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Toyota is betting big on hydrogen fuel cell technology instead of going fully-electric

Toyota has pulled the wraps off its first production hydrogen fuel cell sedan. Based on the FCV concept that was first shown revealed last year at the Tokyo Auto Show, the production vehicle is a bit challenged when it comes to styling, but Toyota hasn’t exactly been known for producing consistently good-looking cars since the 90s.
 
But the most important piece to this vehicle its hydrogen fuel cell powertrain. Toyota has shown a lack of interest in putting a lot of effort into fully electric vehicles (its RAV4 EV is merely a sideshow), and considers hydrogen to be a superior option.
 
"The reason why Toyota doesn’t introduce any major [all-electric product] is because we do not believe there is a market to accept it,” said Toyota Chairman Takeshi Uchiyamada back in October 2013. "I personally expect a lot from this hydrogen fuel cell technology. If government and industry work together, this might be part of the long-term solution."

 
Although Toyota hasn’t revealed specs for the production model (which it says it will announced at a later date), the FCV concept featured a lightweight fuel cell stack (with a power output density of 3 kW/l), two 70 MPa high-pressure hydrogen tanks, and total output of over 100 kW to power the vehicle.
 
The concept was also rated to have a driving range of just over 300 miles before refueling is necessary. Speaking of refueling, the task of filling the hydrogen tanks should take roughly three minutes according to Toyota.

 
Toyota hopes to launch its new hydrogen fuel cell vehicle in Japan by April 2015, where it will be priced at 7 million yen (roughly $69,000). The vehicle will also be sold in the United States, but will be limited to regions that have a sufficient hydrogen refueling infrastructure in place to support the vehicle.
 
The pricing puts the vehicle head-to-head with the Tesla Motors Model S, which starts at $69,900 and has a driving range of 208 miles. The more expensive models have a driving range of 265 miles.

 
Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk has already made his thoughts known on hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, having stated in 2013, “Oh god … fuel cell is so bullshit. Except in a rocket.”

Sources: Toyota [1], [2]



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i dont get it
By WLee40 on 6/25/2014 9:19:16 AM , Rating: 3
I don't get why anyone thinks hydrogen could be viable. Its hard to store and no infrastructure. Does Toyota have a plan for this? "Government and industry to work together" on it??




RE: i dont get it
By rdhood on 6/25/14, Rating: -1
RE: i dont get it
By Nexos on 6/25/2014 10:13:49 AM , Rating: 4
How exactly is hydrogen abundant? There are no sources of elemental hydrogen on earth, its all bound with other elements, mostly oxygen and carbon (water and carbohydrates). Extracting it from water using electricity is AT BEST a wash in terms of energy efficiency (compared to just vanilla electric cars using the same electricity) while extracting it from carbohydrates (aka oil/natural gas) doesn't solve any issues regarding emissions (you still have to deal with the leftover carbon compounds as well as any sulfates/nitrates/phosphates etc. that are dissolved in them) or oil-dependancy AND you still need to put in energy to make the cracking reaction go. At that point your better off just using the hydrocarbons as-is, most of the gaseous ones can react in a fuel cell to produce power anyway, and they're more efficient than hydrogen ones.

The only way I can see hydrogen working in the foreseeable future is if any of the experiments with hydrogen producing algae actually pan out, which they haven't yet, and its looking increasingly unlikely that they ever will.


RE: i dont get it
By Dr. Kenneth Noisewater on 6/25/2014 12:51:29 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Extracting it from water using electricity is AT BEST a wash in terms of energy efficiency (compared to just vanilla electric cars using the same electricity) while extracting it from carbohydrates (aka oil/natural gas) doesn't solve any issues regarding emissions (you still have to deal with the leftover carbon compounds as well as any sulfates/nitrates/phosphates etc. that are dissolved in them) or oil-dependancy AND you still need to put in energy to make the cracking reaction go.


Depends. If one could extract 16-20kWh out of a gallon of gas's hydrogen by the time it gets to the vehicle's electric motors, one would significantly improve gas mileage and reduce fuel use, which is a laudable goal by itself.

Simpler to do so with solid-oxide fuel cells I should think, if they ever become practical in size and cost.


RE: i dont get it
By Solandri on 6/25/2014 1:09:03 PM , Rating: 2
That's been the attraction of hydrogen fuel cells - they're not limited by the Carnot heat engine efficiency limit. Unfortunately, pure H2 is incredibly rare on earth for the reasons already cited. And if you're manufacturing H2, you need to take into account the efficiency losses of the manufacturing processes. By the time you do that, you basically end up around the same efficiency as a ICE.

ICE = ~30% efficient
Transmission = ~90% efficient
.3 * .9 = 27% efficient.

Electricity production from coal = 45% efficient
Electrolysis of water to produce H2 = 65% at best
Hydrogen fuel cell = 90% at best
.45 * .65 * .9 = .263 = 26.3% efficient

The situation changes if you can produce massive amounts of electricity via nuclear, wind, or solar. But thus far nuclear is the only source capable of the volume needed for powering a country full of hydrogen cars, and we're doing a pretty good job shutting down nuclear plants instead of building new ones.

There's been some work on fuel cells which use hydrocarbons like methane or methanol (alcohol), instead of pure H2. Those would avoid the inefficiencies of first converting the hydrogen bond's energy into electricity and could be a viable alternative in the short term. Unfortunately, they don't reduce our dependency on hydrocarbons for energy.

(In the grand scheme of things, hydrocarbons are just solar energy stored in the form of hydrogen bonds, and solar energy comes from nuclear reactions in the sun.)


RE: i dont get it
By Nexos on 6/25/2014 1:41:21 PM , Rating: 2
Damn, beat me to it!


RE: i dont get it
By Dr. Kenneth Noisewater on 6/25/2014 2:34:35 PM , Rating: 3
I don't really care about that. I care about fuel cost per mile.

If a 10% efficient process gets me fuel at 5 cents per mile, and a 28% efficient process gets me fuel at 12 cents per mile, then I'll take the former every time.

What's the efficiency of gasoline/hydrogen reformation, in terms of kWh/gallon ? If it's less than 16kWh, it's hardly worth the expense and hassle of dealing with H2.


RE: i dont get it
By Nexos on 6/25/2014 5:56:32 PM , Rating: 2
Ive done some back of the envelope type math and this is what I came up with:

Steam reforming methane into hydrogen and CO2 (the most efficient method) requires 165kJ/mole of hydrogen in energy. source: http://coecs.ou.edu/Richard.G.Mallinson/PDFs/00Adv...

1 mole of hydrogen weighs 2 grams, and a gallon of 70 bar H2 weighs 266grams = 133 moles. 133 moles * 165kJ/mole = 22MJ = 6,1Kwh; assuming 100% efficiency. Real world efficiency depends mostly on scale, but can go as high as 75-80% with gold/Fe2O3 catalysts and by utilizing the heat generated by some of the byproducts of the reaction to preheat the reactants. The energy density of hydrogen at 70bar is 5,6 MJ/l or about 21MJ/gallon. Looks like it takes at least as much energy to reform hydrogen as you can hope to extract from it.


RE: i dont get it
By Dr. Kenneth Noisewater on 6/26/2014 12:15:45 PM , Rating: 2
I suppose electrohydrolysis from very cheap electricity would get costs down to tolerable levels then. Go LFTR!


RE: i dont get it
By Mint on 6/25/2014 2:42:53 PM , Rating: 2
FYI, PEM fuel cells (the ones automakers are using) are 60% efficient at best, and aren't expected to get much better (only cheaper).

But electrolysis could well break 80%, so your conclusion doesn't change much.


RE: i dont get it
By Nexos on 6/25/2014 1:35:50 PM , Rating: 2
The mileage in terms of oil used would improve, but that ignores the added energy used in extracting the hydrogen from gas and all the added complexity in having to store LH2 in consumer products. I suppose this method could work if there was enough clean/renewable sourced electricity to cover the conversion, but thats not likely to happen any time soon, what with the current anti-nuke sentiment.

Solid oxide fuel cells seem like they have potential, but I dont know if road vehicles are the best place to utilize them. Their large weight, high temperature and slow response would make them much better suited for stationary or maritime applications. Maybe add some steam generators and turbines or stirling engines to them, and put that heat to work.


RE: i dont get it
By Dr. Kenneth Noisewater on 6/25/2014 2:37:56 PM , Rating: 2
SOFCs aren't really worth worrying about until there's at least 1 order of magnitude in cost reduction, alas. At $0.10/W they make some sense, especially if 100kW could be fit in the space of a traditional I4 or V6. At $1/W they're fit for stationary applications where natural gas costs are low enough for them to pay off vs. utility power (plus reliability, particularly where NG lines are buried and power lines are not).


