[Due to the increasing size of the archives, each topic page now contains only the prior 365 days of content. Access to older stories is now solely through the Monthly Archive pages or the site search function.]
DOE to award up to $9M for demonstration and deployment of hydrogen and fuel cell technologies; medium-duty eTrucks
June 12, 2013
The US Department of Energy (DOE) will award up to $9 million in new funding (DE-FOA-0000828) to accelerate the development of hydrogen and fuel cell technologies in four topic areas: fuel-cell hybrid medium-duty trucks; advanced hydrogen refueling components; backup power systems; and hydrogen meters. (Earlier post.)
DOE is accepting new applications for projects proposing to demonstrate and deploy hydrogen and fuel cell technologies in the first three topics, and for research and development in Topic 4. For the first three topics, the primary objective of each proposed project must be to demonstrate and deploy hydrogen and fuel cell technologies in real-world environments. R&D will not be funded through this announcement. DOE select up to eight projects from industry, academia, and national labs.
New metal-free ORR catalyst outperforms platinum in fuel cell
June 06, 2013
Researchers from South Korea, Case Western Reserve University and University of North Texas have synthesized new inexpensive and easily produced metal-free catalysts—edge-selectively halogenated graphene nanoplatelets (XGnPs)—that can perform better than platinum in oxygen-reduction reactions. The finding, detailed in an open access paper in Nature’s Scientific Reports, is a step toward eliminating what industry regards as the largest obstacle to large-scale commercialization of fuel cell technology—the high cost and insufficient supply of platinum catalysts.
The XGnPs, which were produced using a simple ball-milling method, were tested as cathode electrodes of fuel cells and revealed “remarkable” electrocatalytic activities for ORR with high tolerance to methanol crossover/CO poisoning effects and longer-term stability than those of the pristine graphite and commercial Pt/C electrocatalysts. In initial tests, a cathode coated with one form of catalyst—graphene nanoparticles edged with iodine—generated 33% more current than a commercial cathode coated with platinum.
New LANL non-precious metal ORR catalyst can out-perform platinum; possible enabler for economical Li-air batteries, fuel cells
June 05, 2013
|ORR polarization plots after 5,000 cycles in O2-saturated electrolyte comparing the new catalyst and a platinum catalyst. Chung et al.Click to enlarge.|
Scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) have designed a new type of nitrogen-doped carbon-nanotube catalyst that shows the highest oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) activity in alkaline media of any non-precious metal catalyst developed to date. When used at a sufficiently high loading, this stable catalyst also outperforms the most active platinum-based catalysts, the team found.
The new catalyst, reported in an open source paper in Nature Communications, could pave the way for reliable, economical metal-air batteries and alkaline fuel cells, providing for practical use of wind- and solar-powered electricity, as well as enhanced hybrid and electric vehicles.
Navigant forecasts global light-duty fuel-cell-vehicle sales to surpass 2M annually by 2030
May 27, 2013
|Annual light-duty fuel cell vehicle sales through 2030. Source: Navigant Research. Click to enlarge.|
In a newly published research report (“Fuel Cell Vehicles”), Navigant Research forecasts that worldwide sales of light-duty fuel-cell vehicles (FCVs) will reach the 1,000 mark in 2015 and then begin a period of strong growth, surpassing 2 million vehicles annually by 2030.
The light-duty FCV market will be in a long period of supply constraints until around 2020, the report notes, breaking out only if the infrastructure is in place to meet customers’ fueling requirements. This will require a large investment from government and industry, Navigant concludes. If the infrastructure is built out, automakers will increase their production levels, which will result in major cost reductions—a “virtuous cycle” that will lead to a demand-driven market in the period after 2025.
PowerCell unveils 3kW PowerPac fuel cell APU that converts diesel into electricity
May 21, 2013
PowerCell, a Swedish energy technology company with roots in the Volvo Group, unveiled a functioning full-scale prototype of its PowerPac fuel cell system, which combines an autothermal reformer and a PEM fuel cell stack to convert diesel fuel into electricity. (Earlier post.) The main target groups for PowerPac are truck manufacturers; truck owners; mobile operators; owners of base stations and other telecom infrastructure; and the military.
The PowerPac system is based on proprietary, patented technology. The unit is more efficient than a small ICE (internal combustion engine) generator in combination with an environmental friendly exhaust. The unit produces about 3kW of electric energy.
California ARB 2013 research project to characterize ZEV market; assessing future market potential
May 18, 2013
The California Air Resources Board (ARB) 2013 research plan includes a project that will comprehensively characterize the Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) market, with the ultimate goal of increasing consumer purchases of ZEVs.
The proposed project will investigate the factors that influence sales of ZEVs in California (e.g., price, vehicle range, infrastructure). The project is intended to support the planned upcoming mid-term review of California’s Advanced Clean Cars program (earlier post), coordinated with the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
DOE launches H2USA public-private partnership to deploy hydrogen infrastructure for transportation
May 13, 2013
The US Department of Energy (DOE) launched H2USA—a new public-private partnership focused on advancing hydrogen infrastructure to support more transportation energy options for US consumers, including fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs). (Earlier post.)
The new partnership brings together automakers, government agencies, gas suppliers, and the hydrogen and fuel cell industries to coordinate research and identify cost-effective solutions to deploy infrastructure that can deliver affordable, clean hydrogen fuel in the United States.
DOE to issue funding opportunity for fuel cell hybrid medium-duty trucks
May 11, 2013
The US Department of Energy (DOE) Fuel Cell Technologies Office (FCTO), on behalf of the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), announced that it will issue a funding opportunity announcement (FOA) titled “Fuel Cell Hybrid Electric Medium Duty Trucks, Roof-top Backup Power, and Advanced Hydrogen Refueling Components” (DE-FOA-0000922).
DOE suggests that prospective applicants to the FOA should begin developing partnerships, formulating ideas, and gathering data in anticipation of its issuance, estimated sometime this month.
Team in Japan develops durable, high-temperature PEM fuel cell
May 03, 2013
|Power density curves of the PVPA-doped MEA measured at 25°C (orange line), 40°C (pink line), 60°C (blue line), 80°C (green line), 100°C (purple line) and 120°C (red line). Berber et al. Click to enlarge.|
Researchers in Japan have developed a novel polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell (PEFC) that shows high durability (>400,000 cycles) together with high power density (252 mW/cm2) at high temperatures of 120°C under a non-humidified condition.
