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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 bingbong on 5/8/2010 4:54:25 AM , Rating: 1
I am currently doing hydrogen storage experiments.
I have had a number of times where large amounts of hydrogen have been vented.
If that was gasoline I would have to close down the lab.
Hydrogen is so light it moves quickly away and diffuses. It is also non toxic so I don't get suffocated. We are currently doing work on gasoline, oil and production chemical tanks. These things put out 4Tonnes of Cancer causing gases a year in just normal operation through small leaks, and cycling of contents. Not to mention the hydrofluoric gas used for synthesis of petroleum products. No doubt oil is useful but given the spill in GOM, we should be moving to hydrogen. Production can come from many forms including direct solar and bacterial produced from biomass.
Think about it. Don't just quote the Hindenburg disaster over and over again.


RE: News Flash: May 6, 2011
By porkpie on 5/8/2010 9:08:10 AM , Rating: 2
"These things put out 4Tonnes of Cancer causing gases a year in just normal operation "

Roughly 50% of all chemicals in nature are carcinogenic in a large enough dose...including half of the 1000+ chemicals in a cup of coffee. Trying to scare people into thinking they're getting cancer from gasoline is incredibly foolish.

"No doubt oil is useful but given the spill in GOM, we should be moving to hydrogen"

Do you think hydrogen grows on trees? Currently the only economic method of production is reforming it from fossil fuels. The only thing that comes close to that in cost is a high-temp nuclear reactor using the S-I cycle...but environmentalists won't let us build those either.

Your pipe dream of solar-produced hydrogen results in an equivalent cost to the end user of over $100/gal gas. Do you intentionally want to destroy the economy, or did you simply flunk economics?


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