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At Washington, D.C. Auto Show, Honda said that it will begin retail leasing of the new 5-passenger, hydrogen-powered Clarity Fuel Cell sedan (earlier post) to customers in select California markets before the end of 2016. Honda expects to price the Clarity Fuel Cell at around $60,000 with a targeted monthly lease under $500. Honda expects limited volumes in the early stages of production. Deliveries will begin through certified fuel cell vehicle dealers in Los Angeles and Orange counties as well as the San Francisco Bay Area and Sacramento. The company will start by leasing vehicles and expects to move to retail sales with increased volumes and market coverage coincident with increasing vehicle supplies and the growing hydrogen refueling station network. The Clarity Fuel Cell will anchor an expanding portfolio of advanced environmental Honda vehicles, including a reengineered 2017 Accord Hybrid, going on-sale this spring, and a new Honda Plug-In Hybrid vehicle based on the same platform as the Clarity Fuel Cell, slated for launch by 2018. Honda engineers created a fuel cell stack that is 33% more compact than its predecessor with a 60% increase in power density compared to the outgoing Honda FCX Clarity. The more compact fuel cell and integrated powertrain, comparable in size to a V-6 engine, now fits entirely under the hood of the car, allowing for a more spacious cabin with seating for five passengers. The new Honda Clarity Fuel Cell will feature a driving range estimated to exceed 300 miles (483 km), with an anticipated refueling time of approximately three to five minutes. As the next progression in Honda’s dynamic FCV styling, the Honda Clarity Fuel Cell features a low, wide aerodynamic body with clean character lines. Features include the Honda Sensing suite of safety and driver assistive technologies, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, LED exterior lighting and 18-inch aluminum alloy wheels. The Clarity Fuel Cell will be available in black, white and signature red exterior paint schemes. Next-generation plug-in hybrid . In addition, the platform underpinning the Clarity Fuel Cell will serve as the base for a next-generation Honda plug-in hybrid launching in the US by 2018. This will be a new, 50-state volume vehicle in the Honda lineup-up. Featuring a second iteration of the i-MMD plug-in system that offers significant improvements in battery capacity and power, the next-generation Honda plug-in hybrid will more than triple the 13-mile (21 km) all-electric range of the previous Accord Plug-In Hybrid Sedan. This much greater all electric range will enable a zero emissions commute for the vast majority of American drivers with EV operation at highway speeds. Hydrogen refueling station network. In the effort to speed the advancement of a refueling station network outside of California, in May 2013 American Honda joined the public-private partnership H2USA, which brings together automakers, government agencies, hydrogen suppliers, and the hydrogen and fuel cell industries to coordinate research and identify cost-effective solutions to deploy stations that can deliver affordable, clean hydrogen fuel in the United States. Additionally, in an effort to support the wider introduction of fuel cell vehicles, Honda in 2014 committed $13.8 million in financial support to FirstElement Fuel to accelerate the building of additional hydrogen refueling stations throughout the state of California. In June 2013, Honda entered into a long-term collaborative agreement with General Motors to co-develop the next-generation of fuel cell systems and hydrogen storage technologies, aiming for the 2020 timeframe. The collaboration expects to succeed by sharing technological expertise, economies of scale and other benefits.

News Article | April 15, 2016
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Are hydrogen-powered cars the more effective alternative than electric vehicles? Toyota thinks so. And the automaker continues to spur along other automakers to follow its blueprint for a "hydrogen society." After releasing upwards of 5,600 patents for fuel-cell technology last year, Toyota continues to mash the dash in imploring other automakers to be open to hydrogen. "Toyota firmly believes the benefits of a hydrogen society are enormous for a healthy global environment," Toyota chairman Takeshi Uchiyamada said in comments, as reported by USA Today. "That is why we are playing a leading role in bringing together automakers, energy companies, government agencies and others to help build the required refueling infrastructure." He added: "We want to encourage others to participate in creating the hydrogen society. By engaging our collective brain power, these possibilities can become reality." According to USA Today, in this year so far, Toyota has sold 100 Mirai cars, which is its first mainstream hydrogen-powered vehicle. But just as Tesla and General Motors — two leading companies advancing electric vehicles — are experiencing, Toyota believes that not having an adequate amount of refueling stations is keeping the fuel-cell technology from flourishing in the United States. And it's an issue that needs to be resolved, working with state regulators for further adoption. "The big problem is not enough hydrogen refueling stations," Uchiyamada added. "If we want fuel cell vehicles to become popular, we have to build infrastructure from the ground up. And that is no easy task." Hey, but if there's one automaker equipped to help change that, it's seemingly Toyota. Having introduced the Prius in the U.S. back in 1999, the company had to knock down doors to prove its worth as an environmentally-friendly vehicle. Of course, its [current] 44/40/42 miles per gallon for city/highway/combined, respectively, helps. To date, Toyota has sold north of eight million Priuses in the states. Toyota showed off its FCV Plus hydrogen-based concept vehicle last fall to oohs and ahhs from the automotive community, so there seems to be real interest there. If automakers take Toyota up on its offer to use its patents and develop their own hydrogen-based vehicles, we could see a real movement and even leaning towards the technology. Last month, reports surfaced about Honda being in talks with GM to collaborate on fuel-cell technology ... so maybe the hydrogen-society movement has already started. © 2016 Tech Times, All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.