In a paper published in Scientific Reports, the open access journal of the Nature Publishing Group, they suggest that the study “opens the door” for the next-generation high temperature and non-humidified PEFC for use in the “real world”.
Intelligent Energy, Dyson, Ricardo and TRW Conekt boost fuel cell system power density more than 30%; reliable cold-start down to -20 °C
April 16, 2013
A project, 50% funded by the UK’s Technology Strategy Board and led by power technology company Intelligent Energy, has demonstrated an increase in fuel cell system power density of more than 30% together with reliable cold-start performance at temperatures down to -20 °C.
The project team delivered an improvement in power output from 30kW to 40kW for the chosen test system without increasing system mass or size. Additionally, through the introduction of a new coolant module developed specifically for the project, cold start performance was consistently achieved at temperatures down to -20°C.
CaFCP proposes two Centers of Excellence in California for fuel cell buses to accelerate commercialization; $100M program
March 30, 2013
The California Fuel Cell Partnership (CaFCP) has published “A Road Map for Fuel Cell Electric Buses in California: A zero-emission solution for public transit”. The roadmap suggests the steps necessary to move from the pre-commercial phase of fuel cell electric bus (FCEB) deployment and manufacturing (2012-2015) to the early commercial phase (2016- 2017) to a commercial model in 2018 and beyond, including the requisite fueling infrastructure.
This road map suggests a specific strategy for the implementation of two Centers of Excellence in Northern and Southern California, each of which would cost approximately $50 million and would operate 40 FCEBs. The two centers would allow for economies of scale sufficient to achieve 2016 DOE/DOT targets and begin to overcome the primary barriers to market: the capital cost of the vehicles and the cost of fuel, CaFCP suggests.
Yale team develops new silver-palladium core-shell catalyst for direct alcohol fuel cells
March 19, 2013
|The core-shell silver-palladium catalyst. Source: Yale. Click to enlarge.|
Yale researchers have synthesized a silver-palladium core-shell catalyst supported on multi-walled carbon nanotubes (Ag@Pd/MWNTs) for use in fuel cells. The new platinum-free catalysts are are highly active and alcohol-tolerant for oxygen reduction reactions (ORR) in alkaline media. A paper on their work is published in the journal Applied Catalysis B.
The new, platinum-free catalyst has a unique core-shell structure; the thin shell is palladium, the core silver. This allows for higher catalytic activity and greater tolerance for impurities than standard platinum-based catalysts. Particles of silver coated with palladium cover the surface of multi-walled carbon nanotubes, promoting the reduction of oxygen over the oxidation of alcohol.
NRC report concludes US LDVs could cut oil consumption and GHGs by 80% by 2050; reliance on plug-ins, biofuels and hydrogen; strong policies mandatory
March 18, 2013
|Projected rates of fuel consumption improvement under different scenarios relative to past experience and the 2016 and 2025 CAFE standards. Source: NRC. Click to enlarge.|
Light-duty vehicles (LDVs) in the US may be able to reduce petroleum use by 50% by 2030, and by 80% by 2050; and reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 80% by 2050, according to the newly published results of a two-year study by a committee convened by the National Research Council.
Achieving those goals will will be difficult—but not impossible to meet—and will necessitate a combination of more efficient vehicles; the use of alternative fuels such as biofuels, electricity, and hydrogen; and strong government policies to overcome high costs and influence consumer choices. Given the importance of policy as a driver, the committee was also asked—somewhat unusually for a study of this kind—to explore policies, noted Douglas M. Chapin, principal of MPR Associates, and chair of the committee that wrote the report.
DOE TEF project finds US can eliminate petroleum and reduce GHG by more than 80% in transportation by 2050; less use, more biofuels, expansion of electricity and hydrogen
March 15, 2013
|TEF project points to deep cuts in petroleum and emissions in the transportation sector by focusing on modes, fuels, and demand. Source: DOE. Click to enlarge.|
The US Department of Energy (DOE) released findings from a new project—Transportation Energy Futures (TEF)—that concludes the United States has the potential to eliminate petroleum use and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by more than 80% in the transportation sector by 2050. The project identifies possible paths to a low-carbon, low-petroleum future in the US transportation sector, and also looks beyond technology to examine the marketplace, consumer behavior, industry capabilities, and infrastructure.
TEF is organized into four research areas: light-duty vehicles; non-light-duty vehicles; fuels; and transportation demand. Findings are being detailed in a series of nine reports, six of which are now available.
Ballard fuel cell modules to power fleet of 10 buses in Aberdeen, Scotland
March 14, 2013
Ballard Power Systems announced the recent signing of an agreement between Van Hool NV, Europe’s fourth largest bus manufacturer, and the Transit Authority in Aberdeen, Scotland for delivery of 10 buses that will be powered by Ballard’s 150 kW FCvelocity-HD6 fuel cell module.
When deployed in revenue service, the 10-bus fleet to be operated in Aberdeen will be Europe’s largest hydrogen fuel cell bus fleet. Ballard says that by early-2014, approximately 40 buses in Europe will be powered by Ballard fuel cell modules.
DOE issues RFI for feedback on technology validation and deployment for commercialization of fuel cell and hydrogen technologies
March 13, 2013
The US Department of Energy’s Fuel Cell Technologies Office has issued a Request for Information (RFI) (DE-FOA-0000873) seeking feedback from stakeholders regarding technology validation and deployment activities aimed at ensuring commercial readiness and stimulating commercialization of fuel cell and hydrogen technologies.
The Fuel Cell Technologies Office would like information on which hydrogen and fuel cell technologies are ready for technology validation—specifically, at a Technology Readiness Level of 6 or higher. Durability testing in real world environments and applications is fundamental to technology validation activities. Specific Areas of Interest (AOIs) for hydrogen and fuel cell technologies include:
Ballard signs long-term fuel cell engineering services contract with Volkswagen AG; expected value of C$60-100 million
March 07, 2013
Ballard Power Systems has signed an agreement with Volkswagen Group for a major Engineering Services contract to advance development of fuel cells for use in powering demonstration cars in Volkswagen’s fuel cell automotive research program. The contract term is for 4-years, with an option for a 2-year extension. The expected contract value is in the range of C$60-100 million.