RE: i dont get it
By HoosierEngineer5 on 6/26/2014 8:27:55 AM , Rating: 2
You are mostly made up of hydrogen. Hydrogen would be used as an engergy storage and transport medium. Transmitting electricity entails losses, either through wires or stored in very heavy or expensive batteries (which may be made of 'rare earth elements' which are indeed not abundant. Hydrogen can be stored indefinitely without energy loss, and since it is the lightest of the elements (or as a molecule), transportation could arguably be similar to existing hydrocarbon fuels. Energy could be stored where/when available (wind or solar sights) and delivered where needed. I suppose it could even be delivered by pipeline in its gaseous state.


RE: i dont get it
By Nexos on 6/27/2014 3:43:47 AM , Rating: 2
A human body is mostly made of carbon and oxygen, hydrogen is only about 10% of the total mass.

Compressing/liquefying gasses is not a lossless process also liquid hydrogen has to be kept at cryogenic temperatures or it boils off uncontrollably, which requires constant energy input. There are also issues with hydrogen leaking thru solid metal because of its small molecular size which causes metal fatigue through micro fractures. hydrogen reformation is also most efficient when done on a large scale not in small batches. Overall efficiency of the system you outlined would be far lower than with a conventional power line.

There is no such thing as a free lunch in physics.


RE: i dont get it
By SublimeSimplicity on 6/25/2014 10:13:55 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
it is abundant

Yes, hydrogen molecules are extremely abundant, H2 is extremely rare, because it is very likely to find some 02 and release a bunch of energy and become water.
H2 is a byproduct of refining gasoline, so oil companies would love to find a high demand market for this byproduct. So that will be it's primary source.
Creating H2 from water is extremely inefficient today. We're likely many, many years from people being able to cost effectively produce H2 in their garages, so you're still tied to the gas station model.


RE: i dont get it
By Reclaimer77 on 6/25/2014 10:21:16 AM , Rating: 3
Something wrong with the gas station model?

I rather pull into a gas station and fill my hydrogen car in 3 minutes (like we've been doing for a century now), than dealing with plugging my car in at night or taking HOURS to charge my vehicle.

Hydrogen has problems just like electric vehicles. But unless we find a way to magically get around Ohms Law, hydrogen is ALWAYS going to be more practical and convenient.


RE: i dont get it
By SublimeSimplicity on 6/25/2014 10:40:54 AM , Rating: 4
I honestly feel sorry for people who claim to like the gas station model.

Unless you don't sleep, charging at home is infinitely more convenient on daily basis than stopping off at a gas station and paying 20x more for the same usable energy.

There are plenty of issues with BEV that the tech isn't there yet to solve, but the promise of being able to fuel in your garage is an advantage that is pointless to argue against.


RE: i dont get it
By Reclaimer77 on 6/25/2014 10:58:56 AM , Rating: 5
You don't get it.

If there was a fast charging option for EV's, that would be one thing. But for EV's "fast" charging is HOURS .

Sure you can plug your car in at night, that's great. What about when you can't, or when you just really NEED a charge fast? You're boned.

This isn't about "liking" one model or the other, it's about what's more practical and convenient.

And hey, you DO realize not everyone has a garage, right?


RE: i dont get it
By chripuck on 6/25/2014 11:17:19 AM , Rating: 2
Not entirely true, the 480v chargers will get a Leaf from empty to full in ~30 minutes. Of course you can't exactly get 480 volts with most lines and 30 minutes is still a lot slower than ~3, but still, it is getting better.

"Cambridge Crude" is the best of both worlds if they can get a working prototype and scale it, but that's years away.


RE: i dont get it
By Reclaimer77 on 6/25/2014 11:31:54 AM , Rating: 2
But the Leaf's batteries are small and it's range sucks. 30 minute charge time in proportion to it's range is still an entirely unacceptable amount of time compared to the "gas station model".

And yeah like you pointed out, nobody has 480v going to their house anyway. Three-phase wiring is simply not done in residential so you're looking at involving the power company or having a step-up transformer installed in your home. Woo hooo MORE added expense.


RE: i dont get it
By Spuke on 6/25/2014 12:14:37 PM , Rating: 2
Rec makes great points. Bringing up issues or problems with EV's is not taking sides as these MUST be dealt with in order to make EV's viable. No one's making this stuff up, these are REAL issues! You can't put your head in the sand when it comes to problem solving.


RE: i dont get it
By niva on 6/25/2014 12:45:07 PM , Rating: 2
These are real issues, but the way he's bringing it up is in essence taking sides. These things are already viable. Despite the issues EVs are bringing quite a few benefits in terms of convenience, low maintenance costs, fuel savings and ultimately money savings.

Right now they cover a usage model that only results in issues about 1% of the time when you have to drive extremely long range and etc. For anyone driving less than 100 miles/day (and that's the vast majority of people on the road) EVs are already a good option.

The issues are being worked, better batteries that store more energy and charge faster are becoming available and research is pointing to even better things soon. The network of charging stations and technology is also improving. I like my huge stinking V8 but I know my next car will be an EV.


RE: i dont get it
By Spuke on 6/25/2014 12:51:17 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
These things are already viable.
Maybe we need to define viable. I see viable as replacing ANY of my current cars without an appreciate loss of convenience or increase of expense. And it seems, based on sales numbers, that most people are in this camp as well IMO. How do you define viable?


RE: i dont get it
By flyingpants1 on 6/25/2014 1:39:31 PM , Rating: 2
The downsides of EVs are pretty small though, compared to the overwhelmingly huge advantages they have over hydrogen and gasoline-powered cars.

You have to charge overnight, but you wake up every day with a full battery.

You have to drive 65mph along major highways for long trips, but all long trips are free and solar-powered.

Doesn't sound that bad to me.


RE: i dont get it
By Reclaimer77 on 6/25/2014 3:11:40 PM , Rating: 2
Overwhelmingly huge advantages? That's hyperbole.

There's only one EV that even comes close to ICE vehicles, the Model S. And it still takes hours to fully charge, and no, most people live nowhere NEAR a "Supercharger". It's priced out of reach for most people, and it's massively subsidized.

I'm sure your list of advantages are things most people could car less about, or things that end up being completely invalidated by the extreme initial investment anyway.

quote:
but all long trips are free and solar-powered.


Lie. Long trips along a very specific route are "free". That's far from claiming "all" long trips are free.

quote:
You have to charge overnight, but you wake up every day with a full battery.


Unless you can't charge at night, in which case, you're hosed.

And what happens when the very real possibility that your electricity is out for a few days or a week? It happens to millions of people in this country every year! Suddenly just jumping in your car and going wherever isn't an option you have any longer.

Pretending EV's are ready for prime time consumer use is just a fantasy you people have in your heads. People just aren't buying these things, and there's pretty good reasons why. Stop putting your head in the sand!


RE: i dont get it
By flyingpants1 on 7/2/2014 12:09:14 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Lie. Long trips along a very specific route are "free". That's far from claiming "all" long trips are free.


Yeah man, so specific!

http://i.imgur.com/5vGEXzA.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/Gw4j9TP.jpg


RE: i dont get it
By Mint on 6/25/2014 1:52:51 PM , Rating: 4
"Already" is a slight exaggeration, but Tesla's model shows that good enough convenience is here for many, and it'll get better with time (in 2 years coverage will be quasi-nationwide).

As for convenience, their stats show ~5% of mileage is supercharged, but even if that doubles, 10 half-hour charges per year will cover that. Would you turn down getting 5 free gallons of fuel in 30 minutes, during which you can do anything you want (call family, browse the web, nap, eat, etc)? The other 90% of the mileage involves plugging in every few days, which takes far less of your time than a weekly trip for gas.

Note also that Tesla is building their network themselves, using only 1-2% of revenue per year.

Meanwhile, Toyota wants the government to build H2 stations for them at 10-100x the price of EV chargers. I'm waiting for you and Reclaimer to protest this...


RE: i dont get it
By Reclaimer77 on 6/25/2014 2:28:15 PM , Rating: 2
It's amazing how far you'll go to couch a negative as something positive. Have you honestly ever pulled into a gas station and thought to yourself "man if I only had 30 minutes to get to do what I want here". Seriously??

Any time spent waiting for your car to charge is time better spent elsewhere!! Come on man, you're being ridiculous.

quote:
Meanwhile, Toyota wants the government to build H2 stations for them at 10-100x the price of EV chargers. I'm waiting for you and Reclaimer to protest this...


