that of the non-plug-in Prius. It’s too small to be worth plugging in, and isn’t meant to go though deep cycles anyway.

What’s more is that the success of FCVs relies entirely on people choosing to not plug in. A PHEV like the Volt or i3 REx gives you 80-90% EV miles, uses cheaper range-extender fuel, has a lower price (ICEs are cheap), and has ubiquitous refueling infrastructure. A plugin FCV doesn’t stand a chance in hell of competing with that.

Toyota doesn’t want you plugging in.

KumarP

Hydrogen fuel cells are such a scam. Most hydrogen will come from natural gas, not renewable energy. It takes energy to extract and compress, which make it less efficient than pure electric vehicles, and there’s the whole storage of explosive gas thing. Ridiculous with very little upside.

“Right now, the way we get hydrogen primarily is from reforming gas. That’s not an ideal source of hydrogen…The other problem is, if it’s for transportation, we don’t have a good storage mechanism yet. What else? The fuel cells aren’t there yet, and the distribution infrastructure isn’t there yet. In order to get significant deployment, you need four significant technological breakthroughs. If you need four miracles, that’s unlikely. Saints only need three miracles.” Secretary Chu

Mint

If the automakers were serious about H2, they could squash this point rather easily. It only costs $1-2 more per kg to use renewable energy (I can do the math for you if you want), which is peanuts when first adopters are paying $70k for an H2 Prius and $8 per 60 miles. H2 is getting so much bad publicity from this.

In the end, though, it’s the least of H2’s problems. Cost and infrastructure are the real roadblocks.

Speculawyer

Probably from their website which allows you to click something to be a ‘supporter’.

Brian

“the electricity is produced onboard… versus off the grid.”

And that’s a good thing?

Hey, Toyota, GM and BMW both also have EVs which produce electricity on board. And they already have many thousands of refueling stations throughout the world. What’s more, they don’t need to produce their own electricity 90% of the time because they CAN use electricity from the grid.

When will Toyota realize that the inability to plug in their cars is a shortcoming rather than an advantage?

And how much grid electricity is used to produce, compress, and ship the hydrogen so that later the electricity can be “produced onboard” magically?

koz

Wouldn’t that be “auto”magically

Mike

The First Day of Volt Production Made this OBSOLETE.

Mike

And the Volt is nicer, 50% cheaper and you can drive it coast-to-coast now without waiting for $2,000,000 upgrades to your local gas station, and NO Range Anxiety.

MTN Ranger

Good one Toyota, keep the jokes coming.

Love the comments here, seeing all the pure BEV and Tesla fanatics blowing up in fumes.

Trace

Is that what you think we’re doing? You really ARE a savant of something.

KumarP

What you are seeing is practical sense, not fanaticism. But, I sense you are a troll I need not feed.

krona2k

We’re just mocking you, it’s not the same thing.

ffbj

So around 60 hydrogen fueling stations.
Lets see now there are approx 124 million homes in the U.S. virtually all have electricity. There are over a hundred sc across the country, and many times more chargers, but you cannot plug your Mirai into any of them, even though it is an electric car? Yes, but the fuel is hydrogen. To be fair currently only Tesla users can use the s.c. network.
There are also 160k gas stations.

Totally useless stats!
Go ask those random families if they will let you plug in your car in one of their sockets.

Wraithnot

The families that post on plugshare appear to be willing to share their outlets.

KumarP

Take that, hydrogen troll! This is amusing.

To me the point is that all those millions of households can refuel a plug-in vehicle at their home, not whether or not they’ll let others do so.

Aside from the allure of having a similar refueling style to gasoline, fuel cells are completely a waste and less efficient than plug in vehicles.

Get Real

Yes See Through, your stats are totally useless as is your attempts at logic or making even a rudimentary case for hydrogen.

Joshua Burstyn

We have our charging station in Plugshare for just such an occasion. It’s appreciated that people call and advise if they plan to use the wand though.

I’be never heard anybody claiming their Tesla or other EV is “just like a hydrogen car!”.

abc123

That is the ugliest car I’ve ever seen.

Jouni Valkonen

also it is the most overpriced car that you have ever seen.

Fuel cell cars cannot even compete regular ICE cars or electric cars with a REx. so how on Earth they could compete with real long range electric cars that can be fast charged in 15 minutes in fast charging station that has investment costs around 15 000 dollars?

CherylG's_DirtyLittleSecret

Uh……Prius?……..hello!