Work will involve the design and manufacture of a next-generation fuel cell for use in Volkswagen HyMotion demonstration cars. Ballard engineers will lead critical areas of fuel cell product design—including the membrane electrode assembly (MEA), plate and stack components—along with testing and integration work.
New low-temperature catalytic process for producing hydrogen from methanol; potential future application for fuel cell vehicles
February 28, 2013
|(a) Schematic pathway for a homogeneously catalyzed methanol reforming process via three discrete dehydrogenation steps. (b) Best performing catalysts. Nielsen et al. Click to enlarge.|
Researchers from Germany and Italy have developed an efficient low-temperature catalytic process to produce hydrogen from methanol. Hydrogen generation by this method proceeds at 65–95 °C (149-203 °F) and ambient pressure with excellent catalyst turnover frequencies (4,700 per hour) and turnover numbers (exceeding 350,000). This could make the delivery of hydrogen on mobile devices—and hence the use of methanol as a practical hydrogen carrier—eventually feasible, the team suggests in a paper published in the journal Nature.
One of the challenges to hydrogen fuel cell vehicles is the efficient on-board storage of adequate amounts of the hydrogen gas required for fuel cell operation due to the properties of the gas. Methanol conceptually is an interesting alternative, as it is a liquid at room temperature (easier transportation and handling) and contains 12.6% hydrogen. However, current methanol reforming technologies for the production of hydrogen are conducted at high temperatures (> 200 °C) and high pressures (25–50 bar), limiting potential mobile applications of “so-called reformed methanol fuel cells”, they note.
California ARB proposing amendments to Clean Fuels Outlet regulation to ensure adequate hydrogen fueling infrastructure
February 19, 2013
The California Air Resources Board (ARB) will conduct a public hearing in June to consider adopting amendments to the Clean Fuels Outlet (CFO) Regulation with the intention of ensuring an adequate hydrogen refueling infrastructure to support the introduction and growth of hydrogen-fueled vehicles.
In January 2012, the Board adopted the Advanced Clean Cars (ACC) regulatory package adopted in January 2012 (earlier post)—a combination of the Low Emission Vehicle (LEV) regulations (for criteria pollutants and greenhouse gas emissions) and the technology-forcing Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) that pushes manufacturers to produce ZEVs and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles in the 2018 through 2025 model years. In addition, the ACC program included amendments to Clean Fuels Outlet (CFO) requirements that will assure that ultra-clean fuels such as hydrogen are available to meet vehicle demands brought on by amendments to the ZEV regulation.
PNNL team develops bio-inspired iron-based catalyst for hydrogen fuel cells
February 18, 2013
Researchers at the US Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) have developed a new biologically inspired catalyst that is the first iron-based catalyst that converts hydrogen directly to electricity. The catalyst could support the achievement of more affordable fuel cells.
The team developed a molecular complex of iron—CpC6F5Fe(PtBu2NBn2)(H)—as a rationally designed electrocatalyst for the oxidation of hydrogen at room temperature, with turnover frequencies of 0.66–2.0 s−1 and low overpotentials of 160–220 mV. A paper on their work is published in Nature Chemistry.
California Governor’s Office releases 2013 ZEV action plan; 1.5M ZEVs on CA roadways by 2025
February 07, 2013
California Governor Jerry Brown’s Office and state agencies issued a 2013 Zero-emission Vehicle (ZEV) Action Plan. The Action Plan follows on Governor Brown’s Executive Order (B-16-2012) released March 2012, which set required milestones for state government to enable 1.5 million zero-emission vehicles on California roadways by 2025. (Earlier post.) The Action Plan details concrete actions that state agencies are taking to help accelerate the market for plug-in electric vehicles and fuel cell electric vehicles.
For the purposes of the executive order and action plan, ZEVs include hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs), battery electric vehicles (BEVs), and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs). They also address light-duty passenger vehicles and heavier vehicles such as freight trucks and public buses.
UKH2Mobility interim report finds potential for 1.6M hydrogen-powered vehicles on UK roads by 2030, with annual sales of 300K units
February 05, 2013
|UK consumer demand for FCEVs increases as the cost premium diminishes and the network of hydrogen refueling stations (HRS) expands. Source: UKH2Mobility. Click to enlarge.|
More than 1.5 million hydrogen-powered vehicles could be on UK roads by 2030, according to interim Phase I findings of the UKH2Mobility project, a joint Government-industry to evaluate the potential for hydrogen as a fuel for Ultra Low Carbon Vehicles in the UK before developing an action plan for an anticipated roll-out to consumers in 2014/15. (Earlier post.)
The forecast was made in an interim report commissioned to evaluate the benefits of hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) and ensure the UK is well positioned for their commercial roll-out. The study provides a roadmap for the introduction of vehicles and hydrogen refueling infrastructure in the UK.
DOE seeking input on proposed automotive fuel cell cost and durability targets
February 03, 2013
The US Department of Energy (DOE) is issuing a Request for Information (RFI) (DE-FOA-0000855) seeking input from stakeholders on proposed cost targets for fuel cells designed for automotive applications. The purpose of this RFI is to solicit feedback from developers, manufacturers, end users, and other stakeholders on proposed cost and durability targets for automotive fuel cell systems.
The proposed targets are $40/kW in 2020 and $30/kW for the ultimate target (2030) for automotive fuel cell system cost, and 5000 hrs or 150,000 miles for durability. This RFI is not and will not lead directly to a Funding Opportunity Announcement, DOE said.
Daimler, Renault-Nissan Alliance Ford to develop common fuel cell system; targeting vehicles in 2017
January 28, 2013
Daimler AG, Ford Motor Company and Nissan Motor Co., Ltd., have signed a three-way agreement for the joint development of a common fuel cell system to speed up availability of zero-emission technology and significantly reduce investment costs.
The goal of the collaboration is to develop jointly a common fuel cell electric vehicle system while reducing investment costs associated with the engineering of the technology. Each company will invest equally towards the project. The strategy to maximize design commonality, leverage volume and derive efficiencies through economies of scale will help to launch the world’s first affordable, mass-market FCEVs as early as 2017. (Daimler had earlier been targeting 2015 for launch.)
BMW and Toyota expand collaboration with work on fuel cell system, sports vehicle, light-weight technology and Li-air battery
January 24, 2013
BMW Group and Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) signed binding agreements aimed at long-term collaboration between the two companies for the joint development of a hydrogen fuel cell system; joint development of architecture and components for a sports vehicle; and joint research and development of lightweight technologies. These agreements follow a memorandum of understanding signed in June 2012. (Earlier post.)