Protest what? Nothing is happening there and nothing probably will. Toyota wanting something and getting it are two different things.


RE: i dont get it
By Mint on 6/25/2014 3:44:40 PM , Rating: 2
For FREE gas? Have you ever seen the lineups at gas stations offering a mere 30c/gallon discount? I bet 90% of people would spend 30 min at a gas station to save $20.

We'll get a definitive answer soon enough. By the end of the year, Tesla will install battery swapping at the Harris Ranch supercharger station, and people will have a choice to get a swap for the price of a tank of gas. I'll bet you anything that very few people will choose it over the free option beyond an initial novelty factor, despite Model S owners being well off.

quote:
Protest what? Nothing is happening there and nothing probably will. Toyota wanting something and getting it are two different things.
http://www.energy.ca.gov/releases/2014_releases/20...
$46.6M committed to be spent on 28 H2 stations, and it's almost official for that to go up to $200M for 100 stations:
http://corporatenews.pressroom.toyota.com/releases...

Schwarzenegger tried to get automakers and private sector to pay for it, but he failed. They don't want to pay for them because they're expensive and they have no confidence in hydrogen succeeding.

Meanwhile, CA recently announced a mere $5M for 475 EV chargers:
http://chargedevs.com/newswire/california-energy-c...

Do the math.


RE: i dont get it
By kamk44 on 6/25/2014 4:50:46 PM , Rating: 2
Mint is definitely on something thinking people want to wait 30 minutes. Sometimes I get impatient with how long it takes to get gas. Ever been to a station where the pumps seem to take forever? I guess Mint uses an oven instead of a microwave to heat up his lunch. A potential solution is to have standardized batteries that are easily removeable. You pull into a station, a robotic arm removes the battery and puts in a full one. You pay based on how much electricity you used (what the station will have to replenish in the drained battery). It takes minutes and off you go. You can still charge at home if you can.


RE: i dont get it
By Mint on 6/25/2014 11:24:32 PM , Rating: 2
I didn't say they want to wait. I said most would rather wait than pay. I've seen it first hand at gas stations for far lower savings, and I bet you it'll happen at Tesla's swap station.

If you said to people, "Leave your car here 30 min and you can get half a tank for free", the vast majority would take that offer in a heartbeat.

quote:
A potential solution is to have standardized batteries that are easily removeable. You pull into a station, a robotic arm removes the battery and puts in a full one. You pay based on how much electricity you used (what the station will have to replenish in the drained battery). It takes minutes and off you go. You can still charge at home if you can.
News flash: That's what Tesla is doing.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S0-sHtlCZ7M


RE: i dont get it
By atechfan on 6/26/2014 7:00:41 AM , Rating: 2
Since people often have to make stops to eat on longer road trips, the car can charge while eating. I'm sure most of the Supercharging stations will be near to a restaurant or diner just for that purpose.


RE: i dont get it
By kamk44 on 6/26/2014 8:10:59 AM , Rating: 2
What Tesla is doing is a step in the right direction. For mass market appeal the tech needs to be standardized across all car makes and models (Tesla's patent sharing might help there) with a minimum number of battery sizes (S, M, L instead of 87, 89, 92 octane). Also Tesla expects the owner to come back for the old one although they will ship it for a fee or send a bill based on the difference in value of the batteries. There should be no expectation of getting a particular battery back. You should pay based on the electricity used (might be very low if replenished by wind, solar, etc) and a small fee that goes toward the expense of replacing spent batteries. You battery you just gave up will get recharged and put in another customer's vehicle which might fly by the time this infrastructure is as common as gas stations.


RE: i dont get it
By Reclaimer77 on 6/26/2014 12:52:45 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Mint is definitely on something thinking people want to wait 30 minutes.


It's really hard to take him seriously at this point. Oh you "get" to wait 30 minutes..just..wow. He's WAY out of touch with the average person. Which unfortunately seems to be a common fault with EV proponents.

As far as the "free" charging, that's just a temporary carrot until the pay-stick comes. Free Supercharging is basically a limited-time promotion. Only a moron thinks that will be the status quo in the future.


RE: i dont get it
By Mint on 6/26/2014 5:03:28 PM , Rating: 2
Now you're just being obtuse. I never said people "get" to wait. I said they won't mind the inconvenience for free mileage. I'll be proven right within a year. Just watch what happens when they open up battery swapping. It'll rarely be chosen.

He's promising Supercharging to be free forever, and to avoid a class action lawsuit it's gonna stay that way.

Tesla charges $2000 for the supercharging option, and is seeing owners charge less than 1000 miles a year with Superchargers on average. Even if it went up to 1500, that only costs them $50/yr in electricity.


RE: i dont get it
By atechfan on 6/26/2014 6:57:00 AM , Rating: 2
If Toyota doesn't get the government to build a hydrogen infrastructure, these cars are absolutely useless. Most people have the capability to charge an electric at home. How many people can make hydrogen at home?

Right now, electric beats gas for many commuting applications, and gas beats electric on longer trips. Hydrogen loses to both in all applications. Plug in hybrids like the Volt give the benefits of both gas and electric.


RE: i dont get it
By Reclaimer77 on 6/25/2014 3:26:01 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
For anyone driving less than 100 miles/day (and that's the vast majority of people on the road) EVs are already a good option.


Well I guess that explains why they're flying off the shelves, so to speak...

quote:
terms of convenience


The least convenient vehicle on the road, has a benefit in convenience. Uhhh right, good logic.

quote:
These are real issues, but the way he's bringing it up is in essence taking sides.


Is something wrong with that? The facts support my position, and don't support yours. That's called "winning".

I'm just sick and tired of the same idiots coming here telling us EV's are the way to go, while at the same time ignoring that NOBODY is buying them.

When an EV model outsells the F-150 or the Camry, THEN come talk to me. Until then, the market is talking, shut up and listen.


RE: i dont get it
By Spuke on 6/25/2014 3:56:40 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I'm just sick and tired of the same idiots coming here telling us EV's are the way to go, while at the same time ignoring that NOBODY is buying them.
To these people, selling two cars is a success. I honestly don't think some here realize just how many cars have to be sold to be a success. When I have to whip out the car sales link, I always get a mysterious silence afterwards.


RE: i dont get it
By Rukkian on 6/25/2014 4:03:28 PM , Rating: 2
While I think everybody knows that EV's are not for you, saying they are not selling is proof that they aren't useful is very short sighted. Are the current EV's worth buying to Joe Schmo - No! That is due to it still being a very new and expensive technology for the main price point - the battery.

As prices come down, and advances happen, I think that a big % of multiple car families would love to replace one or more of their cars with an EV, but that is only once the price is on the level of a camry or accord, and not an M5. While the leaf is there (sortof) price wise, it is hideous, and the range is not there. If/When a 200+ mile per charge (maybe even a true 150) is there for around 30K, I think it will take off, and many families would be fine happy with never going to the gas station on one of their cars.

Does it work for impatient, single, apartment dwellers that drive 500 miles a day - No, and it may never be. Will we get to see the cheap, awesome cars tomorrow - No. It will probably take another 10 years before it is a reality, but every one sold today helps to monetize the research into newer and better storage and charging systems. The EV's of today are necessary just like the cars that came before the model T were necessary for that to work. At the time people thought the car would never catch on for the average person, and would always be too expensive and not worth it.

I don't see myself (or my family) buying an ev anytime soon, but if some body (Model E?) comes out with an affordable option for a commuter/carpooler with a price tag around 30K, I would have no probable putting up with all of the issues.


RE: i dont get it
By foxalopex on 6/25/2014 4:45:58 PM , Rating: 2
The Chevy Volt is actually in the 30-40K range so it's pretty close for a lot of folks. It was close enough for me and with a fully functional gas engine, it has none of the limitations of a normal pure EV despite the fact that for most folks with short commutes, it acts like a full EV. (I end up never visiting the gas station all summer except for long +1000 mile trips.)


RE: i dont get it
By atechfan on 6/26/2014 7:06:12 AM , Rating: 2
The Volt has everything I need except for passenger capacity. Make a minivan or an SUV on a similar platform, and I'd buy it. Bob Lutz's new company that retrofits GM full size vans, SUVs and pickups has the right idea. These are the vehicles that will benefit most from plug-in hybrid tech, as they are gas guzzlers. Getting work trucks and delivery vans on electric will have a greater impact on overall gas use than small cars like the Leaf that are replacing other small cars that are already gas sippers anyway.


