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13 Japanese automakers and energy companies join forces to support rollout of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles in 2015

Japanfcv
Planned hydrogen infrastructure, with four major metro areas linked. Click to enlarge.

A coalition of 13 major Japanese automakers and energy companies—including Toyota, Honda and Nissan—are joining together to expand the introduction of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles (FCVs) in 2015 and develop the hydrogen supply network throughout Japan. The two groups are looking to the government to join them in forming various strategies to support their joint efforts and to gain greater public acceptance of the technology.

As a specific initiative in the immediate future, the companies plan to approach local governments and other concerned parties to discuss strategies for creating initial consumer demand for FCVs and for the optimal placement of hydrogen fueling stations, targeting Japan's four major metropolitan areas (Tokyo, Nagoya, Osaka and Fukuoka).

Companies in the coalition include: Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC); Nissan Motor Company, Ltd.; Honda Motor Company, Ltd.; JX Nippon Oil & Energy Corporation; Idemitsu Kosan Company, Ltd.; Iwatani Corporation; Osaka Gas Company, Ltd.; Cosmo Oil Company, Ltd.; Saibu Gas Company, Ltd.; Showa Shell Sekiyu K.K.; Taiyo Nippon Sanso Corporation; Tokyo Gas Company, Ltd.; and Toho Gas, Company, Ltd.

As development of fuel-cell systems progresses, Japanese automakers are continuing drastically to reduce the cost of manufacturing such systems and are aiming to launch FCVs in the Japanese market—mainly in the country’s four largest cities—in 2015. The automobile industry hopes to popularize the use of FCVs after their initial introduction as a way of tackling energy and environmental issues.

Hydrogen fuel suppliers are aiming to construct approximately 100 hydrogen fueling stations by 2015, based on the number of FCVs expected to initially enter the market, to ensure a smooth launch and to create initial market.

Comments

wintermane2000

Electruk.. Exactly how big do you think fuel cell stacks are these days?

The gm fuel cell stack COMBINED with the motor is the size of a 4 cyclinder engine and fits just fine in any small car engine bay.

The fuel tanks while not as small as a gas tank are small enough to fit where a tank should fit.

Now is 143 hp/100 kw not enough power for a mid sized car? I duno.. dont care either as they will get alot better in 10 years.

I fully expect by this time in 2020 we will see fuel cell stacks able to fit in a prius that can belt out 500 hp.. thats power.

Darius

DaveD

You are right. R&D is translated as "development with no risk of implementation". I have feeling that if would be minimum risk of this project to be implemented this concortium would never be founded.

Reel$$

However, car companies build cars that wear out soonest. The car driven less, lasts years longer. It's called Planned Obsolescence.

Sorry. Is it suddenly 1975 again??

Lucas

We have been batting about H2 for many years here. There are several really smart guys that are still convinced that is the way to go. So did most of us at one time.

As we learned more, many of us decided that Hydrogen was not a practical transportation fuel. That awareness is out there. Do your homework and see which side you come down on.

Lucas

See what has been said while we were "Debating Hydrogen".

The more I learn about hydrogen technology the more I'm convinced that it is a dead end. There are simply too many non-trivial pitfalls regarding the thermodynamics, economics, and engineering to make this technology the winner in the race to become petroleum independent. I think we are more likely to see a steady (hopefully rapid!) evolution of the gas/electric hybrid into an electric/gas hybrid and finally into a "pure" electric vehicle as battery and motor technology improve.

Posted by: doubleindemnity | August 05, 2005 at 08:29 PM

Davemart

Lucas,
God, you really have a high opinion of yourself, don't you? You are impertinent, and are absolutely uninformed about what level of knowledge of hydrogen and battery usage I might or might not have.
Your ill-advised presumption will persuade many that your views on hydrogen use in cars may be equally ill-advised.
Since you persist in rude and arrogant address, I have not interest in your opinions on that matter or any other.

