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Clean Transport Toyota hydrogen fuel cell EV wind 1

Published on March 16th, 2016 | by Tina Casey

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Toyota Could Get The Last Laugh With Battery-Less, Wind-Powered EV Fleet

March 16th, 2016 by  


The Intertubes have been buzzing with news that Toyota is spearheading a public-private partnership that will deploy wind energy to generate hydrogen for whole fleets of zero emission electric vehicles. That’s the good news. The bad news is that the EV fleets in question are not exactly Tesla-level exciting. They’re forklifts, to be precise. Oh well, baby steps!

Toyota hydrogen fuel cell wind EV 2

Challenges For Hydrogen Fuel Cell EVs

Back in the heat of the 2012 US presidential race, candidate Mitt Romney gave renewable energy and EV technology the horselaugh, claiming that “you can’t drive a car with a windmill on it.”

That’s a somewhat disingenuous take on personal mobility fuel sourcing, since you can’t drive a car with an oil refinery on it either, but whatever. Fast forward a mere four years later and battery EV sales are soaring in the US, and the wind and solar share of US electricity generating capacity has been climbing rapidly.

Fuel cell EV technology has also been on the rise, but more slowly, and so far it is not competitive in the consumer mobility market on cost and refueling convenience. Fuel cell EVs also have to deal with the same legacy fuel sourcing issues that used to dog battery EVs, namely, the use of fossil fuels to generate electricity. In the case of hydrogen fuel cells, the primary source of hydrogen is natural gas, though renewable hydrogen is beginning to emerge.

Despite all the challenges, a number of governments around the globe are pushing hard for fuel cell EV technology, including the US state of California.

Toyota is one among a number of global auto manufacturers to dip a toe in the US fuel cell EV market, and the critics have been plenty (that includes our sister site Gas2.org, btw).

Toyota Gets The Last Laugh…Eventually

In terms of rapid adoption and commercialization, one bright spot for fuel cell EVs is the market for electric forklifts. With a super-quick refueling capability and no extra battery storage room needed, fuel cell electric forklifts beat battery forklifts hands-down in terms of the strict space/time continuum demanded by the modern logistics industry.

As competition for the logistics market heats up, there is a direct bottom line motivator for auto manufacturers and forklift purchasers to pump more R&D into improving fuel cell EV technology and lowering the cost, with a ripple effect on the personal mobility market.

The critics may be all over fuel cell EVs now, but Toyota could still get the last laugh.

Toyota And The Wind Powered Hydrogen Fuel Cell EV

That finally brings us around to the new Toyota hydrogen fuel cell EV announcement.  Following on the heels of a months-long planning process that launched last fall, the public-private project is designed to demonstrate and analyze the performance of fuel cell electric forklifts under different conditions among two cities in the Tokyo Bay area, Yokohama and Kawasaki.

Toyota hydrogen fuel cell EV wind 1

The demo project will also take a look at supply chain reliability and enable future planning for mass production and the removal of regulatory impediments.

The hydrogen fuel for the forklifts will be generated from water by electrolysis, and electricity for the process will be provided by the Yokohama City Wind Power Plant, aka Hama Wing.

The renewable hydrogen will be compressed and stored at a central location, with the plan being to ensure that there will always be a two-day supply of hydrogen on hand for twelve forklifts divided among four different fleets at a local factory, a produce market, and two warehouses.

Taking processing and transportation into consideration, the partners anticipate that there will be at least an 80 percent reduction in carbon dioxide emissions, compared to using gas-powered forklifts or battery forklifts using grid electricity.

That’s just for starters. The partners anticipate that further reductions will be made as the project progresses.

Don’t hold your breath — the project is still in the preparation phase and it won’t start rolling until next fall in a step-by-step process beginning with just one forklift. The idea is to get the hydrogen delivery system down pat before staging the additional forklifts. Full operation is not expected until some time in 2017.

Why Hydrogen?

The advantages of hydrogen fuel cells are clear in the logistics market, but for general mobility the big question still is, why go through all the trouble of using renewable electricity to make renewable hydrogen, when you could just use all that juice directly in a battery EV?

As described by writer David Z. Morris in Forbes magazine last fall, Japan is making a huge bet on the “hydrogen economy,” but it’s not alone. The European Union is another hydrogen hotspot with a particular focus on renewable hydrogen, an effort that is aimed partly at boosting the domestic auto manufacturing sector.

The US Energy Department is another hydrogen fuel cell EV believer, as demonstrated by the agency’s $35 million round of R&D funding last fall, following on another $35 million round earlier last year.

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Images: via Toyota.





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About the Author

specializes in military and corporate sustainability, advanced technology, emerging materials, biofuels, and water and wastewater issues. Tina’s articles are reposted frequently on Reuters, Scientific American, and many other sites. Views expressed are her own. Follow her on Twitter @TinaMCasey and Google+.



