Fuel Cell

  • Hydrogen station in Ebina City, Japan

    Earlier this year in Europe, 13 companies joined forces to create the Hydrogen Council, a global initiative to discuss and promote the use of hydrogen as a renewable source of energy. In the United States, GM and Honda have partnered up to build a production plant in Michigan that will roll out next-generation propulsion systems for fuel-cell vehicles. While hydrogen fuel-cell cars are now being sold globally, in very small numbers, the lack of hydrogen fueling infrastructure is a reality the industry still has to face. DON’T MISS: Carmakers, fuel and oil companies form Hydrogen Council...

  • Chevrolet Colorado ZH2 hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle
    GM fuel-cell chief talks about military truck, Honda deal to build hydrogen powertrains

    Innovation has no secret for GM and after tapping into hybrid and electric engine technologies, fuel-cell is its next target. In an interview with Trucks.com, GM’s global fuel-cell business director Charles Freese seemed confident that hydrogen will become a next big step in transportation...

  • Honda Clarity lineup: Electric, Plug-In Hybrid, Fuel Cell, at 2017 New York auto show
    Assessing the Honda Clarity range: how electric cars fit in, and why

    The 2017 Honda Clarity Fuel Cell is the only model of Honda's newest sedan presently on sale, though an all-electric version will arrive later this year. The hydrogen-powered mid-size sedan with a rated 366 miles of range is the one that's gotten by far the most publicity from Honda, as its...

  • Mercedes-Benz GLC F-Cell prototype
    Mercedes denies CEO said it will turn away from hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles (updated)

    Large global automakers customarily pursue research into multiple types of technologies and future powertrains at the same time. Sometimes they pan out, sometimes they don't. German automakers have only really come around to devoting their efforts to plug-in electric cars in the last five or six...

  • 2015 Hyundai Tucson Fuel Cell, 2016 Toyota Mirai at hydrogen fueling station, Fountain Valley, CA
    Energy use for hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles: higher than electrics, even hybrids (analysis)

    It's now clear that the zero-emission vehicles of the future will be powered by electric motors. The electricity to power those motors, however, will come from one of two competing technologies: high-capacity batteries or hydrogen fuel cells. The debate over which technology is superior, which has...

  • Prototype plug-in electric delivery van with fuel-cell range extender to be tested by UPS in 2017
    UPS electric van with fuel-cell range extender to be tested in California

    Considerable skepticism remains that passenger vehicles powered by hydrogen will become a major part of U.S. sales any time soon—or ever. Quietly, however, analysts suggest that hydrogen may provide a solution to the different challenges of producing zero-emission heavy trucks and delivery...

  • 2016 Toyota Mirai  -  Quick Drive  -  Portland, July 2015  [photo: Doug Berger]

    Toyota's staunch, unswerving support for hydrogen fuel cells has astonished and aggravated many in the electric vehicle community. For some of them, the technology is at best an inferior solution—and at worst is fossil fuel-friendly vaporware, a Judas in Jesus's clothing, if you will. With Daimler's recent announcement that it would de-emphasize fuel cells in favor of batteries, your author checked in with contacts at Toyota to ask if they too would be moderating their fuel-cell efforts. DON'T MISS: 10 Questions On Hydrogen Fuel-Cell Cars To Ask Toyota, Honda & Hyundai (Oct 2014)...

  • 2012 Toyota RAV4 EV, Newport Beach, California, July 2012
    Why Toyota's 'agonizing' U-turn toward electric cars? Because China says so

    Large auto companies are likely aircraft carriers: it takes a long time for them to change direction, and far longer yet to get them aligned on a new course. To various degrees, the world's carmakers have started to produce and sell vehicles that plug-in, whether for some or all of their travels...

  • Toyota 'Project Portal' proof-of-concept hydrogen fuel-cell powered semi tractor, for Port of LA
    Toyota 'Project Portal' hydrogen fuel-cell heavy-duty semi tractor as proof of concept

    The challenges of building fueling infrastructure for passenger cars powered by hydrogen fuel cells are well known by now. Toyota, Honda, and Hyundai now lease low volumes of fuel-cell vehicles in selected areas of California where a few dozen hydrogen fueling stations are now up and running. The...

  • Genesis GV80 Concept, 2017 New York auto show
    Genesis GV80 fuel-cell concept SUV at NY auto show

    These days, it's all but de rigeur that concept cars from major global automakers be shown with some form of alternative propulsion. They may preview future production vehicles powered by plain old conventional gasoline engines, but a plug-in hybrid or other greener powertrain shows the automaker...

  • 2015 Hyundai Tucson Fuel Cell, 2016 Toyota Mirai at hydrogen fueling station, Fountain Valley, CA
    All the challenges for hydrogen fuel-cell cars laid out

    Twenty years ago, Toyota took the automotive industry by surprise with the Prius. The Japanese giant is attempting to revolutionize driving again, this time by bringing hydrogen-powered cars to the masses. However, it now faces a completely different set of challenges than when it set out to get...

  • 2017 Tesla Model X
    Tesla Model X electric car vs Toyota Mirai fuel-cell car: CA road trip

    The ability to travel long distances has long been a distinguishing feature of Tesla's luxury electric cars, whose Supercharger fast-charging network now offers access to essentially every part of the 48 continental states. But where hydrogen infrastructure exists, which can cover a long road trip...