Brian

Looks more like a melting Corolla to me than a Prius.

taser54

So much angst from one sentence.

no comment

i suspect much of this is coming from elon musk fanboys. my attitude is that FCV has some promising potential – even if it doesn’t necessarily pan out for use in automobiles, it might very well turn out to be a good option for buses and long haul trucks.

the Mirai has some interesting features: 300 miles on a refill that only takes 5 minutes; that is much better than you could do with a BEV. it may not be practical to deploy the infrastructure for hydrogen stations when you can use EREV that leverages existing gas stations but for limited use vehicles like buses and trucks a limited hydrogen refueling infrastructure might work out ok.

ItsNotAboutTheMoney

Never say never, but as of now it’s not a real product. It’s just a compliance car.

Joshua Burstyn

Had the technology been marketed as such, no one would disagree. But that’s not what’s happening here. Toyota is inanely pushing FCVs as a direct replacement to a Camry.

Bloggin

Toyota and the oil companies are together in the effort to keep new fuel consumers going to a ‘public/commercial’ pump to refuel.

Which is not too off the mark since the early EV adopters are trying to simulate the same ‘public/commercial’ gas pump behavior by obsessing over public charging stations when over 80% never actually ‘need’ to use a public charger when they are charging at home.

But as the next generation of 160-200 mile EVs launch next year, with 50 mile plug-in hybrids(average 40 mile daily commute), the vast majority of the public chargers early adopters were crying for, will sit unused.

Mike

I’m surprised Repubs aren’t sucking this up. They love to kiss the oil monopoly rear end. Kind of shocking that they’re quiet up to now.

Open-Mind

It’s not so much that republicans want to “kiss the oil monopoly rear end”. Rather, they simply do not agree with democrats that the oil industry should be destroyed.

This Volt owner would like oil and electricity competing against each other as transportation fuels. That way we get the best products and price from both.

Unrelated…

I do find it amazing how quickly Toyota is burning up their green-cred. Among the eco-crowd, it seems like New-Toyota is now despised almost as much as Old-GM. Toyota’s eco-halo is all but gone.

Marshal G

Not destroyed, but slowly phased out. I look at it as breaking their monopoly on transportation. You know, choice? Freedom? Things the right pretends to care about?

Open-Mind

Not destroyed … slowly phased out. Now I see the difference. It’s like when GM slowly phased out their EV1 program. Now that you’ve explained it, I don’t see why those whiny EV1 owners made such a fuss.

Of course, once you’ve phased out oil, then the freedom and choice you speak of is gone. That is something the right DOES care about.

Sounds like you don’t really want freedom and choice … you want the freedom to mandate YOUR choice. I would prefer open competition that lets the market decide while improving both sides. The right shouldn’t phase out EVs. And the left shouldn’t phase out oil.

Priusmaniac

There are still many people that think the asbestos industry and the many asbestos mines reserved should not have been closed and forbidden for use despite the toxicity. So, it is not surprising to see that fossil fuel industry and fossil reserves holders are now trying to avoid the ban even though climate change induced carbon dioxide accumulation in the atmosphere and the disastrous consequences are now obvious.

Open-Mind

If our world was really teetering on the brink, then your “scientists” would not be focussed on just ONE green house gas produced from just ONE industry. It’s entirely possible that your climate religion is wrong. I’m not quite ready to “burn the witches” yet.

arne-nl

Nope, not even close.

Straight from AR5: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/540713498982420930/

Patrick

“Toyota and the oil companies are together in the effort to keep new fuel consumers going to a ‘public/commercial’ pump to refuel.”

I totally agree. It’s just a green way to keep big oil involved in transportation. If they have their way we will all be filling up our hydrogen cars at Exxon/Shell in 30 years… I hope not.

BraveLilToaster

I don’t think they’ll be unused, far from it. Tesla’s statistics on their supercharger network bear this out for starters, and considering the fact that everywhere we have non-tesla DCQCs, there’s hardly ever more than one *per town*, nevermind *per station*, current EV drivers are lucky if the one DCQC they can get to is either not in use, or not broken.

This is in stark contrast to gas stations, which in the sort of places you find gas stations, you usually find more than one, and they all have more than one pump.

Tesla’s idea for charging stations was a tremendously better idea on all fronts. Especially the bit where the plug is as simple as can be, to ensure that it’s also as *reliable* as can be.

Tesla and the utility companies are trying to get you. First they will sell an EV, entice you with low EV rates. Then, boom! The rate goes way up and you are stuck with high utility bills. No choice to fill up at the lowest price gas station.

ItsNotAboutTheMoney

Elon Musk has Tesla and Solar City, which are aiming to produce cheap batteries and cheap PV, precisely because those can ensure that there’s cheap electricity to power cheap electric cars.

Get Real

Really, kind of like when gas goes up to $5 a gallon which it has done several times already.

Battery based EVs are the ONLY vehicle that you can make your own fuel for (with home solar).

This alone makes them the best choice for true energy independence not to mention the lowest cost to fuel and operate by far.

