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Isuzu, Toyota, Hino, and CJPT to promote planning and development of mass-market light-duty fuel cell electric trucks

Isuzu Motors, Toyota Motor, Hino Motors, and Commercial Japan Partnership Technologies Corporation (CJPT) will jointly plan and develop light-duty fuel cell (FC) electric trucks for the mass-market. The companies will also promote the introduction of FC electric trucks to the market along with their widespread use.

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On the road to carbon neutrality, there are various powertrains options that meet customers' demands, including HEVs, BEVs, and FCEVs, relying on the energy conditions in different countries and regions and how customers use their vehicles.

Light-duty trucks are often used for distribution in supermarkets and convenience stores that support people's daily lives. In addition to being equipped with refrigeration and freezing functions, they are required to drive long distances over extended hours to perform multiple delivery operations in one day. They must also meet requirements such as fast refueling capability.

The use of FC technology, which runs on high energy density hydrogen and has zero CO2 emissions while driving, is considered effective under such operating conditions, the partners said.

CJPT will be responsible for planning the jointly developed mass-market light-duty FC electric trucks. The four companies will mobilize their combined knowledge—the truck technology that Isuzu and Hino have accumulated over the years as well as Toyota's FC technology—in pursuit of products that meet the performance and conditions required for light-duty trucks.

It will be introduced to the market after January 2023 and used by the partners at actual distribution sites in Fukushima Prefecture and Tokyo social implementation projects.

Comments

Davemart

' In addition to being equipped with refrigeration and freezing functions, they are required to drive long distances over extended hours to perform multiple delivery operations in one day. They must also meet requirements such as fast refueling capability. '

Why hydrogen and fuel cells, not just battery electric trucks everywhere for everything, in a nutshell.

Given hydrogen refueling stations, hydrogen trucks and buses can be dropped in seamlessly for the duty runs of diesel.

And for refrigerated functions, better, as fuel cells are great at that.

Nocreditreports

Seamless drop-in except for:

1) Affordable and available hydrogen.
2) Affordable, durable and available fuel cell systems.

Davemart

@nocreditreports

Please share your data for both the issues you have on which you base your remarks.

Hydrogen stations are being rolled out right now, and can also operate on a back to base manner.

And here is Ballard on their fuel cell systems:

https://www.ballard.com/docs/default-source/spec-sheets/fcmovetm.pdf?sfvrsn=77ebc380_4

' Demonstrated through exceptional fuel cell
stack lifetime, with >25,000 hours of operation
and 97% module availability in service.'

Buying costs are higher than diesel, and further improvements in all metrics would be welcome, and are happening, but fuel cell systems are already demonstrating much lower maintenance hassles than diesel.

So what exactly do you base your dismissal on?

Every truck building company with the exception of the VW group, and they are hedging their bets, are going for hydrogen for long distance and heavy loads.

So what do you know that they don't?

With references, please.

SJC

CNG is less expensive and cleaner than gasoline or diesel

Davemart

@SJC

Maybe less expensive, at least in the US, but claims of how clean CNG trucks are have been questioned:

https://www.transportenvironment.org/discover/clean-gas-trucks-myth-exploded-road-tests/

' The three LNG trucks tested emit 2 to 5 times more poisonous NOx than the diesel truck with the lowest test result when driven in a combination of urban areas, regional routes and motorways. When driven in towns and cities, the gas trucks release 2 to 3.5 times more NOx than the tested diesel truck with the lowest emissions. Trucks run on biogas (biomethane) would have comparable air pollutant emissions as fossil gas trucks because the fuel characteristics are the same.'

I have not followed the debate about it in detail, and so don't have a strong opinion either way.

However, hitting ZEV with CNG would be difficult to impossible, and so the truck building industry has almost universally decided hydrogen is the way to go where batteries are not up to the job, either using fuel cells or combustion engines.

Since they are the ones putting their money on the line, my usual assumption in the absence of conclusive evidence in the other direction is that the expertise and experience of real industry players is persuasive.