RE: i dont get it
By Reclaimer77 on 6/26/2014 12:57:30 PM , Rating: 1
The fact that you own a post-bailout GM vehicle, especially the Volt, labels you a poor judge of vehicles altogether. You should definitely excuse yourself from this conversation, and examine your entire life in detail.

And as a so-called Conservative, it should twist your guts seeing that Obamacar parked at your house everyday. Wtf is wrong with you?


RE: i dont get it
By atechfan on 6/27/2014 8:13:44 AM , Rating: 2
Was that aimed at me? I don't have a Volt. I said it has everything I need except carrying capacity. So I don't have one. I could care less about the bailout or Obama, I'm not American.


RE: i dont get it
By grant3 on 6/27/2014 2:21:55 PM , Rating: 2
Staples now has electric delivery trucks running around town. EVs are (very) slowly gaining market share and entering new segments.

A lot of EV haters simultaneously actively insult EV purchasers as well as claiming "no one" is purchasing EVs.

The dogs bark, but the caravan goes on.


RE: i dont get it
By hpglow on 6/27/2014 2:31:30 AM , Rating: 2
There are problems and many of them can be overcome with enough research. The problem is no one wants to pay for research. People love to complain about CAFE laws and government grants but the reality is that the "free" market wasn't looking for a solution. People forget history so quickly. Does anyone remember the smog haze around most major cities during the 70s and 80s? Everybody seems to convienantly forget. Look at what zero environmental regulation has done for China. It's nothing new just a repeat of our past. So either oil has to run out or the cost of gas needs to go through the roof before anyone cares. Most of these alturnitive vehicles are absolute crap but they have to be there to pave the way for better.


RE: i dont get it
By sorry dog on 6/27/2014 8:09:14 PM , Rating: 2
Just so you guys know.... I used to install sewage lift stations, most of which needed 3 phase. Not only did most residential neighborhoods not have 3 phase but it was not unusual to need 6 months to a 1 year to get the lines run for the station. Sometimes the power company would just say no if it was too much trouble.

However, there were the occasional spots that had 3 phase installed for another customer. Basically, just look up in the air and if you see an extra wire or two hanging on the pole you might be lucky. For motors and DC applications, 3 phase is much better.


RE: i dont get it
By atechfan on 6/26/2014 6:50:38 AM , Rating: 2
Other than the huge expense of refitting millions of gas stations to store and pump hydrogen? We already have an electric infrastructure. No so for hydrogen.


RE: i dont get it
By Motoman on 6/25/2014 12:01:48 PM , Rating: 2
Storage is not the "only" problem.

Transportation is a huge problem...bigger even than storage at a given site. There's no pipelines or even tanker trucks for transporting hydrogen. And hydrogen is *way* more explodey than gasoline. Scary stuff.

And I'm not convinced I want a compressed tank of hydrogen in my car either...in the event I get in a crash. I'm sure they made it *safe* and all, but still...BOOM.

The range is awesome. The refill time is awesome. Everything else being equal, they're a drop-in replacement for ICE vehicles, which is something EVs definitely are not. But you're seriously underestimating the problems in putting in a hyrdrogen infrastructure.


RE: i dont get it
By tng on 6/25/2014 12:31:45 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
There's no pipelines or even tanker trucks for transporting hydrogen.

Actually there are plenty of tanker trucks for transporting hydrogen. It is used in processes for the semiconductor industry. I have seen plenty of very large tanks of it at places I go to.


RE: i dont get it
By Motoman on 6/25/2014 3:17:37 PM , Rating: 2
OK. I'll grant you that there's a *few* hydrogen tanker trucks.

How about enough to replace a significant portion of the tanker trucks used for distributing petrofuels?

Right.


RE: i dont get it
By tng on 6/25/2014 3:56:36 PM , Rating: 2
Fair enough.

I am of the mind that it would be easy enough to add a H2 specific "Pump" at gas stations already in existence.

Yes Big Oil could use the byproduct H2 from refining to do this, but as soon as this took off others sources would be researched and other companies would get involved.

I don't get why there has to be just EV or H2 FCV. There should be both as long as they can sell by themselves without subsidies.


RE: i dont get it
By Motoman on 6/26/2014 10:33:03 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
I am of the mind that it would be easy enough to add a H2 specific "Pump" at gas stations already in existence.


No. It would be extremely difficult and expensive. There are no parts in common that you could share. You'd need a dedicated storage tank and pump, all of which of a specific design bespoke for hydrogen. Which, as mentioned elsewhere in the comments, is a ridiculously tiny molecule. Stuff that is airtight is not necessarily hydrogen-tight. And granted the explodey nature of hydrogen, you'd better be damn sure you're not leaking any of it. And that means a whole new field of storage and dispensing equipment.

You're not talking apples and apples. It's more like apples and Borg.


RE: i dont get it
By Reclaimer77 on 6/26/2014 12:06:31 PM , Rating: 2
Assuming the storage problem gets solved, which is just an engineering issue not something as difficult as building a Warp Drive, he's dead on.

You bury the hydrogen tank in the ground, JUST like you do with gasoline tanks, and you install some H2 pumps alongside the gas pumps or in their own dedicated area.

What's so "extremely" difficult about that? I'm not seeing it. Seriously if we can't figure out how to store hydrogen, the most abundant thing in the Universe, than we better just call in a DOA on the entire human race ever developing space travel for colonization and exploration beyond our Sol System.


RE: i dont get it
By grant3 on 6/26/2014 4:49:36 PM , Rating: 2
Precisely. H2 storage & dispensing is a well defined engineering problem which has been solved & implemented across the country.

If/when H2 vehicles become ubiquitous, so will fuel stations.

The difficulty, of course, is that installing the storage & dispensing equipment is going to be very expensive (easily 6 figures if not 7) so there could be a chicken-and-egg scenario while gas station owners wait for the local markets to become large enough to justify the cost.


RE: i dont get it
By yashasan83 on 6/25/2014 9:43:56 AM , Rating: 2
I don't get why anyone thinks gasoline could be viable. Its hard to store and no infrastructure. Does Ford have a plan for this? "Government and industry to work together" on it??

said everyone when cars were introduced


RE: i dont get it
By WLee40 on 6/25/2014 9:51:03 AM , Rating: 1
Ok, point taken. Good one...


RE: i dont get it
By chripuck on 6/25/2014 11:19:18 AM , Rating: 2
Agreed, we already have a world wide network of liquid fueling stations. How difficult would it be to switch the pumps from gasoline to liquid hydrogen?

Add in the fact that, even inefficiently, a ginormous solar farm could be created in the desert that's sole purpose is to generate hydrogen.


RE: i dont get it
By Solandri on 6/25/2014 12:56:58 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
How difficult would it be to switch the pumps from gasoline to liquid hydrogen?

Very difficult. Gasoline is liquid at room temperature. Hydrogen requires a temp just 20 degrees K above absolute zero to liquefy.

Hydrogen gas requires high pressure to compact its volume, which normally wouldn't be a problem except... H2 is the smallest molecule out there. Containers, pipes, and fittings which are water-tight and air-tight may leak hydrogen like a sieve. Have you ever wondered why helium balloons become smaller after a few days? Helium is also very small (it's a single atom, slightly smaller than a H2 molecule), and it escapes through tiny holes in the balloon's surface and knot.


RE: i dont get it
By Keeir on 6/25/2014 1:15:00 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Add in the fact that, even inefficiently, a ginormous solar farm could be created in the desert that's sole purpose is to generate hydrogen.


Why not just use the electricity?!?

Solar Farm --> Local Hydrogen Generation Station ~.93 per EIA US averages

Local Hydrogen Generation Electricity + Water = Hydrogen ~50-80% efficient, lets say 83% which is almost ideal efficieny

Hydrogen Gas --> Compressed Hydrogen Gas/Liquid ~75-95%. Lets say 95% for mildly compressed gas state.

Assume 100% efficieny of storage volume to car storage

Fuel Cells, when operated in cars are between 40-50% efficient today. Lets go with 50%.

1 kWh of electricity at farm * .93 * .83 * .95 * .5 = .37 kWh for car movement

versus BEV

Electricity to Battery - 85%-90% efficient. Lets say 85%.

Battery to Motor - 90-95% efficient. Lets say 90%.

1 * .93 * .85 * .9 = .71 kWh for car movement

The best "renewable" processes for creating Hydrogen are less than 60% efficient taking the renewable electricity into hydrogen into forward movement as compared to currently available on the market BEVs. Heck even ifin your senario you through in a second charge/discharge cycle for storing the energy in a form other than hydrogen you still are less than 70% efficient.

