Hydrogen Cars

Toyota To Market “Affordable” Hydrogen Powered Sedan In 2015

Posted in Alt Fuels, Electric Cars, Emissions, Environment, Fuel Cell, General, Hydrogen Cars, Toyota by Kurt Ernst | May 7th, 2010 | 2 Responses |

Toyota drove this fuel cell powered Highlander from Alaska to Vancouver in 2007.

In an attempt to generate some good press for the troubled automaker, Toyota has announced that they will bring to market a hydrogen powered sedan in 2015. Perhaps the most surprising revelation was the projected cost of approximately $50,000, or that fact that Toyota claims such a product will be profitable. Previously, hydrogen fueled vehicles had been prohibitively expensive, costing in the hundreds of thousands of dollars to manufacture. Major automakers, including Ford, Renault / Nissan and GM have abandoned their hydrogen car development efforts in favor of electric and hybrid car programs, whose technology is both more mature and more affordable.

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Automotive X Prize Testing: Ever See An Electric Car Hit Sixty In Under Four Seconds?

The initial track testing phase of the Progressive Insurance Automotive X Prize vehicles has begun at Michigan International Speedway. This video, courtesy of Consumer Reports, gives a good overview of what the competition is all about. Unfortunately, there isn’t all that much footage of cars testing, but some things are clear: the Aptera may be fuel efficient, but it doesn’t handle worth a damn and the Tango (the extremely narrow orange car in the video) really can back its claim of a four second zero to sixty time.

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Hydrogen Cars Nothing New: 1966 GM Electrovan

Posted in Fuel Cell, GM, Hydrogen Cars by Jon | January 12th, 2010 | Leave a Reply |

This new wave of hydrogen fuel cell cars is not due to new technology, but instead a demand from the public in response to rising gas prices. In fact, fuel cells have been around since the early 1800’s. Even so the first car to put fuel cell technology to use was the 1966 GM Electrovan.  This van’s fuel cell had a range of over 120 miles which is not to bad compared to the modern Honda Clarity which has a range of 24o miles. This van was built and tested in 1966 but ultimately ended up failing due to cost and a lack of space.  The piping and equipment needed to power the fuel cell turned the 6 seat GMC Handivan into a 2 seat hyrdogen Electrovan. High costs came as a result of a lack of information, technology, and interest at the time. There was such a lack of information on hydrogen fuel cell cars that even the Smithsonian Institute did not allow it inside their facilities for the sole reason that they had never heard of a fuel cell before and did not understand it’s dynamics. Obviously the information  and technology available today makes the hydrogen fuel cell cars more affordable and safe, but the main reason they may now succeed is that there is a greater worldwide interest due to the global energy demand and rising fuel prices.

Mazda’s Hydrogen Development May Offer Eco-Alternative

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Although the variety of alternative fuels, hybrids and electric vehicles being pursued may project a serious commitment by the automakers to explore a new path, the long term viability of all of these different solutions and approaches is probably not sustainable indefinitely. Just as the internal combustion gasoline engine emerged out of a number of early contenders to dominate the automobiles life up to this point, one or two of these technologies will most likely be successful enough that ultimately it is adopted more than any of the others.

This, in part, explains why Mazda has remained on the periphery of the hybrid/electric discussion. Mazda’s approach has instead turned towards replacing gasoline with hydrogen. Read More…

GM’s Project Driveway Brings Hydrogen Fueling Station To JFK Int.’l

Posted in Alt Fuels, auto industry, Car Tech, Cars, Chevrolet, Emissions, Environment, Fuel Cell, Fuel-efficient, GM, Hybrid Technologies, Hydrogen Cars, Newsworthy by Suzanne Denbow | July 14th, 2009 | Leave a Reply |

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Intending to gauge the real-world sustainability of hydrogen-fueled vehicles, GM launched Project Driveway in 2008, equipping select consumers in the greater New York City, Washington D.C., and L.A. areas with a hydrogen powered Chevrolet Equinox for two month increments.

To accommodate the alternatively-fueled vehicles, GM partner Shell Oil, opened its first hydrogen powered fueling station in White Plains, New York in tandem with Project Driveway’s launch. Today, GM and Shell announced the grand opening of a second hydrogen fueling station at JFK International Airport, to be followed be a third opening in the Bronx later this summer.

“These partnerships are critical to building the infrastructure that will make hydrogen a relevant alternative fuel in the future as well as a key to the ongoing success of Project Driveway,” said Larry Burns, GM vice president of R&D and Strategic Planning. Added Duncan Macleod, Shell vice president of Hydrogen, “The prospects for hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles are strong in the longer-term. This first cluster is an important step as we continue to build capability in retailing hydrogen fuel, in line with the auto makers’ plans to develop hydrogen vehicles.” Read More…

Linux Geeks, Riverdance Fans Rejoice: The Open-Source Riversimple Car Forthcoming

Posted in Alt Fuels, Car Tech, Commuter Cars, Compact Cars, Concept Cars, Emissions, Environment, Hydrogen Cars, Micro Cars by Alex Kierstein | June 17th, 2009 | Leave a Reply |

Lord_of_the_Dance_-_Cry_Of_The_Celts_-_panorama

And you two groups of slightly socially inept folks though you had nothing in common! You Linux nerds hate proprietary technology, and what is more proprietary than insidious Celtic dancing? And you Riverdance fans, afraid to expose yourself to public ridicule, hide in the shadows. Hide no longer! The Riversimple is here! A hydrogen city car with a name seemingly inspired by the fancy footwork of Micheal Flatley. Its open-source concept ensures that no one involved will make money, and the silly name will mean it is ridiculed almost as often as the similarly silly-named Riverdance!