Davemart

Here is a very partial list of firms which spring to mind going for hydrogen in trucking:

Toyota, Hino, Daimler, Volvo, Cummins, Kenworth, Hyundai, Hyzon

Somehow I doubt that all their engineers and accountants have completely lost their minds, as seems to be assumed by some.

sd

I do not understand the enthusiasm for using hydrogen fuel cells for light duty local delivery. Urban delivery, even where I live in Utah, rarely requires more than 100 miles of daily range. I asked a number of different delivery drivers how far they drove in a day. It did not matter if was UPS, FedEx, local freight, steel delivery, industrial gas, etc., they never drove more than about 120 miles in a day and some only drove about 70 miles. This is easily in the range of battery electric so why waste energy and money on a more expensive option.

Davemart, I do not know much about Toyota, Hino, or Hyundai other than Hino is a Toyota group company but Damiler (Frightliner in NA), Volvo, Kenworth, and Cummins all are currently selling battery electric heavy and medium duty trucks in the North American market for urban delivery. You left out Nikola, They are still planning on bring out a fuel cell truck but meanwhile they are selling a BE truck. Also GM started a new division, BrightDrop, to manufacture and sell local deliver vehicles that have a range of 250 miles. See https://www.gm.com/brightdrop

Davemart

@sd:

Its all down to the application.
If the duty run works, and temperatures don't drop too low too frequently etc, then batteries are fine, and everyone uses them.

The difference is that unlike the bloggoverse, supposedly universal solutions, typically 'batteries only for everthing' don't survive practical engineering.

The story played out in fork lift trucks, where although batteries can be and often are used, the sheer convenience, lack of downtime etc of fuel cell solutions have often made that the choice, at least for a substantial proportion of a given fleet.

Sure, if and when batteries improve, the balance will shift.
But the same can be said for fuel cell solutions, which together with hydrogen production technology is currently progressing at an astonishing rate.

If you are managing a fleet of light delivery vehicles, in, say, the US North East, in a cold snap you have the unattractive option of the range of your battery electric vehicles dropping drastically, and what is more, the older vehicles and batteries more restricted than the newer ones.

For your fuel cell vehicles you don't have to look at anything, it is business as usual, and what is more, without the heavy pollution of diesel engines in cold weather.

And for light trucking fuel cell range extenders may confer many of the advantages of both worlds, as Tevva are doing here:

https://fuelcellsworks.com/news/going-the-distance-the-tevva-hydrogen-range-extender-a-case-study/

Neither I, nor Daimler, nor Toyota etc have anything against using batteries where they are a good solution, but the promotion of them as a universal panacea is wholly unrealistic, as is the assumption that they will ' inevitably' improve to be the one, the only, the true, solution- what was the question again?

It is a great line to grab subsidy, and a fine sales pitch which has scammed billions for the well off at everyone else's expense.

yoatmon

On an economical basis, H2 tech is not - and will never be compatible with battery tech. Only for very few exceptions - where expense is completely irrelevant - will H2 ever be able to gain a foot-hold. Battery development has made more progress in the last thirty years than H2 will ever gain in the next thirty centuries.
As batteries continue at a rapid pace to be safer, more energy dense (volumetric and gravimetric), lighter and less expensive, the chances of H2 become more and more irrelevant.

Davemart

@yoatman:

Presumably you mean 'competitive' rather than 'comparable'

That aside, what value you imagine your God-like absolutist bulls pronounced without any evidence at all have is beyond my imagination.

Fuel cell commercial vehicles work just fine, which is why companies are putting their money into them.

But what do the folk actually building commercial vehicles know?

yoatmon

@
You seem to have faintly recognized the true intention behind some clever schemes / scams reflected in the last sentence of your previous post.
"It is a great line to grab subsidy, and a fine sales pitch which has scammed billions for the well off at everyone else's expense."
That is exactly what big oil is intending with its H2 BS.
I hate and detest the lavish squandering of resources which humanity has been great at since the dawn of civilization for the advantage of a few at the expense of all the rest. I think that coincides quite well with your line of thought.
In my estimation, energy is included in this line of thought. The H2 tech results - when H2 is produced via REs - as a squandering of energy beyond description. 15 to 20% overall efficiency is absolutely nothing to be proud of. Nevertheless it is profitable for a few at the expense of all the rest. If you don't understand that, then either you're a hopeless case or you're earning your bread and butter by big oil or one of its subsidiaries.