The companies also today signed a binding agreement to commence collaborative research on lithium-air batteries. This agreement marks the second phase of collaborative research into next-generation lithium-ion battery cells that commenced in March 2012. (Earlier post.) The main points of the new agreements are:
Platinum on tin-doped indium oxide as promising next-generation catalyst for PEM fuel cells; exceeding DOE 2015 mass activity target
January 02, 2013
Researchers at the University of Connecticut report that a new catalyst material using tin (Sn)-doped indium oxide (ITO) nanoparticles (NPs) as a high stability non-carbon support for platinum (Pt) NPs is a very promising candidate as a next-generation catalyst for proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs).
In a paper published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society, they report that the PT/ITO catalyst showed mass activity of 621 ± 31 mA/mgPt—far exceeding the 2015 US Department of Energy (DOE) goal for Pt mass activity of 440 mA/mgPt. The stability of the Pt/ITO material was also “very impressive” under harsh conditions for ORR electrocatalysts in which state-of-the-art Pt/C electrocatalysts typically show very poor stability, they reported.
Highly efficient non-precious metal electrocatalyst for ORR in fuel cells and metal-air batteries
December 18, 2012
A team of S. Korean and American scientists led by Dr. Jaephil Cho at Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST) reports on a newly developed, highly efficient non-precious metal electrocatalyst for the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) in the journal Angewandte Chemie.
Inspired by the tetrapod structures of a breakwater, the novel material for electrodes is created from affordable melamine foam and carbon black. The unique porous architecture greatly facilitates rapid mass transport, while the N-doped ketjenblack and Fe/Fe3C-functionalized surface of the framework significantly enhance the ORR activity of cathodes for fuel cells and metal-air batteries.
ARB issues solicitation for zero-emission off-road equipment projects
December 15, 2012
The California Air Resources Board (ARB) issued a grant solicitation for demonstration projects on zero-emission off-road equipment. ARB expects that up to $1 million will be available for this solicitation, although funding could be increased to a maximum of $5 million depending on the availability of state funds. The potential number of projects selected for funding is expected to be two, but up to five projects may be selected, the agency said.
The solicitation was issued under AB 118 Air Quality Improvement Program’s (AQIP), Advanced Technology Demonstration Projects and is intended to fund technologies on the cusp of commercialization with the potential for significant targeted reductions in criteria pollutants and greenhouse gas emission reduction co-benefits. The solicitation is open to local air districts or other California-based public agencies that demonstrate the requisite technical and administrative expertise.
ITM Power provides update on hydrocarbon fuel cell membrane performance
December 06, 2012
In partnership with the UK’s Carbon Trust and major automotive OEMs, ITM Power has been performing numerous standardized accelerated stress tests on its high power density membrane material (earlier post) designed to exacerbate degradation and benchmark durability. Unlike the majority of conventional fluorocarbon membrane materials which are expensive and require significant chemical plant to fabricate, ITM’s materials are low-cost hydrocarbons made by mixing together liquid chemicals to a particular recipe.
In an update, the company reports that its hydrocarbon fuel cell membrane is highly conductive and has demonstrated a high power density exceeding 1.5W/cm2 at 600mV with hydrogen/air, 0.3 mg/cm2 of platinum catalyst per electrode and low gas pressures (1.5 bar absolute).
€3.59M PHAEDRUS project for all-electrochemical high-pressure hydrogen refueling for passenger cars
November 28, 2012
UK-based ITM Power has received confirmation of a €3.59-million (US$4.66-million) grant award from a program of the European Union’s Joint Technology Initiatives (JTI). The award is to a consortium for the development of an advanced hydrogen refueling system using ITM Power’s high pressure hydrogen electrolysis technology. ITM Power’s share of this award is €0.87 million (US$1.12 million).
The program, known as the PHAEDRUS project and funded under the Seventh Framework Programme (SP1-JTI-FCH.2001.2.7), aims to develop an all-electrochemical high pressure (70 MPa, 10,000 psi) hydrogen refueling station (HRS) for fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEV) in the passenger car segment.
California Energy Commission to award up to $28.59M for hydrogen refueling stations in 25 areas
November 20, 2012
|One of the Station Location Area maps showing the use of “polygons” (see below) to rank desirability of location via scoring. Click to enlarge.|
The California Energy Commission has issued a competitive grant solicitation (PON-12-606) to award up to a combined $28.59 million for new hydrogen refueling stations in 25 selected areas. The goal is to expand the network of publicly accessible hydrogen fueling stations to serve the current population of fuel cell vehicles (FCVs) and to accommodate the planned large-scale roll-out of FCVs commencing in 2015. Individual projects are eligible for up to 65% of the total project cost or $1.50 million, whichever is less.
The Energy Commission does not anticipate that all 25 Station Location Areas will be funded under this solicitation. Only one hydrogen fueling station will be funded per Station Location Area polygon, which were generated by a process designed and applied at the Advanced Power and Energy Program at the University of California at Irvine (UCI).
€3.9M European project to develop automotive fuel cell MEAs with ultra-low platinum loadings
November 09, 2012
ITM Power announced it received confirmation of a €3.9 million (US$4.96 million) grant award to a consortium to develop Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) Fuel Cell Membrane Electrode Assemblies (MEAs) with ultra-low platinum loadings for automotive applications. ITM Power’s share of this award is €0.59 million (US$.75 million), recognized over the three years of the program.
One of the main cost issues for the commercialization of fuel cells is the amount of the platinum (Pt) that is used as catalyst in the cathode where the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) takes place. Known as the IMPACT project and funded under the Seventh Framework Programme, the project aims to improve the lifetime (>5,000 hours) of PEM fuel cells with MEAs containing ultra-low platinum loadings (<0.2 mg/cm2).
New platinum-cobalt nanocatlysts for fuel cells greatly enhance activity and stability and cut costs
October 31, 2012
A research team at the Energy Materials Center at Cornell (EMC2) is developing platinum-cobalt nanoparticles with a platinum enriched shell that show improved catalytic activity for the oxygen reduction reaction in fuel-cell applications. The new class of Pt–Co nanocatalysts—composed of ordered Pt3Co intermetallic cores with a 2–3 atomic-layer-thick platinum shell—exhibited a more than 200% increase in mass activity and a more than 300% increase in specific activity when compared with the disordered Pt3Co alloy nanoparticles as well as Pt/C.