  • 2017 Honda Clarity Fuel Cell, Santa Barbara, CA, March 2017

    There are now three different vehicles powered by hydrogen fuel cells on sale in California, and we've driven them all. The 2017 Honda Clarity Fuel Cell is the first one in which we were able to forget about the powertrain and simply drive. It's the best of the three, although that won't matter much to the majority of U.S. car buyers who live outside the limited regions of California where it's on sale. DON'T MISS: 2017 Honda Clarity - review The Clarity is a mid-size sedan, with some strange exterior design cues but a spacious, comfortable, and pleasant interior that's nicely appointed. The...

  • Toyota Mirai emissions-scrubbing billboard
    Toyota Mirai billboards scrub nitrogen oxides while touting hydrogen fuel-cell sedan

    If green cars can reduce emissions, why shouldn't their advertising do the same? That's the theory behind a series of billboards in relevant California markets that advertise the Toyota Mirai hydrogen fuel-cell sedan. But these billboards will do more than try to attract the eyes of potential...

  • 2017 Toyota Mirai
    What's the most important fuel-cell car so far? Poll results

    About 600,000 plug-in electric cars have been sold in the U.S. in the past 10 years. The number for hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles is lower: as of the end of last month, it's below 1,600. Nonetheless, Honda, Hyundai, and Toyota today offer zero-emission vehicles powered by hydrogen in limited areas of...

  • Hyundai FE Fuel Cell concept, 2017 Geneva auto show
    Hyundai FE Fuel Cell Concept previews hydrogen-powered SUV coming in 2018

    The Hyundai Tucson Fuel Cell was actually the first hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle offered to U.S. drivers in recent years. The 2016 Toyota Mirai that followed it has now outsold Hyundai's hydrogen-powered SUV, but it's been known for a couple of years that the Korean maker will replace that model. At...

  • 2016 Honda CR-Z Final Label (Japanese spec)
    Honda: hybrids, plug-ins, fuel cells to be two-thirds of Europe sales by 2025

    Honda's green-car strategy for the next decade or so appears to be coming into greater focus. In place of its previous mild hybrids, the Japanese automaker is planning to produce much higher volumes of its two-motor hybrid powertrain, as seen first in the Accord Hybrid mid-size sedan. It also...

  • Nissan e-NV200 taxis in Barcelona
    Fuel-cell range extender for Nissan e-NV200 electric taxis announced by Symbio

    Advocates of battery-electric and hydrogen fuel-cell cars are often at odds over which powertrain technology is the more practical solution to reducing emissions. But French firm Symbio continues to experiment with ways to combine the two. It fits hydrogen fuel cells as range extenders for...

  • Shell logo

    Anticipating a possible decrease in fossil-fuel consumption from the mass deployment of zero-emission vehicles, one of the world's largest oil companies is hedging its bets. Royal Dutch Shell is becoming increasingly involved in hydrogen fueling infrastructure, which will be needed if fuel-cell vehicles are ever to grow beyond their current minimal numbers. The company is already involved in efforts to build hydrogen-fueling stations in Germany. Now, it is expanding its efforts to other parts of Europe. DON'T MISS: Which oil companies invest in renewables, electric-car services? It recently...

  • 2017 Toyota Mirai
    Toyota Mirai update to fix output voltage on fuel cell electronics

    Every Toyota Mirai hydrogen fuel-cell car sold anywhere in the world will soon be recalled to address an issue with its onboard electronics. The problem lies with the output voltage generated by the cars' fuel-cell stacks. Under certain driving conditions, the amount of voltage generated by the...

  • Image from 'Thinking About Tomorrow' video ad for 2017 Honda Clarity Fuel Cell
    Honda Clarity Fuel Cell marketing theme: thinking about tomorrow

    A 40-year-old Fleetwood Mac song, floating childrens' heads, and hydrogen molecules all kick off the marketing campaign for the 2017 Honda Clarity Fuel Cell hydrogen-powered vehicle. Like most marketing for hydrogen vehicles, the video ad above will likely be targeted only to California drivers...

  • 2017 Nissan Leaf
    California goal: eliminate gasoline, diesel light vehicles altogether

    What if gasoline and diesel cars and light trucks were simply eliminated altogether from the new vehicles sold in a state? Residents of one state in the U.S. may, eventually, find out. California already leads the nation in promoting zero-emission vehicles, but the Golden State may soon take that...

  • 2017 Toyota Mirai Super Bowl ad 'Daisy' screenshot
    Toyota shows Mirai Super Bowl ad, but only in California

    As is the norm these days, the ads running during Super Bowl LI this past weekend drew almost as much attention as the game itself. Automakers are among the myriad companies that expend considerable creative and monetary resources on Super Bowl ads every year. And green cars make occasional...

  • 2017 Toyota Mirai
    Carmakers, fuel and oil companies form Hydrogen Council to promote fuel cells

    In addition to automakers and policymakers, battery-electric cars can count on support from a variety of advocacy groups. But grassroots support for hydrogen fuel-cell cars hasn't germinated to quite the same extent. So, in the absence of a large cadre of individual consumers to act as advocates, a...

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