Nocreditreports

I look out my window and see two wires that are 60+ years old which allow electric buses to run, energized by whatever was and is best at the time. I drive and see rail lines with overhead wire as well. Only direct electric or battery makes any sense on land.
In the future, ships can run on methanol with carbon canisters, and large planes on LNG/LH2/battery as technology evolves.
Let's talk fuel cell when the cost of distributed H2 undercuts wind and solar.

Davemart

@yoatman:

I try to be both patient and courteous.

Since you persist in absolutist claims without a shred of evidence, there is no basis for further discussion, in fact you are in no sense conducting a discussion, just attempting to lay down edicts.

Suffice to say that those with actual expertise in the subject do not agree with you

Davemart

@nocreditreports

Lets talk instead about the real world choices being made to invest in hydrogen by companies using their own funds.

Perhaps you feel you know way, way more than the likes of Daimler and Volvo about the best way to power trucks, but you have produced not a shred of evidence for your assertions.

Sorry, I'm going with expert opinion, not yours.

yoatmon

The "expert opinion" in medieval times was that of the church. The prevailing dogma at that time was that the earth was the center of the universe; many were convinced that the earth was flat and not a sphere. Galileo nearly lost his life because his opinion differed from that of the "experts". Since then, the influence of the church has lessened but that of big business and its vassals has increased.

Nocreditreports

I think we may have around 10 fuel cell trucks at the port of LA and another 10 in Europe. Maybe this "fleet" is best to haul hydrogen. 😂

SJC

"CNG is significantly more sustainable compared to conventional fuel sources in that it produces 77% less particle emissions, 90% less nitrogen oxides, and has an 11% reduction in CO2 emissions. CNG is also 35% cheaper than diesel, and 75% cheaper than petrol."

Davemart

@SJC

Yep. As I noted, I have not really followed much on the debate about CNG, as the big companies seem to have decided that hydrogen will work for long distance and heavy loads, so I did not get too involved in choices which don't seem to be happening.

I remember about 5 years or so ago it was a pretty hot topic, and some of us had considerable discussion at that time.

Davemart

' I think we may have around 10 fuel cell trucks at the port of LA and another 10 in Europe. Maybe this "fleet" is best to haul hydrogen. 😂'

If your criteria is the number of vehicles on the road, then clearly it is time to give up on BEVs, as there are way, way more ICE vehicles.

But perhaps you prefer to switch criteria when it is convenient to do so?

Do try to think.

It may hurt, but can be rewarding.

sd

Davemart,

In a recent thread, you argued that my suggestion that Toyota should be able to build a reasonable BEV for ~$25K (base price for a 2023 Chevy Bolt is $25,600K) was flawed as $25K was much too high a price for a lower income countries even my suggestion for for a US spec vehicle built in North America.. Now you are arguing that we should use hydrogen fuel cell vehicles which is a much more expensive solution than battery electric in terms of initial cost, energy and energy cost.

I did a little more research on the companies involved, Hino is a Toyota subsidy, Toyota s minority owner of Izuzu and CJPT is a Japanese infrastructure company. This is looking more like one of Toyota's WTF hydrogen projects. Anyway, they will not find a market for this idiocy in North America.

A few months ago, there was a Engineering With Rosie YouTube video titled "How Can We Decarbonise Trucking?" Her guest seemed to think that hydrogen was very unlikely even for heavy haul long distance trucking because of the high cost of hydrogen. He strongly favored BEV for local delivery and seem to think that catenary with batteries was a better solution for long distance. I am not sure about catenary as there is a relative high cost for the infrastructure but it would certainly be the most energy efficient and lowest operational cost.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fkbcZ-UzOsoab_channel=EngineeringwithRosie

Davemart

@sd;

' Now you are arguing that we should use hydrogen fuel cell vehicles which is a much more expensive solution than battery electric in terms of initial cost, energy and energy cost.'

I am arguing no such thing.
The present discussion is about trucks, not cars, so why you are confounding the two is mysterious.

I rather dislike fuel cell cars, as opposed to heavier vehicles, as they really only come into their own at heavier weights.