The new material could reduce the cost by a factor of five, according to Héctor Abruña, the E.M. Chamot Professor of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, senior author of a paper describing the work published in the journal Nature Materials. The mass activity for the oxygen reduction reaction is the highest among the Pt–Co systems reported in the literature under similar testing conditions, the authors noted. These ordered nanoparticles provide a new direction for catalyst performance optimization for next-generation fuel cells, they suggested.
Cobalt/cobalt oxide/graphene catalyst shows comparable activity and better stability as fuel cell catalyst than platinum
October 17, 2012
|Left: CoO shell is shown in green, Co core in black. Right: Nanoparticles of cobalt attach themselves to a graphene substrate in a single layer. Credit: Sun Lab/Brown University. Click to enlarge.|
Chemists at Brown University have engineered a cobalt/cobalt oxide/graphene catalyst for the oxygen reduction reaction in fuel cells that shows comparative activity and better stability than a commercial platinum nanoparticle catalyst supported on carbon (C–Pt). Their report appears in the journal Angewandte Chemie International Edition.
The team led by Shouheng Sun and his students used a solution-phase self-assembly approach to produce Co/CoO core/shell nanoparticles deposited on graphene (G–Co/CoO NPs). They found that the catalytic activity for the oxygen reduction reaction in O2-saturated KOH solution depends on the thickness of the CoO shell.
Hydrogenics awarded US$90+ million contract for integrated fuel cell power propulsion systems for OEM; largest single order yet
October 05, 2012
Hydrogenics Corporation has been awarded the largest single order in its company history by a major OEM. Secured by Hydrogenics’ Power Systems division, based in Toronto, Canada, the follow-on contract includes a firm-fixed-price exclusive design and manufacture contract valued at more than US$36 million.
Over the next 3 years, Hydrogenics will supply propulsion system equipment including integrated fuel cell power systems, power electronic converters, associated hardware and propulsion system software. The contract includes additional equipment commitments of US$13 million as well as optional equipment and services totaling another US $43 million over a 10-year period. These options will be triggered as required for production, spare parts, warranty, and service requirements.
Researchers use PEM fuel cell reactor to convert biomass-derived acetone into isopropanol; new biomass to fuels pathway
October 03, 2012
A team from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, University of Massachusetts-Amherst and Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology of South Korea has demonstrated the feasibility of using proton-exchange-membrane (PEM) reactors electrocatalytically to reduce biomass-derived oxygenates into renewable fuels and chemicals.
George Huber, UW-Madison professor of chemical and biological engineering, and his collaborators used a PEM fuel cell reactor to reduce the model biomass compound acetone into isopropanol— a chemical compound with a wide variety of pharmaceutical and industrial applications, including as a gasoline additive—on an unsupported platinum cathode. The advance paves the way for researchers to convert biomass molecules such as glucose into hexanes, which are significant components of gasoline currently derived by refining crude oil.
UK Carbon Trust report says fuel cell vehicles could take more than 30% of mid-sized car market by 2050
September 30, 2012
|Ranges of automotive fuel cell system costs at mass manufactured volume using technology from three UK companies supported by the Carbon Trust. Source: Carbon Trust. Click to enlarge.|
A new report released by the UK’s Carbon Trust concludes that with a continued focus on technology innovation to drive ongoing cost reductions, fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) could take over 30% of the mid-sized car market by 2050.
The report is specifically focused on the potential for technology from select UK companies to enable a disruptive step-change in fuel cell cost reduction to accelerate consumer uptake, leading to approximately double the number of fuel cell cars on the road globally by 2030 versus current expectations. Some of the technologies could be applied in FCEVs as early as 2020, according to the report.
Hyundai to begin production of ix35 Fuel Cell vehicle in December; targeting 1,000 units by 2015
September 27, 2012
|ix35 Fuel Cell. Click to enlarge.|
In December 2012, Hyundai will begin production of the ix35 Fuel Cell crossover vehicle at its Ulsan manufacturing facility in Korea, with a target of building up to 1,000 vehicles by 2015. Hyundai called the ix35 Fuel Cell its “halo vehicle” in the Blue Drive sub-brand, the badge worn by Hyundai’s cleanest vehicles, including Sonata Hybrid, i20 Blue Drive and BlueOn, Hyundai’s battery-powered i10.
Hyundai has already signed contracts with cities in Denmark and Sweden to lease the ix35 Fuel Cell to municipal fleets. Beyond 2015, Hyundai plans limited mass production of the ix35 Fuel Cell, with a goal of 10,000 units; Hyundai will also introduce the vehicle in Korea and California.
Toyota provides update on status of green car technology, future plans; 21 new hybrid models, new gasoline and diesel engines, transmissions, EV and fuel cell stack
September 25, 2012
|The new EQ EV offers power consumption of 104 Wh/km. Li-ion batteries are from Panasonic. Click to enlarge.|
In Japan, Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) outlined the progress of development of its green technologies as well as its vehicle deployment plans through 2015. Overall, the company says, it intends to continue to work to conserve energy by improving fuel efficiency and reducing emissions, and by diversifying fuel sources by encouraging the use of electricity, hydrogen and other alternative energies.
TMC plans to launch 21 new hybrid vehicles models—consisting of additional (new) models and fully redesigned existing models—from now until the end of 2015. In the area of energy conservation, TMC has developed a new gasoline engine that achieves a maximum 38.5% thermal efficiency for application in hybrids; a high-performance clean diesel engine and a high efficiency transmission. Toyota’s EQ EV will deliver electric power consumption of 104 Wh/km.
Honda to offer three hybrid systems; new fuel cell vehicles for US, Japan, Europe in 2015
September 21, 2012
Honda Motor Co. CEO, Takanobu Ito, outlined the product, technology and business developments and direction planned to drive Honda’s growth by fiscal year 2017; among these are a plan to introduce three hybrid systems, Ito said. Each system will possess unique characteristics and their deployment will reflect varying customer needs.
First, Honda will further develop its lightweight and compact one-motor hybrid system (IMA) with the aim of achieving leading fuel economy among all hybrid vehicles. Improvements in motor output and battery performance, coupled with a newly developed transmission will help to extend the zero emission electric driving range.