Joshua Burstyn

Based on what precedent? Where I live we have so much extra power at night that we sell it at less than what it cost to generate to neighbouring areas. It’s so cheap we nearly give it away.

Ummmm....

Perfect logic …unable to see through your own arguments. What about the 3 years of ‘free hydrogen’ from Toyota…and then a known large price per fill up. You continue to dig your hole with each additional statement. Perhaps you should remain silent.

arne-nl

+1

The distributed electricity revolution scares the hell out of the largest industry of this planet. They will lose their stranglehold. Good for us. Bad for them, but I will not shed any tears.

They do come with free fuel for the first few years. If you’re driving more than 250 miles per day, 7,500 miles per month, you could start to beat $0.16 per kW, ~ the SoCal super-off-peak (overnight) rate and a $199 EV lease. Range will be constrained by proximity to H2 fueling stations, but for some people on a local route or service area, who is driving all day long, it could work out.

correction: $0.16 per kWh

Not really free since taxpayers are paying for it.

Speculawyer

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

Steve Strange

Introducing the 2016 Ford Edsel.

Speculawyer

Poor Toyota. Fuel Cells are dead and yet they have to keep the brave face on to rationalize all the spending.

Hyundai announced PHEVs and EVs. Honda announced PHEVs and EVs.

No one left but Toyota.

Cdub

Anyone have a current well-to-wheel carbon footprint comparison between FCVs and EVs?

The info on hydrogen.energy.gov seems very out of date.

Take a look at CNG vehicle, as numbers are simiar.

Cdub

Thanks. Link? I’m looking for something more concrete when it comes to fighting FCVs. I’ve read how the gasification of LNG produces a substantial amount of CO2 but haven’t been able to find a good modern analysis.

Lensman

Try these:

http://www.energyandcapital.com/articles/hydrogen-economy-fuel+cell/480

http://phys.org/news85074285.html

http://www.thenewatlantis.com/publications/the-hydrogen-hoax

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

I don’t know that any of them have the detailed well-to-wheel analysis you’re looking for, but the first two links both say that the EROI (Energy Return On Investment) can’t be more than 25% for hydrogen, even with optimistic assumptions. That’s really lousy, and much worse than either gasoline/diesel or electricity.

Robert Zubrin’s article (third link) has lots of technical data, if you are looking for number-crunching statistics.

It’s interesting comparing volume and space used by the battery system of a Mirai (above) to a Model S … a visual contrast in complexity.


YO

Pleae call out Toyota when they FRAUDANTLY talk about royaly free shaing of their licenses. Since it is only free till 2020 which has very little value since no one would be mass producing FOOL CELL cars till after 2020. They are not Tesla who puts no time limit on their patents.

Toyota and Hyundai are also estimated to loose around 100,000 on each FOOL CELL car they sell at 50,000.

So Toyota loose all the money you want and sell one to every hand raiser.

Makes you wonder why Fiat was compaing about losing 10,000 on their 500e.

Instead of hydrogen tanks, an on-board a reformer can produce hydrogen from gasoline or any hydrocarbon. Better yet, a ‘Solid Oxide Fuel Cell’ (SOFC) can use gasoline or any hydrocarbon directly.

Nick

That’s what I want.

A LEAF with an optional fuel cell range extender which converts gasoline directly to electricity.

Lensman

An on-board reformer, to convert gasoline/diesel (or whatever) into hydrogen fuel, makes the FCV a lot more expensive, occupies a lot more space inside the vehicle, and makes the entire well-to-wheel process even -more inefficient than hydrogen fuel, which is already terribly inefficient.

From an environmental perspective, driving a FCV with onboard reformer makes no sense at all; you’d produce less pollution (or at least less carbon) by driving one of the more efficient gas guzzlers available today.

For other problems with using an onboard reformer in a fuel cell vehicle, see the second question in this Q&A:

http://energy.gov/articles/you-asked-we-re-answering-your-fuel-cell-questions

Re fuel in solid form: We used to have that; it was called “coal”. Hopefully it’s not necessary to point out why dispensing fuel in liquid form (or even pressurized gas) is much more practical and easier to work with.

arne-nl

That doesn’t sound very eco, nor logical.

Bill Howland
Since they’ve recently started to accurately measure H2 and charge for dispensing it, what is the agreed upon retail rate in GGE? $8 per gallon gasoline equivalent? Or is it temporarily going to be a loss leader at $1 a gallon and then jacked up when people buy their cars after being misled by the artificially low price? Now in Western NY we don’t have that many factories that produce wast hydrogen that the factories couldn’t more efficiently re-use themselves. They all got shipped to China. So maybe China can benefit from Hydrogen cars since they have alot of factories nearby to easily make it. Around here, I suspect they will use reformed natural gas or coal, and it won’t be incidental to some other industrial process since we don’t have any factories anymore. And who gets to pay for the maintenance on the $2 million dollar hydrogen stations? It will probably be bundled into the cost at the pump so say $10 / equivalent gallon overall? My solar panel fired/ occassional very few gallons of gasoline may not be perfect from a convenience standpoint, but I bet my fueling of my cars (the majority of which is sunshine) has… Read more »
ItsNotAboutTheMoney

They know that they aren’t the market leader in hybrids who’d lose its position of dominance and have a much less valuable NiMH battery manufacturing plant if the market moves to lithium plug-ins.