Click through for a less nonsensical description of this concept.

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DOE Cuts Fuel Cell Funding for Cars

Posted in Alt Fuels, auto industry, Car Tech, Emissions, Fuel Cell, Hybrid Technologies, Hydrogen Cars, Newsworthy by Alex Kierstein | May 8th, 2009 | 1 Response |
GM HydroGen3 fuel cell vehicle.

GM HydroGen3 fuel cell vehicle.

The Department of Energy has deeply cut funding for hydrogen fuel cell development for vehicle applications. Several automakers, including Honda and GM, have been touting fuel cells as the premier clean power source of the future, but the DOE is unconvinced.

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2010 Kia Forte LPI Hybrid Aims To Snatch Chevy Volt’s Spotlight

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Well, in an uncharacteristic attempt to be positive we will say this: at least the sleek exterior styling and reflective vest-colored paint job helps us momentarily forget it’s a Kia…

Officially unveiled in standard ICE form at the 2009 Chicago Auto Show back in February, the HEV (hybrid electric vehicle) variant of the 4-door Kia Forte received its big debut today with its inaugural appearance in Korea. Powered by the same hybrid propulsion system found beneath the hood of the Hyundai Elantra, the Kia Forte LPI Hybrid receives its propulsion from a 144-horsepower 1.6L liquefied petroleum injected (LPI) engine, a small 20-hp electric motor, and an advanced lithium-polymer battery pack. Mated to a continuously variable transmission, the Kia Forte LPI boasts a fuel-consumption average of around 41 mpg and, interestingly enough, appears to be edging in on the Chevy Volt’s territory. According to sources, the Forte LPI’s lithium battery pack is produced by LG Chem, the same company charged with supply the battery pack for the upcoming Chevy Volt. What’s more, when the new Kia Forte LPI hits the market in late summer, it was effectively become the first lithium-polymer powered vehicle in the world to reach mass production.

With both a plug-in hybrid and hydrogen-powered vehicle also currently in development, Kia has hinted that the Forte LPI Hybrid is but a small part of what is ultimately intended to be an aggressive presence in the global hybrid car market. Details surrounding official launch European and North American dates are still fuzzy, however, with guesses ranging anywhere from 2010 to 2012. Although we personally care very little, we’ll keep you updated as more information is released. Read More…

Volvo Unveils Hybrid DRIVe Lineup At Geneva Motor Show

Posted in Alt Fuels, auto industry, Cars, Diesel, Emissions, Environment, Foreign Cars, Geneva Motor Show, Hybrid Technologies, Hydrogen Cars, New Cars, Newsworthy, Volvo by Suzanne Denbow | February 27th, 2009 | Leave a Reply |

2010_volvo_drive

Scheduled for European launch in 2010, Volvo enthusiasts (all 4 of us) will have to wait until 2012 for the chance to get behind the wheel of one of Volvo’s DRIVe-badged vehicles. Fortunately, we couldn’t care less about fuel efficiency, so we don’t mind the two-year delay as long as we have access to all the sweet Swedish eye candy from Volvo’s media files.

Set to debut officially next week at the Geneva Motor Show, Volvo’s DRIVe lineup is comprised of 6-speed manual transmission and diesel engine-equipped variants of the Volvo C30, S40, V50, V70, S80, XC60, and XC70. Additionally, the C30, S40, and V50 will become the first vehicles to be equipped with Volvo’s Start/Stop function that allows engine to switch off when the car is at a standstill. To engage the Start/Stop function, the driver moves the gear lever to neutral and releases the clutch while at a standstill, which then switches the engine off. The next time the driver presses the clutch, the engine starts up again. This technology can reduce fuel consumption and thus carbon dioxide emissions by 4-5% in mixed driving conditions and up to 8% when city driving. Read More…

Mazda Struts Its Stuff At Japan’s 2008 Eco-Product Exhibition

Posted in Alt Fuels, Cars, Emissions, Environment, Hybrid, Hybrid Technologies, Hydrogen Cars, Mazda by Suzanne Denbow | December 8th, 2008 | Leave a Reply |

Receiving less than its fair share of press time recently given the current debacle in Detroit, Mazda has managed to assemble quite an impressive hybrid line-up without gaining the attention of many mainstream media members. Planning to fan their enviro-friendly plumage December 11-13 at the Tokyo International Exhibition Center in Japan, Mazda will unveil several vehicles utilizing Mazda’s new CO2-reducing technology. The focal point of Mazda’s display will be their new i-stop start/stop engine, which Mazda claims increases fuel efficiency by a full 10%. In addition, Mazda will also be showing off two of their proudest accomplishments: the Premacy Hydrogen RE Hybrid vehicle and the RX-8 Hydrogen vehicle. While both of Mazda’s hydrogen vehicles will be appearing in prototype form with no confirmed production schedule for the future, Mazda’s i-stop engine has already passed Japanese emissions tests and is slated for release in 2009. No word yet on when Mazda’s new green gadgets will make it stateside, but I’ll admit my interest is definitely piqued inasmuch I am absolutely fascinated by Mazda’s apparent steadfast dedication to their disfunctional relationship with the rotary engine.

Check out Mazda’s hybrid line-up after the jump Read More…