The "best" solution is to reuse what we have currently. Develop more durable batteries and produce a range of Extended Range cars that are provide cover 85% of your daily mileage counts as electric only and provide a generator type system powered by gasoline, diesel, ethanol, hydrogen combustion, hydrogen fuel cell, etc. If we reduce the amount of hydrogen that must be produced and stored, then options like Natural Gas become ways to create the hydrogen.


RE: i dont get it
By Spuke on 6/25/2014 4:00:22 PM , Rating: 2
You and Solandri always have interesting posts.


RE: i dont get it
By atechfan on 6/26/2014 7:09:10 AM , Rating: 2
Because deserts have lots of water to convert?


RE: i dont get it
By HoosierEngineer5 on 6/25/2014 9:47:40 AM , Rating: 2
How about a hydrogen-fuel-cell-battery-electric hybrid? The worst of both worlds!

Actually, this might be a feasable interrim solution, 90% of your driving would be commuter on battery, for trips you would need to use hydrogen filling stations. These would naturally be located along highways.

Maybe some day battery technology will be able to replace the other 10%.


RE: i dont get it
By SublimeSimplicity on 6/25/2014 10:17:27 AM , Rating: 2
All hydrogen fuel cell cars are actually battery hybrids. You can't modulate the output of the fuel cell fast enough to use that as your throttling mechanism. There has to be a battery or capacitor buffer to provide instant acceleration.


RE: i dont get it
By HoosierEngineer5 on 6/25/2014 10:35:51 AM , Rating: 2
Can you make a trip on battery alone, or are they start-stop storage?


RE: i dont get it
By SublimeSimplicity on 6/25/2014 10:44:07 AM , Rating: 2
They're stop/start because of the cost of batteries, but as batteries get cheaper battery capacities would increase. Then again, once batteries get cheaper, there isn't really a point to hydrogen fuel cells anyway.


RE: i dont get it
By chripuck on 6/25/2014 11:20:52 AM , Rating: 2
Except the "refuelling" of said batteries. Nobody wants to wait hours to charge high capacity batteries. The Leaf can recharge in 30 minutes on a 480v charger, but it has a tiny battery compared to what's needed for a 300 mile range.


RE: i dont get it
By SublimeSimplicity on 6/25/2014 1:25:14 PM , Rating: 2
The rate a battery can take a charge is rated by current/capacity (C rating). To keep it simple, if you can charge a battery in 1 hour, that's 1C... 30minutes is 2C. Most batteries today can do 3-4C. It doesn't matter if its a LEAF pack or a pack 2x bigger than a Tesla, that principle applies.

The bottleneck would be pulling that amount of power from the grid and delivering the power over a connector.

When you start introducing battery banks as the charging source, grid supply is no longer a problem. And delivering the power is just a matter of connector size or reconfiguring the pack during charging to accept a higher voltage. These are all minor issues, with lots of ways to solve. Battery capacity per dollar is THE problem.

You also have to remember that fast charging is a rare occurrence when you're talking about a car with a 200 mile range. If it was a daily thing, you'd be putting 60,000 miles on the car yearly.


RE: i dont get it
By titanmiller on 6/25/2014 10:46:07 PM , Rating: 2
I think that H2 fuel cell + medium/large battery is the way to go. Battery electric for most trips with "range extender" Hydrogen for road trips. It would be like a Chevy Volt.


RE: i dont get it
By Arsynic on 6/25/2014 10:44:14 AM , Rating: 2
It's more viable from an infrastructure perspective than full electric. It's relatively easy to add a Hydrogen option next to the gas and diesel options at your gas station. That's a lot more practical that retrofitting parking lots and parking garages with power outlets.

And don't get me started on the fire risk. I've seen ICE vehicles burst into flames during a collision.


RE: i dont get it
By mjv.theory on 6/25/2014 11:53:10 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
It's more viable from an infrastructure perspective than full electric. It's relatively easy to add a Hydrogen option next to the gas and diesel options at your gas station. That's a lot more practical that retrofitting parking lots and parking garages with power outlets.

Do you mean hydrogen at -253C/-423F, the supercryogen, that can leak straight through solid metal, that burns invisibly, do you mean that hydrogen?. Easy to add as a extra pump at the filling station?, would it? are you sure about that?. Far more likely is that it would cost several orders of magnitude more than electric to set up a hydrogen infrastructure.


RE: i dont get it
By atechfan on 6/26/2014 7:12:48 AM , Rating: 3
There are far to many people on this site that have a very poor understanding of science. I cringe every time I see someone say "Just convert the gas pumps to hydrogen pumps".


RE: i dont get it
By grant3 on 6/25/2014 8:52:41 PM , Rating: 2
"It's more viable from an infrastructure perspective than full electric."

You can't be serious?

Essentially every building in the modern world already has electric service. Adding electric chargers is a relatively trivial task. Once installed, the juice flows on its own.

Vs. hydrogen storage tanks & fuel pumps? They need a lot of room, huge expense, and constant replenishment from mobile tankers.

If you are talking about hydrogen fuelstations vs. battery swap stations, I wouldn't doubt that the space/expense becomes comparable, but batteries still don't require a tanker to come by every day and top off supplies.

"That's a lot more practical that retrofitting parking lots and parking garages with power outlets."

I don't think you know what you're talking about? Most parking lots/garages are already "wired"- primarily for illumination. Around here the "rich" garages already have electricity to every individual stall to monitor occupancy (i.e., a light above the stall turns green/red to indicate if it's free, and a scoreboard at the entrance tells people how much room is on a given level)

I agree that putting an electrical plug on every parking spot in the world would be a massive undertaking. However it's not an "all-or-nothing" situation. Spots are already being fitted with electrical chargers, slowly and with very little pain, a handful at a time as EV usage grows.

In my city (Los Angeles) there is sufficient charging infrastructure for EV commuters to never worry about power. The same cannot be said about hydrogen. That may change if hydrogen cars ever become popular enough for gas stations to justify upgrades. We shall see.


RE: i dont get it
By Reclaimer77 on 6/25/2014 9:05:04 PM , Rating: 2
Uhhh do you see how many cars come in and out of a gas station per hour? Per day?

In a world with massive EV adoption, how do you plan to handle that kind of capacity with the charging times we're seeing now? You would have lines of cars waiting backed up for miles!

Getting the electricity to the building isn't the problem. Actually SERVICING all those vehicles are.

And please don't say "battery swaps". The only one even working on that is Tesla, and it's still not a reality.

quote:
In my city (Los Angeles) there is sufficient charging infrastructure for EV commuters to never worry about power.


That's nice but step outside of Commiefornia and the landscape for EV's changes drastically.


RE: i dont get it
By grant3 on 6/25/2014 9:35:44 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
In a world with massive EV adoption, how do you plan to handle that kind of capacity with the charging times we're seeing now?


Am skeptical you're really this naive, but I'll play along:

Obviously most car charging would occur while cars are parked- either at home, or at work. Just as happens with today's EVs.

If demand for fast/on-the-go charging was even a fraction of what you envision, then every single restaurant, strip-mall, and bowling alley in the country could add their own fast chargers to make a few bucks meeting that demand.

Use your imagination: electric charging is not limited solely to gas stations. Which is precisely the point of why it's more viable from an infrastructure perspective.

quote:
That's nice but step outside of Commiefornia and the landscape for EV's changes drastically.


The "landscape" for hydrogen charging everywhere in the world is much worse than EV charging. Thank you for pointing out another aspect in which EV is ahead of hydrogen.


RE: i dont get it
By atechfan on 6/26/2014 7:18:10 AM , Rating: 2
I'm beginning to see Reclaimer's arguments are coming from his usual hater/fanboi mindset, not from any actual knowledge on the subject, which, as usual, is lacking. He hates Musk, therefor electric is bad. He loves Toyota, therefor hydrogen is good.


RE: i dont get it
By Reclaimer77 on 6/26/2014 10:08:20 AM , Rating: 2
You know what, just stop. If you don't even know me enough to realize I "love" Subaru, not Toyota, you don't deserve to speak about me in the familiar. Especially when I'm sitting right here, in this thread, glowing over Subaru's.

I don't love Toyota, I've only ever owned one of their vehicles (and I consider that a mistake), and they have NOTHING currently on the road I would even be interested in buying.

Also nowhere here did I say Hydrogen was "good" or better than anything. And I have said nothing about Musk that could even be construed as to be "hateful" here.