« Komatsu Europe introduces new 36t hydraulic hybrid excavator; 20% fuel savings | Main | DOE to issue funding opportunity to develop plans for drop-in bio-hydrocarbon biorefinery » Japan’s Council for a Strategy for Hydrogen and Fuel Cells, which includes experts from industry, academia, and government, recently issued a revised version of the Strategic Roadmap for Hydrogen and Fuel Cells. Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) established the Council in December 2013; the Strategic Road Map was first published in June 2014. With the increased dissemination of fuel cells for households, the launch of fuel cell vehicles onto the market, and steady progress in the construction of hydrogen stations, the Council has revised the plan, setting new targets. For vehicles, these targets are: The council also discussed the technical and economic challenges concerning the utilization of hydrogen generated using renewable energy. The new plan published by METI also calls for research and development to reduce the cost of fuel cells to one-fourth the current level. The Asahi Shimbun reported that the Japanese government projects that the cost of fuel cells can be halved from the current level by 2020 and lowered to around one-fourth by 2025 by reducing the use of expensive cell materials and the standardization and sharing of cell components. Reduction in stack cost will enable the auto industry to introduce popular-market FCV models priced less than ¥3,000,000 (US$27,500), according to the plan. Toyota Motor has said it plans to achieve annual global sales of more than 30,000 Mirai fuel cell vehicles by 2020.

Honda Motor Co., Ltd. delivered the first Clarity Fuel Cell, Honda’s new fuel cell vehicle (FCV) (earlier post), to the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI). The Clarity Fuel Cell went on sale on 10 March 2016. The Clarity Fuel Cell is a five-passenger sedan-type FCV, realized by making the fuel cell powertrain more compact using original Honda technologies and fitting it entirely under the hood of the car. The Clarity Fuel Cell provides a cruising range (for reference) of approximately 750 km (466 miles) in JC08 testing, an increase of approximately 30% compared to the previous FCV model. The hydrogen tank can be refilled in approximately three minutes, realizing ease of use equivalent to that of a gasoline-powered vehicle.

« Researchers find some solid-state hydrogen storage materials could serve as less toxic solid propellants for rockets | Main | Bosch says its haptic gas pedal can reduce fuel consumption up to 7%; safety warnings via nav and V2X systems » Tottori Prefecture, Tottori Gas Co., Ltd, Sekisui House Ltd. and Honda Motor Co., Ltd. signed an agreement to pursue jointly Tottori Prefecture’s project to establish a base for a hydrogen energy demonstration (and environmental education). This will be Japan’s first case where hydrogen energy will be utilized through the integration of a hydrogen station which creates hydrogen from renewable energy, a smart house and a fuel cell vehicle (FCV). The purpose of this project is to promote the popularization of smart houses and FCVs. The project will install, for the first time on the Sea of Japan side of the archipelago, a Smart Hydrogen Station (SHS) using Honda’s high-differential-pressure electrolyzer that supplies hydrogen created by electrolysis of water using renewable energy. Honda will also supply its new Clarity fuel cell vehicle. The SHS and solar panels will be installed on the property of Tottori Gas Group (located in Gotandacho in Tottori City). Using electricity generated from a solar power generation system, this SHS will create and supply hydrogen to a FCV. In the meantime, an exhibition building of Sekisui House already existing within the same property will be turned into a smart house. Visitors will be able to have firsthand experience with technologies and systems that enable an environmentally-responsible, comfortable and smart lifestyle, including power feeding from the fuel cell of a FCV to a smart house. In addition, a new facility will be built within the same property for the purpose of offering environmental education for people of all ages. Tottori Prefecture will bear a portion of the SHS installation cost and the cost of installing a smart house and study area. Tottori prefecture will also act as a liaison among four parties. Tottori Gas will be responsible mainly for installing and operating the SHS. Sekisui House will be responsible mainly for designing and installing the smart house.

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