[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.]
Toyota begins testing optimized urban transport system
October 01, 2012
|Ha:mo Ride EV-sharing station. Click to enlarge.|
Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC), in cooperation with the Toyota City municipal government, transportation companies and others, began testing of an optimized urban transportation system called “Ha:mo” (“harmonious mobility”). The system will select optimal means of transport for users based on the operational status of public transport systems and traffic conditions.
Vehicle-sharing stations are to be installed at four locations within Toyota City, providing a car-sharing service using COMS (“Chotto Odekake Machimade Suisui”, or “smooth, short rides into town”) ultra-compact single-occupant electric vehicles (EVs) manufactured by Toyota Auto Body Co., Ltd. (Earlier post.)
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.
Mazda to lease approx. 100 units of Demio EV (Mazda2) in Japan from October; coil-switching system in motor
July 06, 2012
|Demio EV. Click to enlarge.|
Mazda Motor Corporation will begin leasing the Demio EV in October 2012. The Demio EV is an independently developed electric vehicle based on the Mazda Demio (known outside of Japan as Mazda2). Mazda intends to lease approximately 100 units in total, mainly to local governments and corporate customers in the Chugoku region of Western Japan (where Mazda’s headquarters are located).
The Demio EV features a 20 kWh, 346 V Li-ion battery pack and Mazda coil-switching electric motor with maximum output of 75 kW from 5,200 to 12,000 rpm and maximum torque of 150 N·m (111 lb-ft) from 0–2800 rpm. Driving range is up to 200 kilometers (124 miles) on the JC08 mode test cycle, as measured by Mazda.
Nissan launches new luxury Cima in Japan with one-motor two-clutch hybrid system
April 25, 2012
|Nissan Cima. Click to enlarge.|
Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. has launched the fifth-generation of its luxury sedan the Nissan Cima, equipped with Nissan’s one-motor two-clutch parallel hybrid system. (Earlier post.) The Cima also features, among its other technologies, the first application of sound-absorbing tires on a Nissan vehicle. The Cima goes on sale 21 May at Nissan dealers nationwide in Japan.
The new Cima achieves both a 20% improvement in fuel economy (JC08 mode) over 2015 standards and SU-LEV certification, emitting 75% fewer exhaust emissions than 2005 standards. This also qualifies the vehicle for preferential tax breaks under the Japanese “tax system to promote the diffusion of environmentally friendly vehicles” as next generation automobiles, thereby fully exempting it from the automobile acquisition tax and automobile weight tax.
Mazda begins production of Mazda CX-5 with SKYACTIV-D diesel engine; Japan and Europe first markets
January 26, 2012
|The CX-5. Click to enlarge.|
Mazda Motor Corporation has begun production of the all-new Mazda CX-5 with its new-generation SKYACTIV-D 2.2-liter diesel engine (earlier post) at its Ujina Plant near Mazda’s headquarters in Hiroshima. The CX-5 will be the first model of the company’s new-generation products that adopts SKYACTIV Technology throughout the vehicle (earlier post), in the powertrain, body and chassis, while fully embracing Mazda’s new design theme, “KODO - Soul of Motion.”
Mazda will start introducing the Mazda CX-5 this spring in Japan and Europe, followed by other markets around the world. The debut of the CX-5 with a diesel engine marks a new push on clean diesels in Japan market for Mazda. (Earlier post.)
INPEX and Total launch the $34B Ichthys offshore Australia LNG Project; entire 8.5 Mt/y LNG output already sold for 15 years
January 13, 2012
|Location of the Ichthys project. Source: INPEX. Click to enlarge.|
Japan-based INPEX Corporation and its joint venture partner Total have made the final investment decision (FID) for the Ichthys liquefied natural gas (LNG) project in Australia, representing an investment of US$34 billion dollars. INPEX is the operator—its first time in that role for a world-class project; Total holds a 24% interest. Ichthys will develop approximately 3 billion barrels oil equivalent of reserves, including around 500 million barrels of condensate. First production is expected at the end of 2016.
The Ichthys project consists of the development of the Ichthys gas and condensate field offshore North West Australia lying in 260 meters (853 feet) of water depth and the construction of an 889-kilometer (552-mile) gas transmission pipeline together with an onshore LNG plant near Darwin in the Northern Territory.
Toyota starts taking orders for soon-to-be-launched Prius PHV plug-in hybrid in Japan; targeting 35,000-40,000 units per year
November 29, 2011
|Prius PHV S. Click to enlarge.|
Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) has begun taking orders through Toyota dealers around Japan for the Prius PHV (plug-in hybrid). (Earlier post.) TMC will launch the vehicle in Japan on 30 January 2012. The Prius PHV will be sold by all Toyota, Toyopet, Toyota Corolla and Netz dealers in Japan; the sales target in Japan is 35,000 to 40,000 units per year.