However

What I'm speaking about here is the reality of mass EV adoption, I mean MASS. Telling people to just plug-in at night is a stop-gap measure. Ignoring that most people CAN'T plug-in at night, is the worst kind of evasion of reality I've seen here.

As battery capacity gets larger and larger, charging capacity is going to have to increase as well. That's how electricity works. Simply saying we'll just run high voltage lines everywhere cars get parked isn't even feasible or practical.

So yes for mass EV adoption, the "gas station model" will be the only practical and convenient way to accommodate MOST people.

Battery swaps are another possibility, but it's going to have to be standardized and right now it's not. Tesla wants to do it their way, other manufacturers will want to do it a different way, so this will cause problems at the point of use for the EV owner. Imagine if there were proprietary gas stations for different makes of cars, and you get the idea.

So yeah, to say I'm simply "hating" here is frankly an insult. I'm one of the few here actually willing to consider things you guys aren't, and approaching this with logic and common sense.


RE: i dont get it
By Reclaimer77 on 6/26/2014 10:14:19 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
If demand for fast/on-the-go charging was even a fraction of what you envision, then every single restaurant, strip-mall, and bowling alley in the country could add their own fast chargers to make a few bucks meeting that demand.


Do you have ANY idea what would be involved in converting 50 or 100 parking spaces to allow for 480v EV charging? The cost would be so astronomical there would be no profit in it for years and years!

See this is what I'm talking about, you people are NOT dealing in reality!


RE: i dont get it
By grant3 on 6/26/2014 5:18:22 PM , Rating: 2
Again you've contradicted yourself.

First you claimed that the desire for fast-charging will be so overwhelming that gas stations can never meet demand.

Now you claim that desire for fast charging will be so underwhelming that it will be uneconomical for anyone to install the charging equipment.

Don't expect to be taken seriously until you can apply some logic to your your rants.


RE: i dont get it
By joshuaheard on 6/25/2014 11:27:28 AM , Rating: 2
You could easily create a portable hydrogen production unit using solar powered hydrolysis and water. It would be refrigerator sized and could fit in a garage. Since it would require only a water tap, they could be placed almost anywhere alongside a road.


RE: i dont get it
By atechfan on 6/26/2014 7:21:16 AM , Rating: 2
And wait there with your car plugged in while the slow electrolysis process takes place? Would probably be slower than charging a battery. Or are you proposing they also put in huge hydrogen storage tanks "almost anywhere alongside the road"?


RE: i dont get it
By zephyrprime on 6/25/2014 11:39:05 AM , Rating: 2
Agree. Hydrogen is not practical without a breakthrough in storage.


RE: i dont get it
By Reclaimer77 on 6/25/2014 11:42:14 AM , Rating: 2
Neither are EV's practical without a breakthrough in charging times and battery capacity.


RE: i dont get it
By NellyFromMA on 6/26/2014 12:53:51 PM , Rating: 2
No, Toyota has no plan. It's totally gonna wing it. Quick, tell them now before its too late!


A matter of opinion
By maevinj on 6/25/2014 9:06:33 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
the production vehicle is a bit challenged when it comes to styling, but Toyota hasn’t exactly been known for producing consistently good-looking cars since the 90s.


This car doesn't look bad at all. Of course at that price, I'd probably go ahead and get the Tesla.




RE: A matter of opinion
By BRB29 on 6/25/2014 9:08:44 AM , Rating: 2
People thought the Model S was expensive. This thing is above that and comes with less performance, practicality and probably safety.


RE: A matter of opinion
By quiksilvr on 6/25/2014 9:22:24 AM , Rating: 2
You're joking right (about the look)? This looks absolutely atrocious. They should have just taken one of their other cars like the Camry or the Avalon and place the hydrogen fuel cell engine inside and that would have been far more aesthetically pleasing and brand recognition:

Camry
Camry Hybrid
Camry Hydrogen


RE: A matter of opinion
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 6/25/2014 9:33:20 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
You're joking right (about the look)? This looks absolutely atrocious.


It has absolutely no cohesive design language. From the gaping grilles up front to the rear end which is just... I just don't know how to describe the taillight design/direction.

90's Toyota was firing on all cylinders:

MKIV Supra
MKII MR2
MKV/MKVI Celica
80 Series Land Cruiser
MKIV 4-Runner
MK1 Tacoma


RE: A matter of opinion
By Reclaimer77 on 6/25/2014 9:58:43 AM , Rating: 1
Yes but in the 90's Toyota had free reign with styling.

Today the Government has basically forced the most efficient design on all possible vehicles. I like to call it, the "jellybean", where drag coefficient is king.

Most every car now looks like a jellybean to me, totally lacking in character.

Except for Subaru's of course :P


RE: A matter of opinion
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 6/25/2014 10:04:15 AM , Rating: 2
You and your Subarus :) Subaru is hit or miss with me. They seems to go in odd cycles of good-looking to hideous.

The fourth generation (2003-2009) Legacy was the styling high point IMHO for the model... especially the wagon (DROOOOOOL). The one that came after (with the big, bulging fenders) was absolutely hideous. The all-new sixth generation is Camry boring.

Same goes for the Forester. I liked the first generation, the second generation was a step back. The third generation was the best-looking of the bunch, and the new fourth generation is just "meh"


RE: A matter of opinion
By Reclaimer77 on 6/25/2014 10:48:53 AM , Rating: 2
Nah see people say the A-10 is ugly, but it's revered by it's pilots and has a certain...charm to it.

So what do you think about the new Legacy? It's a contender on the spec sheet, but it just looks so...so...normal. Not even a hood scoop :(

Speaking of hood scoop, omg, the 2015 WRX is soooo sexy.

But hey they're doing something right, hottest brand in America! Come on Brandon..one of us, ONE OF US, ONE OF US!


RE: A matter of opinion
By Grimer21 on 6/25/2014 11:28:18 AM , Rating: 3
Hmm... I created a side by side of the 2015 WRX and a 2009 Civic.. very similar.

http://i.imgbox.com/vjgGSrXF.jpg


RE: A matter of opinion
By Reclaimer77 on 6/25/2014 11:36:18 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah...no. I don't see it. They're both blue?


RE: A matter of opinion
By Spuke on 6/25/2014 12:19:47 PM , Rating: 2
Not seeing it at all.


RE: A matter of opinion
By Grimer21 on 6/25/2014 12:26:15 PM , Rating: 2
Same body shape, same mirror location/look, same window shape and window partitions, same hood slope, same rounded roof, nearly identical elements on the front end as far as position (not necessarily shape), same A, B, and C pillar slope and shape, roughly the same shape and size of wheel well, same amount of body between the top of the rear wheel and the trunk... need I go on?


RE: A matter of opinion
By Reclaimer77 on 6/25/2014 12:37:16 PM , Rating: 2
Wow the mirrors on EVERY car are at that location!! In fact most of these you're listing, are "similar" in EVERY sedan. Start listing things that aren't "similar", and it's a different story.

So wtf, Subaru decided to steal the body design from a 2009 Civic for the '15 WRX redesign? Just..LMAO, okay troll.

Also it's pretty convenient you chose a picture of a (rare) WRX without the trademarked rear wing.

http://images.thecarconnection.com/lrg/2015-subaru...

Does this look like a Civic to you???


RE: A matter of opinion
By Grimer21 on 6/25/2014 12:44:58 PM , Rating: 2
Well, in my opinion, it looks like someone took a Civic and put bulges under it and cut a hole in the hood to make it more aggressive looking. I'm not trolling I really do think it looks just like a Civic. Also, I wasn't trying to suggest Subaru stole the design, I merely wanted to point out that they look very similar.

Also, we were talking about the 2015 WRX, not the 2015 WRX STI. I don't think there's anything 'rare' about a non-STI WRX.


RE: A matter of opinion
By Spuke on 6/25/2014 12:53:05 PM , Rating: 2
Except it doesn't look "just like a Civic".


RE: A matter of opinion
By Grimer21 on 6/25/2014 1:08:10 PM , Rating: 2
Except it does. The mirrors on previous model Subaru WRXs (and most other cars) stem from where the location of the quarter glass is on the 2015 model. They moved the mirrors stem down onto the body of the door. Are you guys blind? The front and back windows having a bell curve type shape is also pretty unique to both the Civic and '15 WRX.

Man, I feel like I'm holding a globe trying to convince a couple of cavemen how the world IS round and they just aren't getting it.