Arnold

I won't be investing in fuel cells although they seem a good future prospect, I wont be investing in H2 production although that seems a good option, I can't see the day when I'll be having to choose between a battery EV and a fuel cell car - I'm too old and wisend to believe in the tooth fairy.
I wont be Investing( gambling ) on anything really as my budjet barely stretches to the neccesities in life and I don't gamble or buy lottery tickets anyway.
I can barely think of a more boring behaviour or pastime. Some might say I'm very boring and If they did, we would hold some common ground.
I just wouldn't infer that they weren't.

Now I can see myself having to make bev phEV choices as I'm still younger than a good percentage of some sections of skilled workforces and I am will know a good and affordable battery mobile that will suit my needs possibly sooner than I think.

I find that prospect exciting and tangible.

Fuel cells? I dont think that many of us will have to make decisions around that dream.
Though.

Things could always change overnight.

Lucas

impertinent?

Talk about my overblown ego !!!

I built my first BEV with an onboard genset 39 years ago. Some would be well advised to listen to a 79 year old wise man.

Seven years ago I came up with a drivetrain and offered it free to anyone who wanted it. They are building versions of it in India now. GM and Ford are nibbling around on some of it. Mitsubisi built a concept car incooperating much of it for the auto shows in 2005.

If you want to see some early versions, Google William Lucas Jones Hybrid. (I've since solved the unsprung ((wheel)) weight problem.)

Account Deleted

That must be a great invention in the field of technology,it will also fruitful for the issue of global warming..

http://www.lowmileageengines.com

Reel$$

NOTE to Editors: Poster "Jack" is a SPAM Troll for: Low Mileage Engines, LLC. 2007-2010

clett

States, governments, companies and consumers are all moving towards reducing their energy use and CO2 emissions, if not for politial or environmental reasons then for financial ones.

This is why hydrogen as a road fuel will not take off.

JRP3

It's quite obvious who is behind the push for HFCV's and why we should all soundly reject the concept, even if you think for some reason the physics make any sense at all. We finally have a chance to break away from complex vehicles that need fairly frequent repair and a monolithic refueling infrastructure controlled by the powerful few. EV's are simple, reliable, and can be refueled efficiently from a variety of resources that are not under the control of any one group. HFCV's offer no advantage over that, and EV's are ready to roll right now.

Engineer-Poet

Quoth Davemart:

If you take the way hydrogen is actually currently made, by reforming natural gas, then a current car, the FCX is in the same ball park for efficiency as the battery car.
In other words, hydrogen favors the fossil-fuel industry and disadvantages wind, PV, hydro and nuclear. We've known this for years.

If we're not going to get much more out of a million BTU of NG if we turn it into hydrogen or not, we might as well save ourselves the effort. If we can get several times as much out of a kWh of electricity if we use it direct instead of futzing with chemical conversions like hydrogen, we should also save ourselves the effort. Only the fossil industry benefits from hydrogen; it tilts the table in their favor.

Lucas: The search you suggest has almost 100% link-rot. Post something more definite.

Lucas

EP - I have no idea what "link-rot" means.

I do have this one:

http://ergosphere.blogspot.com/2005/07/why-hydrogen-is-no-route-to-renewables.html

wintermane2000

2005 ya thats up to date... not.

They already have working and rather well working fuel cell cars on the road now. Yes as they are early in production the costs are high.. but thats the easy part getting the prices down. They already have what they need to get the ball rolling.

joewilder

This is very interesting. I'm happy to hear so many companies are working together to find a solution to solve the problems associated with the limits of fossil fuels, pollution and global warming. It must be difficult to guess the best places to invest in this time of rapidly advancing technologies; super capacitors, battery chemistry, and fuel cells. What is going to win? Only time will tell.

HarveyD

Batteries with supercaps capabilities and/or visa versa will be the winning technology by 2020 or so.