John Hollenberg

Once a real “better battery” comes out in a sub-$40,000 BEV the fool cell vehicles will be toast.

Tesla’s 2016 Supercharger Map, even before they plan to deliver a Model 3, shows what just one committed BEV Company can do to canabalize FCV values.

Volkswagen and BMW are finally getting together to push out a 100 new DCQC’s, likely CCS, and we have over 800 CHAdeMO units in America today, with expectations for 1100 to 1800 by end of 2016!

H2 stations may be fast, service more vehicles per day, etc, but not much help if out of reach! There are no H2 Home Fueling choices, nor any public H2 ‘Trickle fueling spots!

It is going to be a very interesting next 3 years, or so!
I expect Tesla Supercharger sites to expand in capacity: # if access points/heads, and charge rate, along with even more filling in between spaces by 2017, 2018!

Lensman
So, a tank full of hydrogen is a “better battery” than current EV batteries? Well, in the same way that a tank full of gasoline is “better hydrogen fuel” than hydrogen is, yeah. Neither makes much sense. Do fuel cell cars have advantages over BEVs? Sure, in two ways: 1. They can be refuelled faster than BEVs can be recharged 2. They will go farther before needing a refueling stop. But in -every- other way, plug-in EVs are better than “fool cell” vehicles. Given that there are very few places you can refuel a FCV, PEVs are -much- more practical. Furthermore, hydrogen will always remain more expensive than gasoline, due to the immutable laws of physics. And of course, that means it will alway remain -far- more expensive than the low cost of charging up a PEV. Some auto dealers are trying to hide that reality by offering free hydrogen fuel for a year… but what happens when that year is up? FCVs will never sell in large numbers. Toyota, Honda, and Hyundai know this, and they’re not even planning to make them in significant numbers. Even for “compliance” cars, these won’t sell many. So, why are these auto makers… Read more »

Soichiro Okudaira, chief officer of Toyota’s research and development group, told Automotive News Europe said that fuel cell vehicles won’t be priced to compete with battery electrics before 2030.

The “big six” Large Vehicle Manufacturers (LVM) auto manufacturers of the world (Toyota, Honda, Nissan, GM, Ford, Fiat/Chrysler) were required to begin the modern day CARB-ZEV rules, starting in 2012. That’s is exactly what Toyota did with Rav4 EV. Over three years, there are 900,000 oil burner Toyota cars sold in California. The current 0.79% credits rule of Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) sales means that 7110 credits over those three model years. Each Rav4 EV earned 3 credits each, so 2370 battery electric cars solved that over the three model years. But, the 9 credit hydrogen car need only 790 individual sales over three model years, or 263 per each model year during 2015 – 2017, to make the same credit value. In the year 2025, if the 9 credits for hydrogen are retained (they are scheduled to disappear in 2018), then Toyota would only have to sell 5,333 hydrogen cars per year IN CALIFORNIA ONLY (none in the several other CARB-ZEV states) without any battery electric cars sold, even at 16% of total credits in model year 2025!!!! Again, I’m talking about 2025 model year ZEV compliance with nothing but a hydrogen car with California tax payer funded refueling… Read more »
GSP

“Simply a better battery”

WOW, I did not realize that. So I can just plug this Toyota in at home and never visit a fuel station.

And “better” must mean smaller, lighter, and less expensive, since this is what is getting better as batteries improve.

Why didn’t Toyota tell us this about fuel cells earlier? Now I think fuel cells are a better alternative after all.

GSP

arne-nl

And don’t forget the ‘more efficient’ part.

Used as a battery (electricity –> electrolysis of H2O –> liquefaction/compression –> transport –> fuel cell –> electricity) the grid-to-wheel efficiency is about 1/3 that of a BEV. Yeah, much better.

krona2k

Maybe better in some ways, but objectively worse in plenty of others.

Also the benefits fuel cells will dimish with every generation of batteries. The next generation will be on the roads within two years I think.

Robert

Does anyone else think that car has crashed into a farm gate? And the gate is still embedded in the front of the car?

Francis L

In a way, yes you could compare a fcev to a technically better battery, but a battery that is so expensive that it makes no economical sense. To this, add that you can’t charge it easily…