If people insist on migrating to SUV type vehicles, then they may be a competitive solution, but I certainly hope that that does not occur, although it seems it will.

For long range heavy-ish cars, then a fuel cell RE may provide a solution.

What I am really arguing is that we should make use of the whole range of technologies available, in different applications, and not get hung up on the supposed merits of battery only solutions, when they are nowhere near performing at the levels and costs needed.

No magic bullets, just the grind of matching technologies, in their real, not fancied and projected states, to the various applications.

Especially in colder climates fuel cells/and/or ICE running on hydrogen etc have valuable contributions to make for delivery vehicles and buses as well as heavy trucking.

For cars I would argue that cars like the Toyota Yaris when all metrics are considered including particulates which is now mostly non-exhaust are presently a far more ecological solution than Tesla bling cars, hoovering up subsidy.

I have no doubt that that will change at some point as batteries, perhaps with fuel cell RE's, improve and drop in cost.

But the subsidies and mandates although to some extent they do force the pace, are poorly designed and deeply regressive by income.

In short, they are largely political pork to grab money for the well off.

Davemart

@sd:

As an example of the poor standard of debate, and the failure not just on blogs but in procurement agencies to box clever matching technology to application, much has been made of the recent cancellation in France of an order for fuel cell buses, in favour of far cheaper to run as well as somewhat cheaper to buy BEVs:
https://www.rechargenews.com/energy-transition/french-city-drops-order-for-51-hydrogen-buses-after-realising-electric-ones-six-times-cheaper-to-run/2-1-1143717

All well and good, until you take into account that it is in Montpelier, in the South of France!

Unless you need swift turnaround , especially considering the region is not only warm but not very mountainous, then why not use batteries?

Switch that around, even near by in France, in the mountains bordering Switzerland, and the case is very different, as not only is it more rural with presumably more longer runs, but the temperature at times in the winter will plummet.

And your battery electric fleet will be a nightmare to manage.

Hence for years now for light delivery fuel cell range extenders in Renault vans have been trialed in those sorts of areas, and are now moving into larger vehicles from both Renault and Stellantis.

Peking, Tokyo and New York are not Montpelier, and it is frankly daft to over-interpret one case to all cases and climates.

Davemart

@sd:

And in Europe now hydrogen from renewables is now much, much more competitive than it was last year against diesel, and it was already far more competitive than in the US

The issue is rolling it out in enough quantity, not cost, which anyway is dropping fast.

Davemart

@sd

Thanks for the link to 'Engineering with Rosie'

I don't find her, and the experts she chooses to select on the subject of hydrogen, either persuasive or even-handed.

She interviewed a Dr Martin, whose name I remember as it happens to be the same as mine, on the subject of transporting hydrogen in NG pipelines.

He poo-poo'd it, as far less energy can be transported in a given pipe than natural gas.

They never mentioned that no one will need to, for instance in the UK grid. as homes and industrial premises have to be made very much more efficient, ammonia to hydrogen not to mention solar to hydrogen etc can be done locally and so on.

In fact the 30% or so of energy capacity which could be hit without too major upgrades of the NG grid is a pretty good fit.

Similarly this guy is feeding in a load of unfavourable assumptions, current practice without any progress etc, and coming out with the result he fancies.

For instance precious metal use in electrolysis, which in fact is rapidly dropping, and the energy efficiencies of electrolysis, which is far from the only game in town anyway.

To be clear my own guess is that induction charging on major highways, embedded in the road rather than overhead, may have a major role to play within 25 years in assisting freight carriage.

What I don't like is proscriptive, one solution to rule them all, notions about batteries in a very fluid technological landscape.

I agree with the likes of Daimler and Volvo, and their engineers, that hydrogen, likely liquified for the application, will have a substantial input into heavy road transport, and likely delivery vehicles and certainly buses.

Davemart

@sd:

Actually, a comment of mine on 'Engineering with Rosie' that there is no reason at all why an NG grid adapted to hydrogen would need to carry the same energy as present NG grids, not only went unanswered but was deleted.

Obviously criticism is welcome, just so long as she has a rebuttal handy.

Otherwise, omerta is the policy for criticism.

I am not so enthusiastic about Rosie as formerly.

Another mere propagandist.

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