Toyota Leading The way With Hydrogen Cars "Toyota: Hydrogen-powered Mirai goes on sale"
We have entered into the hydrogen market and I am very interested in the fact that a few months later we start seeing headlines like this. We did not plan it this way but I have to say after 25 some years in the industry I do start to see patterns and many technologies have been around for years. Hydrogen is one of those and I felt the timing was right. To me it is a no brainer. I witnessed hydrogen produced from a solar panel and water years ago. It is a clean burning fuel that can be created at the location needed for use. I have heard all the economic detractors and think they are missing the whole picture. I said this about solar 25 years ago and I am saying this about hydrogen now. I have utilized batteries in many applications over the years and am intimately knowledgeable on their limitations. I predict they will have a 10 year run. When solar really got traction in the market there were numerous solar technologies that jumped up taking in huge investments. All these thin film solar companies are pretty much gone or forgotten. The fact is what was tried and true (silicon) is what is primarily used and if you want to make a bet on solar panels it is primarily how to reduce the cost of making the solar cells. Folks I offer the hypothesis that energy storage will follow the same pattern. We know that hydrogen is a great energy storage method and offers versatility that batteries can never achieve. It has been used for many years (ask NASA) or the hydro dams in Canada that have been producing hydrogen from their excess power using electrolysis and water for many years now. It will be the reduction in cost and enhancing the efficiency. We did it with silicon and we can do it with hydrogen. I am pretty proud that we have engineered a unit that has enhanced the efficiency and eliminated the need to scrub the hydrogen from the oxygen but the fact is that when it gains traction like solar has these young emerging minds will continue to innovate and perfect the technology. By RJohnson_dt
TOYOTA has started selling a ground-breaking hydrogen fuel cell-powered car which produces no carbon emissions.
The firm, which has its UK manufacturing plant at Burnaston, has begun selling the car, known as the Mirai, in Japan.
Demand for the car, which has gone on sale today, has already been higher than Toyota expected.
It is now tripling production at its factory in Aichi, which makes fuel-cell stacks and hydrogen tanks for the Mirai.
Hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, or FCVs, are considered to be the most viable eco-friendly solution to reducing the environmental impact of motoring.
They emit no harmful emissions, though fossil fuels are used in the production of hydrogen, and to pressurise it.
The cars are powered by electricity created by the chemical reaction between hydrogen and oxygen, leaving water vapour as the only exhaust emission.
Toyota currently builds the Avensis, Auris and Hybrid Auris at its Burnaston plant. The Hybrid Auris runs on a combination of petrol and electricity.
But the firm has given no indication whether or not the Derbyshire factory will one day make hydrogen fuel cell cars.
The Mirai, which means “future” in Japanese is set to go on sale in the UK in September next year, as well as Germany and Denmark.
The price of the car in Japan is 6.7 million yen (£36,700) before tax.
A price has not yet been set for the UK but some motoring commentators believe the Mirai could cost in the region of £50,000.
Toyota said it aimed to sell 50 to 100 of the cars in Europe in 2015 and 2016.
The Mirai can travel 300 miles on a single tank of hydrogen and can be refuelled in under five minutes.
There are currently 13 hydrogen refuelling stations in the UK, most of them linked to academic and industrial sites - although the Government is helping to subsidise more refuelling points.
Hydrogen may be more expensive than petrol initially, because there are so few customers but, over time, Toyota expects it will be cheaper to run a car on hydrogen.