Nissan to unveil new fuel cell SUV concept at Paris Motor Show with 3-motor 4x4 powertrain; leveraging LEAF and PIVO
September 12, 2012
|Nissan TeRRA SUV concept. Click to enlarge.|
Nissan will unveil the Nissan TeRRA SUV fuel cell electric vehicle concept at the 2012 Paris Motor Show on 27 September. TeRRA, with a 3-motor, 4x4 powertrain, builds on Nissan’s success with what it calls “urban-relevant” SUVs and crossovers such as the Murano and Qashqai.
Powering the front wheels is the electric propulsion system currently featured in the battery-electric Nissan LEAF. In each back wheel, providing all-wheel power as needed, is an in-wheel electric motor, based on the working prototypes featured in three successive PIVO concepts. (Earlier post.)
Shipping industry eyeing hydrogen fuel cells as possible pathway to emissions reduction; work by Germanischer Lloyd and DNV
September 07, 2012
|Germanischer Lloyd’s concept hydrogen-fuel cell container feeder vessel is fueled by liquid hydrogen. Source: GL. Click to enlarge.|
Although technical and operational efficiency improvements in conventional propulsion systems may lower CO2 emissions from ships by as much as 20% across the global fleet, such marked gains in efficiency will not stop the steady increase of total emissions from shipping or meet the ambitious reduction targets of the future. One possible pathway being explored by the shipping industry is the use of hydrogen fuel cells.
At a presentation at the GMEC (Global Maritime Environmental Congress) held earlier this month in Hamburg, Dr. Pierre Sames, Germanischer Lloyd’s Head of Research and Rule Development, examined the potential use of fuel cells in shipping, the use of renewable energy to produce hydrogen for use as fuel, the economics of the technology and looked at two concept designs for fuel-cell driven, hydrogen-fueled vessels.
Researchers develop efficient fuel cell PROX catalyst with help of advanced imaging technologies
September 02, 2012
|Catalyst structural evolution and reaction/deactivation mechanism. Credit: ACS, Li et al. Click to enlarge.|
Researchers at Singapore’s A*STAR (Agency for Science, Technology and Research) have developed an efficient catalyst for the preferential oxidation (PROX) of CO in hydrogen gas for PEM fuel cells, such as those applied in fuel cell vehicles.
In their work, they used advanced imaging technologies—high-resolution transmission electron microscopy (HR-TEM) and three-dimensional electron tomography—to identify subtle, atomic-scale structural transformations that can activate and de-activate gold nanoparticle catalysts, a finding that may lead to longer-lasting hydrogen fuel cells. A paper on the work was published in the journal ACS Catalysis.
Carbon Trust awards £2M to ACAL Energy and ITM Power to support major reduction in cost of automotive fuel cell systems
The UK’s Carbon Trust recently awarded £1.95 million (US$3.09 million) to two UK fuel cell companies—ACAL Energy and ITM Power—to help deliver a step change reduction in the cost of the technology to about $35/kW. The two investments come from the Carbon Trust’s Polymer Fuel Cells Challenge (PFCC) which was launched in 2009 to support the Department for Energy and Climate Change’s objectives to develop lower cost fuel cells and follows this year’s launch of the Government’s UKH2Mobility project. (Earlier post.)
Production of advanced automotive fuel cell systems currently under development globally are forecast to cost approximately $50/kW at mass manufacture volumes. However, analysis by the Carbon Trust indicates that for future fuel cell vehicles to compete with internal combustion engine cars, the cost of fuel cell systems must be reduced to about $35/kW. Significant additional technological breakthroughs are needed to achieve this target of a 30% cost reduction.
Toyota developing external power supply system and V2H for fuel cell buses
August 31, 2012
|FC Bus Power Supply System and the V2H System. Click to enlarge.|
Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) has developed an external power supply system that uses electricity generated within a fuel cell bus (FC bus) to supply electrical power to devices such as home electrical appliances. An FC bus—based on the FCHV-BUS (Fuel cell hybrid vehicle-bus)—equipped with the new power supply system has two electrical outlets (AC 100 V, 1.5 kW) inside the cabin that can supply a maximum output of 3 kW and potentially power home appliances continuously for more than 100 hours.
As part of the emergency power-supply training section of the disaster-control training to be conducted by Aichi Prefecture and Toyota City on 2 September, the system is to power approximately 20 information display monitors inside a disaster control headquarters tent.
India adopts National Electric Mobility Mission Plan 2020; 6-7M electrified vehicles by 2020, total investment up to $4.1B
August 30, 2012
India’s National Council for Electric Mobility (NCEM) has adopted the National Electric Mobility Mission Plan 2020 (NEMMP 2020), which is the mission document for National Mission for Electric Mobility (NMEM). The NEMMP 2020 lays the vision, sets the targets and provides the roadmap for achieving significant penetration of electric vehicles (including hybrids) in India by 2020.
The NEMMP 2020 has set a target of 6-7 million units of new vehicle sales of full range of electrified vehicles, along with resultant savings of liquid fuel of 2.2 – 2.5 million tonnes to be achieved in 2020. This will also result in substantial lowering of vehicular emissions and a decrease in carbon dioxide emissions by 1.3% to 1.5% in 2020 as compared to a status quo scenario.
IBN researchers develop new gold-copper-platinum core-shell electrocatalyst for fuel cells
August 24, 2012
|An illustration of the new IBN nanocomposite material which is composed of gold-copper alloy atoms in the core and platinum atoms at the outer layer. Source: IBN. Click to enlarge.|
Researchers at the Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (IBN) in Singapore report the synthesis of core–shell AuCu@Pt nanoparticles exhibiting superior electrocatalytic activity and excellent stability towards the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) in fuel cells. A paper on their work appears in the RSC journal Energy and Environmental Science.
A general challenge in fuel cell development involves improving the durability and electrocatalytic activity of platinum-based electrocatalysts, while reducing the loading of the expensive metal. Professor Jackie Y. Ying and colleagues discovered that by replacing the central part of the catalyst with gold and copper alloy and leaving just the outer layer in platinum, the new hybrid material can provide 5 times higher activity and much greater stability than the commercial platinum catalyst. With further optimization, it would be possible to further increase the material’s catalytic properties, they said.
