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Toyota Fine-S Concept hydrogen fuel cell vehicle

Toyota Highlander-based fuel cell vehicle
Toyota expects the market to be small, but avaialble

Toyota is moving forward despite the bad press and recalls and is looking to the future where it may be the first company to offer a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle that is “affordable”. Toyota is targeting a price of $50,000 for its first retail hydrogen fuel vehicle. Bloomberg reports that the $50,000 figure reflects a 90% reduction in cost for hydrogen fuel cell technology since the mid-2000s.

The first hydrogen powered vehicle would be a sedan with a range equal to that of a gas-powered car. Toyota's Yashihiko Masuda, managing director for advanced automobiles said, "[The hydrogen vehicle would compare to gasoline vehicles] with some added cost."

Masuda said, "Our target is, we don’t lose money with introduction of the vehicle. Production cost should be covered within the price of the vehicle."

Toyota won't talk about how many of the vehicles it expects to sell. Masuda told
Bloomberg that the market would be small, but would have some support. The support would likely be mostly from local and state governments.

The biggest issue facing the adoption of hydrogen-powered vehicles isn’t the cost of buying the vehicles. The big issue is the fact that there is little to no infrastructure to speak of across the country. Most hydrogen fuel station are located in California, and even within California, there are but a handful. Hydrogen also currently costs much more than gasoline.

One of the cost cutting methods that Toyota used to help bring down the price of hydrogen vehicles was to use less platinum on the fuel cell construction. The automaker will reduce the platinum used in fuel cells from about 1.06 ounces per vehicle to the area of 10 grams per vehicle. The price for platinum now is about $1,675 per ounce.

Toyota isn't the only company looking at hydrogen vehicles, GM already has hydrogen powered vehicles in use that are leased to retail customers in the Los Angeles area.

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger said, "Hydrogen is the most abundant element in the universe, and we can have it forever. We need to wake up the federal government."

Before GM starts retail sales in California, the automaker wants at least 40 hydrogen fuel stations in the Southern California area -- currently there are ten. GM believes that 40 stations could support 15 million drivers in the region.

 



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RE: News Flash: May 6, 2011
By sleepeeg3 on 5/7/2010 7:16:18 PM , Rating: 1
Hydrogen safe? Think again.

Take a look at the YouTube videos of exploding hydrogen balloons:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zwY0kxmPgvo

My chemistry teacher did this experiment in a small lecture hall with a balloon twice as big. I was about 30 feet away and it was about as loud as a shotgun blast, plus a hot compression wave.

Now imagine an accident and a compressed tank full of that igniting. Body parts everywhere! DailyTech even had an article showing that some companies even want to switch to fragile glass tubes!!!

Safe like the Hindenberg...


RE: News Flash: May 6, 2011
By porkpie on 5/7/2010 10:14:00 PM , Rating: 3
"Take a look at the YouTube videos of exploding hydrogen balloons:"

Try the same experiment with gasoline. Youtube is a poor source for scientific knowledge.

The real facts are this. Gasoline and hydrogen both are far, far safer than the real danger for moving vehicles -- the kinetic energy of the car itself. Arguing over which is safer is essentially like standing on a cliff with vaseline-coated feet, wondering if that splinter in your finger is going to give you a nasty infection.


"If you look at the last five years, if you look at what major innovations have occurred in computing technology, every single one of them came from AMD. Not a single innovation came from Intel." -- AMD CEO Hector Ruiz in 2007














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