RE: A matter of opinion
By Spuke on 6/25/2014 1:20:43 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Are you guys blind?
LOL! I was going to ask the same thing. You're talking to an anal person here which notices every single crevice and crease. I can tell the difference between two blades of grass. Cars are not blobs to me where I pick two or three similarities and determine they're both EXACTLY or even mostly the same. Nope, I don't see those two cars as the same at all. Glad I don't have your eyes.


RE: A matter of opinion
By Reclaimer77 on 6/25/2014 3:28:26 PM , Rating: 2
Man put the crack pipe down. They have 4 doors and 4 windows, after that the similarities pretty much end.


RE: A matter of opinion
By Reclaimer77 on 6/25/2014 3:33:28 PM , Rating: 2
edit: windows = wheels.


RE: A matter of opinion
By Rukkian on 6/25/2014 3:52:08 PM , Rating: 2
While I like Subarus in general and dislike pretty much every Honda, I do think the picture you posted of the back of it does kind-of look like a civic, but probably only cause others said it does, and I am trying to see it.

I am not sure there are many Subarus that I look at and don't immediately think Subaru.


RE: A matter of opinion
By Schrag4 on 6/25/2014 12:53:14 PM , Rating: 2
Your A-10 analogy reminds me of the Glock analogy. They are hideous, but their light weight, ruggedness, high capacity, low bore-axis (reduced muzzle flip), simplicity in controls and in disassembly, availability of accessories, and reliability makes them beautiful to their owners.


RE: A matter of opinion
By bitterman0 on 6/25/2014 1:12:58 PM , Rating: 2
Except when the fixed grip makes it impossible to hold comfortably in one's hand, and all that treasure trove of functionality and features becomes just... useless.

In the car analogy that would be like several sharp spring ends sticking out from the driver's seat. If your body shape is just right to avoid them - you're a happy camper!


RE: A matter of opinion
By Schrag4 on 6/25/2014 1:22:38 PM , Rating: 2
I will grant you that. They're not for everybody. My hands are a bit on the small side for their 2x4 grip shape. I've shot their Gen4 with the smaller backstrap, though, and it's an improvement. Even though it's not a perfect fit for my hand, I've learned to deal with it. Those with larger hands can get away with adding some kind of grip tape or sleeve much easier than those like me whose hands are just a touch smaller than average.

I will say I shoot my SR9c a bit better - it has a really slim grip for a double-stack 9mm. The quality is noticeably lower than some of its competitors (you get what you pay for) but beyond finish quality, it has been reliable and it just fits my hands great. If you have smallish hands and want a double-stack 9, I suggest you at least handle one.


RE: A matter of opinion
By Reclaimer77 on 6/25/2014 4:22:32 PM , Rating: 2
I think being uncomfortable with the grip is a long way from it being impossible :)

Having said that, I always thought the Glock was a bit overrated. I go in for the Springfield XD line myself for my frame-on-poly goodness.


RE: A matter of opinion
By Schrag4 on 6/25/2014 4:46:22 PM , Rating: 2
You really can't go wrong with most modern offerings. Even the "trash" brands put out some pretty reliable stuff, if the owner is willing to do their part when it comes to maintenance. I haven't handled an XD myself but I can't imagine I'd find much of anything to complain about. A lot of it comes down to personal preference these days, IMO.

Glock was my first, so I'm a bit of a fanboy, but I recognize they've really screwed up in recent years with the Gen4. The adjustable backstrap is the only thing that they changed that I like, to be honest. With all the other changes, they took something that wasn't broken and screwed with it. Now we have erratic ejection, failures to eject are more common for limp-wristers, and I really don't like the new finish compared to the older generations. I just don't understand why they would do that. I guess I should have qualified my earlier post and said Gen3 or earlier Glocks. I'm sure there are plenty of happy Gen4 owners, but the rumors are true about erratic ejection and failure for limp-wristers. My brother owns one, and we shoot it fine, but our other brother had issues until we had him really grip it well and lean into it (as he should anyway).


RE: A matter of opinion
By Reclaimer77 on 6/25/2014 9:21:02 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah I agree. But the difference between the "trash" and the quality guns is you get the really nice trigger included. The trash guns you're looking at a trigger job, which imo, negates whatever bargain you thought you got.

I love the XD trigger, especially the XDM line. I'm not really in love with the Glock trigger, but can get used to it.

I wasn't aware they made changes that negatively impacted reliability. That's...disappointing considering they're Glock and that's kinda their thing.

Okay now this limp-wrist thing, I've seen it happen with some of the girls in my IDPA club. Is that something just endemic with GLocks? Do they use weaker springs or something?

I've never heard of this with any other major brand. I would be hesitant to even carry a Glock because of that, because in a self defense struggle or heated situation, I cannot always guarantee I'll be able to use perfect shooting form and not "limp-wrist" a shot.


RE: A matter of opinion
By Schrag4 on 6/25/2014 11:00:29 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Okay now this limp-wrist thing, I've seen it happen with some of the girls in my IDPA club. Is that something just endemic with GLocks? Do they use weaker springs or something?


I think the fact that they went to a dual recoil spring is actually the problem. A weaker spring would allow the slide to cycle with less resistance from the frame. The dual recoil spring found in Gen4 Glocks is meant to soften perceived recoil, but what ends up happening is when the slide gets back to the second spring, if the shooter isn't providing enough resistance, the frame moves with the slide. Again, this isn't a problem with someone who has a good grip on the gun, even with one hand.

This is an issue with ALL polymer-framed guns, really. It's just basic physics. The recoil spring pushes the slide against the frame, and if the frame can move because the shooter isn't keeping it relatively still, the frame will move along with the gun. If the frame is heavy enough, like in a 1911 or other steel-framed gun, it's much, MUCH less likely to happen because the frame has extra weight to get moving relative to the slide.

It's easy to picture by just extrapolating: Imagine that the "frame" was actually a 10 ton piece of iron. When the slide moves to the rear, the frame won't budge one millimeter and so the slide will cycle completely relative to the frame. As you reduce the weight of the frame, it would move more and more when the recoil spring pushes against it. At some point, the shooter has to keep the frame from moving a lot when the recoil spring pushes on it, otherwise the frame will just move with the slide.

Pistols that cook off a round in a safe during a fire (due to heat) pretty much never even eject the empty case because nothing is pushing back on the frame. That's an example of the ultimate "limp wrist" (no wrist).


RE: A matter of opinion
By Mint on 6/25/2014 2:19:52 PM , Rating: 2
You think the 2015 WRX is sexy? The styling has been panned by almost everyone.

My brother got a 2014 STI because he hated the new one so much. He saw it as an EVO rip off, and a poor one at that.

The 2015 concept was definitely sexy. I'll give you that. But the production version wasn't even close.


RE: A matter of opinion
By Reclaimer77 on 6/25/2014 3:46:58 PM , Rating: 2
Mint you sit here and fawn over EV's. You couldn't POSSIBLY understand the appeal that an all-wheel-drive Rally inspired car holds for some people.

And no offense (well yeah, offense), but your brother is an idiot. The upgrades and power gains alone in the '15 model over the '14 make any gripe about styling irrelevant. If looks are all he cared about, why even BUY an STI at all lol.

So yeah I think the 2015 WRX is sexy. Especially when you get behind the wheel...


RE: A matter of opinion
By Spuke on 6/25/2014 4:04:18 PM , Rating: 2
I agree. There SOO many upgrades done to the '15 that getting an older one is like wanting to live in a cave.


RE: A matter of opinion
By Reclaimer77 on 6/25/2014 4:40:50 PM , Rating: 2
He missed out on torque vectoring, massively improved suspension tuning, a MUCH better interior and cabin quality upgrade (no more horrid road noise), a tuned ECU w/improved throttle response. Understeer has been REMOVED, permanently! The chassis is much more buttoned down. And the list goes on and on.

All because it looks a little different? Yeah, that's just nuts. In either the STI or WRX, there's SO much more bang for your buck over the '14 models it's just amazing.

And yeah for the STI power is the same, but Subaru boosted the WRX's power AND fuel economy at the same time, significantly.

In fact I would go as far as to say unless you're planning on serious AutoX or tracking of your car, there's no real need for the STI. The WRX is all you could want.


RE: A matter of opinion
By Mint on 6/25/2014 10:57:59 PM , Rating: 2
Looks weren't all he cared about. Availability and price mattered as well, as he'd miss out on a winter of drifting if he waited.

What power gains? The '14 and '15 are both 305 hp, 290 lb-ft of torque.

I never used to care about EVs until oil went over $100/bbl and batteries plummeted in price. My first car was a used 330ci because it was a great blend of performance, handling, and price (they depreciate like crazy), my commute was short enough that mpg didn't matter, and I can do almost all repairs my self.