Since it is so simple and so efficient, many speculators/lobbies will do their best to block or slow their development and lower cost mass production. Those people will try to convince the majority (it will not be too difficult) that our old fashion, inefficient, polluting ICE vehicles are essential to remain the leading nation. Those interested groups have managed to kill vehicles electrification before. Will they manage to do it again?

Mannstein

With electric cars it's the range stupid!

Mannstein

The Japanese consumer will be driving FC cars while we will still be arguing about why these cars can't possibly be viable.

Sirkulat

Future vehicle technology must lead to driving less. The plug-in feature, whether all-battery/electric or hybrid/electric or fuel cell/electric, is fundamental. Households must gain the choice whether to drive or cut utility bills. As average driving distances shrink, more trips can be made without having to drive. Walking, bicycling and mass transit, all more energy efficient than any car, become viable and practical.

Plug-in hybrid has the most potential to achieve this goal and offers benefits the other technologies cannot, such as, if the grid were to fail, an ICE using any available fuel, can maintain an emergency household energy supply. Furthermore, battery/electric and fuel cell vehicle technologies are more attuned to maintaining our current levels of driving and the driving lifestyle which inherently grows beyond both road capacity and sustainability.

Engineer-Poet

Lucas, I mean links to info about your hybrids.

Winterlame, this may be a surprise to you, but chemistry hasn't changed since 2005.

HarveyD

Electrified cars still need a range extender (small ICE genset or FC) for highway driving for another 10 years or so. After 2020, advanced lower cost batteries will do the job and range extenders will be restricted for special applications such as large trucks-buses and locomotives.

Even by 2015, 300+ Km BEVs with be common place and smart people will buy them by the millions.

JRP3

HarveyD, I'm not sure what advantage supercaps add to batteries, especially as batteries continue to get better. They won't help with energy density, and batteries already have enough power density. EV's aren't slow. Caps can buffer the short high power demands of hard acceleration and regen, but the batteries can already handle that and some chemistries already have 2000+ cycle capability, which is 200,000 miles in a 200 mile EV. I'm not sure taking up battery space with caps will ever make sense.

wintermane2000

ep the fuel cell changed the fuel tank changed even the h2 generators changed.

Old model h2 gen systems created maybe .1 kg a day.. then they made ones that could make 1 kg.. They now have models that can make far more h2 and cost less.. cost of the h2 generator was a major factor in h2 cost for h2 via electricity.

Also between then and now pipeline tech improved and so did trucking tech also major factors in h2 costs.

Also in that time frame the h2 pipeline network grew massively and is begining to tie in entire regions of the country.

also in the last 5 years they went from lab model fuel cell stacks to production model stacks... and the results have been amazing.

Dont forget amoung the fuel cell cars we are likely to see 2015-2020 will be alot of cars with 10 plus kg tanks.. thats equivalent to a 250kwh pack. We might even see some with 20 kg tanks.

There is a market batteries cant fill and its a very profitable market.

Davemart

EP:
The advantage of using fuel cells is that you still have an all-electric car, not a complicated ICE EV hybrid, as Nissan note, being agnostic on the subject and simply concentrating on producing an electric drivetrain, which they will then power by batteries or fuel cells as the application demands.
To me, a BEV would ideally have perhaps 100kwh to get decent range.
I would rather simply use around 12kwh and use a fuel cell for extended range, as Peugeot show in their 307 convertible
demonstrator:
http://www.greencarcongress.com/2009/12/fisypac-20091208.html#more

Most miles travelled will still be on batteries, but if you are on a run then you can do it whilst still driving a quiet and comfortable electric vehicle, and without hauling around lots of excess batteries.
Under that sort of use the supposed lower efficiency of even hydrogen produced by electrolysis becomes relatively unimportant, and in any case the capabilities of the car is radically enhanced.
I'd prefer a high temperature fuel cell or on board reforming, but hydrogen would do the job if necessary.
I certainly do not see fuel cells as an alternative to batteries, but as a supplement.
Batteries are fine, but are not a one-stop solution.

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