Pike forecasts 26.4% CAGR for electric-drive buses to 2018; hybrid, battery-electric and fuel cell
August 20, 2012
Pike Research forecasts that the global market for all electric-drive buses—including hybrid, battery electric, and fuel cell buses—grow steadily over the next 6 years, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 26.4% from 2012 to 2018.
In a new report, “Electric Drive Buses”, Pike finds that China market will constitute the majority of global electric drive bus sales, while some of the more developed markets will see fluctuations in electric bus uptake. This latter development is due as much to the fact that developed bus markets may experience a general slowdown, due to austerity measures and the end of stimulus funding, as to any changes in demand for electric drive buses.
SLAC-Stanford study suggests that tailored 3D nanostructures can enhance activity and stability of fuel cell catalysts
August 18, 2012
A study by researchers from two SLAC-Stanford joint institutes—the Stanford Institute for Materials and Energy Sciences (SIMES) and the SUNCAT Center for Interface Science and Catalysis—has found that engineering fuel cell catalysts with tailored 3D nanostructures—with increased occurrence of the most active sites—could strongly enhance catalyst stability and activity.
The results argue for adding three-dimensional nanostructuring as an additional catalyst design criterion and so provide insight into novel approaches to catalyst design that could result in less expensive catalysts for fuel cells. A paper on their work was recently published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society.
Scotland greenlights £3.3M for clean energy hub with 10 hydrogen buses in first phase
August 15, 2012
Scotland’s First Minister Alex Salmond gave the green light for a pioneering clean energy hub in Scotland, including Europe’s largest hydrogen bus fleet, as he announced funding of up to £3.3 million (US$5.2 million) for the EU-backed project.
The Scottish Government and Scottish Enterprise funding will enable Aberdeen City Council, supported by Aberdeen Renewable Energy Group, to start the project’s first phase with an order for 10 hydrogen fuel-cell buses. They will be operated on First and Stagecoach bus routes in the city by early 2014 and refueled at Scotland’s first large hydrogen refueling station, which will also be able to refuel hydrogen-powered passenger cars, as they become available.
New direct borohydride fuel cell increases peak power density by factor of 1.7–3.7
August 10, 2012
|Schematic diagram of a direct borohydride fuel cell employing oxygen, air or hydrogen peroxide as oxidant. Source: Ma et al. (2010) Click to enlarge.|
Researchers at Xi’an Jiaotong University in China have developed a new direct borohydride fuel cell (DBFC) that shows a peak power density of 663 mW·cm-2 at 65 °C (149 °F)—an increase in power density by a factor of 1.7 to 3.7 compared to classic DBFCs.
The new DBFC uses a polymer fiber membrane (PFM) rather than a polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM); metal oxides, such as LaNiO3 and MnO2 as cathode catalysts; and CoO as the anode catalyst. This fuel cell structure can also be extended to other liquid fuel cells, such as direct methanol fuel cells (DMFCs), according to the team’s paper in Scientific Reports, an open access research publication from the publishers of Nature.
CaFCP report concludes California needs 68 hydrogen fueling stations by end of 2015 to support first commercial wave of fuel cell vehicles
August 08, 2012
|Map of 68 hydrogen fueling stations: existing, in development and needed. Source: CaFCP. Click to enlarge.|
To support the planned commercial launch of fuel cell electric vehicles by automakers in 2015 (FCEVs), California needs 68 hydrogen fueling stations in five clusters in which most early adopters are expected, according to a new report issued by the California Fuel Cell Partnership (CaFCP). These 68 stations should be in place by the end of 2015 in order to serve adequately the first approximately 20,000 FCEVs, the report finds.
The total cost to expand to 68 stations, and provide operations and maintenance support until the stations become profitable is estimated at $65 million. The initial cluster areas—requiring 45 stations—are Berkeley, San Francisco South Bay, Santa Monica/West Los Angeles, coastal Southern Orange County, and Torrance. An additional 23 stations in areas such as Pasadena and Sacramento will connect these clusters into a regional network and include major destinations such as Napa, Santa Barbara and San Diego.
NPC report to Energy Secretary finds light-, medium- and heavy-duty vehicles could reduce per-mile GHG at least 40% by 2050; additional strategies required for further reductions
August 02, 2012
|Projected range of impact of demand, fuel efficiency improvements, and alternative fuel-vehicle systems on light-duty fleet GHG emissions. Source: NPC. Click to enlarge.|
Transportation in the United States could evolve at an accelerated rate, depending on the speed of technology advancements and the economic viability of alternative fuels and vehicles, according to a comprehensive report approved and presented to the Secretary of Energy by the National Petroleum Council (NPC). However, sustained and focused efforts by industry and government are essential for progress to continue and accelerate.
Among the findings of the two-year study are that—if technology hurdles and infrastructure challenges can be overcome—economically competitive low-carbon fuels and improvements in fuel economy will result in substantial reductions in GHG emissions. On a stand-alone basis, all light-, medium-, and heavy-duty vehicles have the potential to reduce per-mile GHG emissions by at least 40% in 2050, relative to 2005 average fleet levels. However, projected 2050 transportation demand, relative to 2005, counteracts per-mile GHG reductions.
US Navy awards FuelCell Energy $3.8M Phase I contract for Hybrid SOFC-Battery system for Large Displacement Unmanned Underwater Vehicle
July 26, 2012
|The Navy program seeks to enable the operation of pier-launched UUVs in littorals for 70+ days. Source: US Navy. Click to enlarge.|
The US Navy has awarded FuelCell Energy, Inc. a $3.8-million Phase I contract to develop and test a Hybrid Solid Oxide Fuel Cell (SOFC)-Battery power system for large displacement undersea vehicle propulsion. The objective of the project is to develop a refuelable power system, with high energy density, that is suitable for undertaking long duration underwater missions of unmanned submersibles.
The Hybrid SOFC-Battery system will be capable of generating 1,800 kWh of electricity during a 70-day mission with no exhaust discharged outside of the vehicle at any time. It will use liquid fuel and be self-contained with no reliance on external air.
Preliminary cost analysis finds ITM Power fuel cell membranes could reduce automotive fuel cell costs to $35/kW
July 22, 2012
|Cost reduction potential of a polymer fuel cell system using an ITM Power membrane. Source: Carbon Trust. Click to enlarge.|
The preliminary results of an independent assessment commissioned by the UK’s Carbon Trust of ITM Power’s fuel cell membrane performance indicates that ITM Power’s membrane technology has the potential, assuming that the significant technological hurdles can be overcome, to reduce fuel cell costs to US$35/kW in manufactured quantities of 500,000 units per year.