With its new high-capacity lithium-ion battery fully charged, the Prius PHV’s EV-mode cruising range is 26.4 km (16.4 miles), and PHV fuel efficiency is 61.0 km/L (143 mpg US, 1.64 L/100km), calculated from combined EV and HV driving modes. The vehicle’s electric power consumption rate is 8.74 km/kWh. All cruising range and fuel efficiency figures here are based on the JC08 Japanese test cycle and verified by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism of Japan (MLIT).
Toyota, Honda, Mitsubishi and 6 other Japanese companies to establish organization for membership-based EV quick charging services
November 24, 2011
|Overview of Charging Network Development Organization, LLC charging service. Click to enlarge.|
Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC); Honda Motor Co., Ltd.; Mitsubishi Motors Corporation; ULVAC, Inc.; Kanematsu Corporation; Kandenko Co., Ltd.; Suzuyo Shoji Co., Ltd.; Chubu Electric Power Co., Inc.; and the Development Bank of Japan Inc. are establishing an organization to provide membership-based quick-charging services for users of electric vehicles (EVs).
The organization, named the Charging Network Development Organization, LLC, aims to encourage increased and widespread use of EVs by helping to expand the scope of charging infrastructure. As of the end of October, approximately 800 quick chargers have been installed in Japan, a number still viewed as insufficient from a users’ standpoint.
Honda to show 7 electromotive concept models at Tokyo show
November 10, 2011
|AC-X concept plug-in hybrid. Click to enlarge.|
Honda Motor Co., Ltd. will display a lineup of seven next-generation electromotive concept models at the upcoming Tokyo Motor Show, including two-, three- and four-wheeled commuter vehicles designed for future cities; mid-to-long distance commuters; and sporty models.
Further, as a part of “Smart Mobility City 2011”, a themed project the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association, Inc. (JAMA) will hold at the motor show venue, Honda will showcase the FCX Clarity advanced fuel cell electric vehicle, EV-neo electric scooter, EV-MONPAL electric cart, as well as the Honda Smart Home System which features several Honda-developed energy production technologies, including a gas engine cogeneration unit and a solar powered system to reduce household and mobility CO2 emissions. The progress Honda has been making in testing program of these technologies also will be showcased.
Honda to begin sales of refreshed Insight hybrid and new Freed hybrids in Japan; new Insight Exclusive with 1.5-liter engine joins lineup
October 27, 2011
|The Insight Exclusive. Click to enlarge.|
Honda Motor Co., Ltd. introduced the newly refreshed Insight hybrid model, accompanied by the new Insight Exclusive model featuring a 1.5-liter engine. Honda will begin sales of both hybrid models at dealerships across Japan on 11 November. Honda also will begin sales of the all-new Freed Hybrid minivan and Freed Spike Hybrid tall wagon at dealerships across Japan on 28 October. The Freed Hybrid and Freed Spike Hybrid will be Japan’s first 5-number class (i.e., compact size) minivan and tall wagon hybrid vehicles.
The monthly combined sales target for the Insight and Insight Exclusive is 1,500 units, with prices (before consumption tax) starting at ¥1,838,096 (US$24,221) for the Insight and ¥1,980,953 (US$26,103) for the Insight Exclusive. The monthly sales target for the Freed series in Japan is 10,000 units, with prices starting at ¥2,046,667 (US$26,969). Honda said that in Japan, more than one-third of registered Honda automobiles are hybrids.
Mazda to debut next-generation midsize sedan diesel concept and CX-5 SUV with SKYACTIV Technology at Tokyo Motor Show; new push on clean diesels in Japan market
October 25, 2011
|The Takeri diesel concept. Click to enlarge.|
Mazda Motor Corporation will showcase the global premiere of the Mazda Takeri next-generation midsize sedan concept car at the upcoming 42nd Tokyo Motor Show. Mazda will also hold the Japan debut of the new CX-5 crossover SUV. Both vehicles are equipped with the full array of Mazda’s SKYACTIV Technology (earlier post).
The TAKERI features the new SKYACTIV-D clean diesel engine, as well as Mazda’s idling stop system i-stop, and a new regenerative braking system. The regenerative braking system converts kinetic energy to electricity during deceleration, stores it in capacitors and then uses it to power the vehicle’s electric equipment, thereby reducing load on the engine and saving fuel.