FYI, AWD and high performance will soon become an EV/PHEV staple. In China, BYD is promising AWD, sub 5s 0-60 in almost every car they introduce from now on. BMW's i8 is their statement about the future, and is also high performance AWD. Same with the Mercedes SLS electric drive. Tesla's Model X will be AWD and high performance.

See a pattern yet? EVs have significant advantages when it comes to AWD.


RE: A matter of opinion
By YearOfTheDingo on 6/25/2014 10:28:04 AM , Rating: 2
The Fu Manchu grills are badass. The supervillainous look is gonna totally intimidate other drivers. They will be like "OMG, I'm being tailgated by Ra's al Ghul! I better get out of his way!"


RE: A matter of opinion
By atechfan on 6/26/2014 7:29:05 AM , Rating: 2
Except the average driver will not know who Ra's al Ghul is.


RE: A matter of opinion
By Flunk on 6/25/2014 9:36:55 AM , Rating: 2
I'm pretty sure they did do that. It looks like a Corolla with slightly different front and rear bumpers and lights.

For $69,000 you'd think it would merit a Lexus badge.


RE: A matter of opinion
By Jeffk464 on 6/25/2014 12:03:28 PM , Rating: 2
It needs bigger wheels/wheel wells and the back end needs to be reworked.


RE: A matter of opinion
By hughlle on 6/25/2014 12:16:51 PM , Rating: 2
Not too bad, other than those two hideos vents or grills at the front.

The front seems to be a bit of a cross between an alpha romeo and the VW scirocco


Hydrogen the new gas
By Dave1231 on 6/25/2014 9:38:42 AM , Rating: 2
The choice of hydrogen is the choice to keep the status quo of oil companies charging customers for fuel whereas with electric, the power could be self generated via solar or other renewables. In this sense, hydrogen is bad news for consumers if widely adopted. Expect Texaco, Exxon, Shell et al to push it like crazy and the hydrogen pumps installed at existing gas stations.




RE: Hydrogen the new gas
By HoosierEngineer5 on 6/25/2014 9:51:54 AM , Rating: 2
I can see the ads already:

Hydrogen, it's a gas!

(ducks and runs for cover)


RE: Hydrogen the new gas
By Motoman on 6/25/2014 4:43:33 PM , Rating: 2
Everything is a gas. Given a proper temperature.


RE: Hydrogen the new gas
By HoosierEngineer5 on 6/26/2014 8:19:42 AM , Rating: 2
1. Gasoline, which is dispensed as a liquid, is often referred to as 'gas' as an abbreviation
2. "It's a gas" is an old expression for something that is wonderful.
3. Hydrogen, except at very cold temperatures or very high pressures, is gaseous.

So, in three ways, the new fuel, Hydrogen, can be considered a gaseous substance, a replacement for gasoline, and something wonderful.

It's a double pun!


RE: Hydrogen the new gas
By rdhood on 6/25/2014 10:18:05 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
The choice of hydrogen is the choice to keep the status quo of oil companies charging customers for fuel whereas with electric, the power could be self generated via solar or other renewables.


Completely bogus. Oil companies have a oligopoly on oil and the things that come out of the ground with it. NOBODY has an oligopoly on hydrogen (except maybe oxygen!). Admittedly, the largest producers of hydrogen today are oil companies because hydrogen is a byproduct of oil production. But that is not the only way to produce hydrogen, and I suspect that a hydrogen based economy would find a multitude of cheaper ways over time.


RE: Hydrogen the new gas
By HoosierEngineer5 on 6/25/2014 10:37:47 AM , Rating: 2
The solution to the solar/windmill storage problem.

Unfortunately, I don't think hydrogen storage is terribly efficient.


By foxalopex on 6/25/2014 2:41:15 PM , Rating: 2
It's funny how this is considered more viable than the Chevy Volt which has been sold for a couple of years and unlike this concept car doesn't require a hydrogen fuelling station but can either fuel up at a 120v, 240v outlet (with the right charger) or at a regular gas station.

Nevermind the fact that this HFC car is twice the price of a Chevy Volt and can't go cross-country because hydrogen fuelling stations don't exist everywhere. Basically you'd be in worse shape than using a Telsa in this price range with likely weaker performance.




Hydrogen vs. Gasolline
By texbrazos on 6/26/2014 3:51:34 PM , Rating: 2
I have always been interested with Hydrogen, since I easily produced some using a small solar panel and salt water a few years ago. Very simple. I keep hearing these people say, well it is not viable because of the energy that is required to separate the hydrogen from say oxygen.
First off, have any of you actually thought about the amount of time, money, and energy used to produce a gallon of gasoline? The exploration, wars, drilling, pumping, shipping, pumping again to storage, then the distillation process that uses a boiler to heat that oil "fractional distillation", pumping yet again to storage, pumping yet again to a truck, train, boat, etc., transporting again, pumping again into fueling station, and pumping yet once more into a vehicle. Hell, I have even read they use hydrogen to actually make gasoline, in a process called hydrocracking. Why not just use the hydrogen? Hydrogen could even be made on location, and at your own home. Toyota obviously believes in it. I bet most of the people here that disagree with it, are highly invested in the oil biz. Hydrogen would give America complete energy independence, but would also give the individual person energy independence. Now that is what I call an All American Fuel! Oh wait, one more benefit, it is much much cleaner to the environment!




Prices of electricity
By atechfan on 6/27/2014 8:46:52 AM , Rating: 2
I guess the viability of electric would also have a huge dependency on the price of electricity and the stability of the grid in your area. In LA, which, ironically, is one of the places pushing alternate fuels the hardest, the 21 cents per kWH and the rolling brownouts would probably suck for EV owners, whereas Texas, a state where you might expect there to be a strong gasoline based car bias, with rates around 11 cents per kWH, would actually be better for EVs.

Since I recently went off-grid, I don't care about electricity prices, but when I was buying it, I paid around 11 cents per kWH as well. I bought a piece of land that used to have a water-wheel operated sawmill about 100 years ago. The dam and headpond are still there, perfectly functional, so I had a turbine and generator installed and now I have more electricity than I can use available year round. I'm anxiously awaiting availability of a full sized plug in hybrid SUV with a gas or diesel range extender.




Troll!!
By Reclaimer77 on 6/25/14, Rating: -1
RE: Troll!!
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 6/25/2014 9:56:14 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Also you people comparing the cost of this to the Model S, you're conveniently leaving off the $10k or so of subsides you've deducted from that price, which this Toyota doesn't qualify for.


The $69,900 price quoted in the article/comments is BEFORE the $7,500 federal tax credit.


RE: Troll!!
By Reclaimer77 on 6/25/14, Rating: -1
RE: Troll!!
By Spuke on 6/25/2014 12:21:30 PM , Rating: 2
LOL!


RE: Troll!!
By Spuke on 6/25/2014 12:22:55 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
It's easy to call me and Spuke "trolls" for stating the same thing.
Wait a minute, my comment rating is still above 2 so technically I'm not a troll. LMFAO!


RE: Troll!!
By Reclaimer77 on 6/25/2014 12:25:51 PM , Rating: 2
HAHAHA oh yeah good point!


RE: Troll!!
By sgw2n5 on 6/25/2014 10:07:30 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
It's easy to call me and Spuke "trolls" for stating the same thing. But come on, we have people who make cars for a living stating over and over again they DON'T want to make EV's because there's just no market for them.


Correct! That's why nobody is buying them...


RE: Troll!!
By grant3 on 6/25/2014 9:08:44 PM , Rating: 2
I wouldn't call you a "troll"- you're just illogical & self contradictory.

Seems like everyone gets this except Elon Musk [...]
we have people who make cars for a living stating over and over again they DON'T want to make EV's because there's just no market for them.


Elon Musk makes cars for a living.
Elon Musk wants to (and does) make EVs.
The "market" buys his cars as fast as he can make them.

If you don't like EVs, that's fine, don't buy one.
Ranting about it on a "tech" website is a little shameful.


RE: Troll!!
By atechfan on 6/26/2014 7:35:47 AM , Rating: 2
While there is something about Elon's smugness that grates on me, and his "Elon is Tony Stark" fans need a kick in the nuts, nobody can say "Elon doesn't get it" and be taken seriously. He's got a waiting list months long for his cars, he's just shared the patents, making it easier for others to make electrics which will need batteries, which is just coincidentally is building a huge plant to manufacture, and he is just about to release solar cells that are more efficient and cheaper to make than any of the competition.


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