This is based primarily upon the demonstrated high power density performance and assumed catalyst loading reductions. Such demonstrations and assumptions were based on information and data provided by ITM Power. ITM Power has published figures showing what it believes is the highest ever polymer fuel cell power density using hydrogen as the fuel and ordinary air, rather than pure oxygen. (Earlier post.)
DOE releases final report from 6-year national fuel cell vehicle demo; key targets met, with twice the efficiency of today’s gasoline vehicles
July 18, 2012
The US Department of Energy (DOE) released the final report from its National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) for a technology validation project that collected data from more than 180 fuel cell electric vehicles over six years (early 2005 through September 2011). These vehicles made more than 500,000 trips and traveled 3.6 million miles, completing more than 33,000 fill-ups at hydrogen fueling stations across the country.
The project—the Controlled Hydrogen Fleet and Infrastructure Validation and Demonstration Project, also referred to as the National Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle (FCEV) Learning Demonstration—met its key technical targets, the NREL report said. NREL also found that these early fuel cell vehicles achieved more than twice the efficiency of today’s gasoline vehicles.
DOE releases new database of cost and performance estimates for electric generation, advanced vehicle, and renewable fuel technologies
July 16, 2012
|TCDB plot of projected total cost of battery-electric vehicles to manufacturers. Click to enlarge.|
The US Department of Energy (DOE) has released a new public database featuring cost and performance estimates for electric generation, advanced vehicle, and renewable fuel technologies. The Transparent Cost Database (TCDB) provides technology cost estimates for companies, utilities, policy makers, consumers, and academics, and can be used to benchmark company costs, model energy scenarios, and inform research and development decisions.
The database, developed by the DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) with funding from the DOE of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, makes it much easier to view the range of estimates for what energy technologies, such as a utility-scale wind farm, rooftop solar installation, biofuel production plant, or an electric vehicle, might cost today or in the future.
China publishes plan to boost fuel-efficient and new energy vehicles and domestic auto industry; targeting 500K PHEVs and EVs in 2015, rising to 2M by 2020
July 09, 2012
China’s State Council has published a plan to develop the domestic energy-saving and new energy vehicle industry, which includes battery-electric vehicles, plug-in hybrid vehicles and fuel cell vehicles. The central government’s plan, posted on its website, is targeting the production of 500,000 plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles by 2015, with output to grow to 2 million units of those types by 2020. China is targeting the cumulative production and sales of more than 5 million new energy vehicles, including fuel cell vehicles, by that time as well.
China has made progress with automotive energy-saving technologies over the past 10 years through implementing passenger car fuel consumption limits and the use of fiscal policy to encourage the purchase of small cars, the government statement noted. This progress includes advanced internal combustion engines; efficient transmissions; lightweight materials; and hybrid and other energy-saving technologies. Natural gas and other alternative fuel vehicle technology is basically mature, the government said, and is headed toward initial industrialization. However, generally speaking, the government continued, China has not achieved a breakthrough with new energy automobiles and core components of the key technologies.
Researchers develop optimized electrospray technique for ultra-low platinum loading in fuel cells with high performance
July 03, 2012
|The electrospray (top) and the deposited nanostructure (bottom). Source: UNED. Click to enlarge.|
A group of researchers from UNED (National Distance Education University) in Spain reports developing an optimized electrospray method for manufacturing the membrane electrode assembly (MEA) in PEM fuel cells with ultra-low platinum loadings that exceed US Department of Energy (DOE) targets.
Optimization of the control parameters result in electrosprayed layers with nanostructured fractal morphologies with dendrites formed by clusters (about 100 nm diameter) of a few single catalyst particles rendering a large exposure surface of the catalyst.
German ELAB study finds growth of alternative drivetrains to increase employment opportunities in auto industry
July 02, 2012
The growing share of alternative drive trains in the automotive industry offers opportunities for jobs in the automotive sector, according to the “ELAB” study, the first broad-based, practice-oriented analysis of the effects of technological change on employment in the automotive industry. “ELAB” stands for “Auswirkungen der Elektrifizierung des Antriebsstrangs auf Beschäftigung und Standortumgebung”, German for “effects of the powertrain electrification on employment and the business environment”.
The research project was initiated by the General Works Council of Daimler AG and started in December 2010 together with Daimler, IG Metall Baden-Württemberg (Industrial Union of Metal Workers) and the Hans Böckler Foundation. The Fraunhofer IAO, the IMU Institute and the Institute for Vehicle Concepts of the German Aerospace Center were commissioned with the research.
BMW and Toyota expanding cooperation: fuel cells, sports car, powertrain electrification and lightweight technologies
June 29, 2012
Expanding their existing cooperation agreement signed in December 2011 (earlier post), Toyota Motor Corporation and the BMW Group signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) aimed at long-term strategic collaboration in four fields: joint development of a fuel cell system; joint development of architecture and components for a future sports vehicle; collaboration on powertrain electrification; and joint research and development on lightweight technologies. (Earlier post.)
Akio Toyoda, President of Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC), met with Norbert Reithofer, Chairman of the Board of Management of BMW AG, at BMW Group headquarters in Munich for the signing. They also signed a Joint Statement to reconfirm their companies’ shared intention to strengthen the long-term, strategic collaboration between them.
Reports: Toyota and BMW to expand partnership on fuel-efficient vehicles, with Toyota providing hybrid and fuel cell technology to BMW
June 25, 2012
The Nikkei reported that Toyota Motor Corp. and BMW will expand their partnership, one aspect of which will be Toyota providing hybrid systems and fuel cell technology to BMW. Kyodo News also reported the same, attributing it to “Toyota sources”. The Nikkei report followed a story in German newsmagazine Der Spiegel on the likelihood of an expanded partnership between the two companies.
The Nikkei reported that Toyota President Akio Toyoda and BMW Chief Executive Officer Norbert Reithofer will make an announcement this week. In December 2011, the two companies had agreed to a mid-to-long-term collaboration on next-generation environment-friendly technologies including Li-ion batteries. (Earlier post.) In March 2012, the two signed an agreement on collaborative research in the field of next-generation lithium-ion battery cells and begun the work. (Earlier post.)