  • Embrace hydrogen

    The truth still remains. Toyota is a corporation that will get done whatever it wants get done and a bunch of a angry commentators can not do anything about it. Spare your nerves and keyboards.

    • Bob_Wallace

      Perhaps you’ve heard the name “Kodak”? At one time Kodak dominated photography.

      Kodak basically invented digital photography. Kodak produced the first digital SLR (single reflex camera). Kodak made a line of digital compacts. But then Kodak’s executives decided to turn its back on digital and stick with film.

      Lots of us “angry commentators” who were highly involved in digital photography discussed why we believed Kodak was making a major misstep.

      Kodak stuck with film and went bankrupt.

      Remember how Toyota manufactured the RAV4 E? And then quit and stuck with ICEVs and is now pushing FCEV? Toyota will do what Toyota wants to do. But many of us feel that if Toyota sticks with ICEVs and FCEVs they will experience a Kodak event.

      • Embrace hydrogen

        Norwegians and germans are pushing hydrogen too. They already install industrial electrolyzers. Australia is wellcome too.

        • Bob_Wallace

          I’m not sure that’s meaningful. Lots of countries and companies make mistakes.

          You identify as a hydrogen pusher. Have you been honest with yourself re: the cost of hydrogen?

        • Jens Stubbe

          Air liquid is building a hydrogen plant in Denmark too and there is also a project focusing upon utilizing excess CO2 from biogas plants to produce methane.

          I do not think hydrogen is the right approach because you have to build an infrastructure from the bottom up. Methane fits right into an extended infrastructure and so does Methanol and several other Synfuels. Unlike a battery that just needs a grid connected charger circuitry a Synfuel plant is complex and requires CO2 supply. Unlike batteries Synfuels has basically unlimited storage and you can produce valuable byproducts. More over the entire fleet of engines everywhere that is adopted for fossil fuels can go CO2 neutral by switching to Synfuels.

  • Joel

    I for one thinks that it’s great that the fuel cell technology gets pushed forward. While I agree that fuel cell *cars* are a stillborn idea, given advantages of pure EVs, I still think that there is a great potential for fuel cell heavy trucks, long distance buses, ships and aircraft.

    • Bob_Wallace

      Large trucks and long distance buses would probably be better served by battery swapping.

      I’m not sure you could pack enough hydrogen into an airplane needed to cross and ocean. Same problem for oceanic shipping. Hydrogen packs very little energy per volume.

      Look at the graphic below. Compressed hydrogen packs about 10% as much energy per volume as gasoline. Even less compared to diesel. Tanks for long distance travel would be immense.

      • Joel

        Energy per volume is not necessarily a useful measure. Why do you think the volume will be the main constraint? For an aircraft, the weight should be more important, especially with composite materials enabling non-conventional fuselage shapes.

        And why compressed hydrogen? For an aircraft at least, surely you don’t want pressure tanks, you want to use liquid hydrogen. Also, in your chart, you fail to take into account that a fuel cell has higher efficiency than say diesel.

        I’m not saying that fuel cell anything is a winner. I’m just saying that while battery personal cars appears to be winner compared to fuel cell personal cars, I cannot see how current batteries can compete for other modes of transport. They might, in the future, but it’s not clear to me. If hydrogen or LNG fuel cell aircraft can replace current kerosene aircraft, that would be a great thing, even if the hydrogen/LNG comes from a fossil source.

        • Bob_Wallace

          Energy per volume is very important. Especially for flight.

          Right now passenger jets store their fuel in tanks in their wings. Imagine the loss in revenue if lots of passenger and cargo space had to be used for hydrogen tanks. More than 10x the space now used for fuel. And, remember, the tanks that hold the hydrogen are heavy. Check the curb weight of the the Toyota Mirai and compare it to the Tesla S which has about the same range.

          Liquid hydrogen requires a lot more energy to compress. And the tanks are bulky because they have to be heavily insulated.

          I don’t think fuel cells are as efficient as the best engines used in long distant trucks. Do you have data that says otherwise?

          We need to get beyond fossil fuel for any use. We shouldn’t be flying with kero or LNG. Our best solution at the moment is probably to greatly reduce the amount of flying by moving moderate length travel to high speed rail. Or, if we get lucky, to the Hyperloop. Reserve planes for only long trips and places where we can’t go by surface transportation and run the planes on biofuel.

          We can also hope that battery capacity increases to the point at which we can fly using electricity.

          • nitpicker357

            “I don’t think fuel cells are as efficient as the best engines used in long distant trucks. Do you have data that says otherwise?”
            Brf? (That was an expression of surprise.)
            “In addition each vehicle’s engine must show a 50% brake thermal efficiency (BTE). This is defined as break power of a heat engine as a function of the thermal input from the fuel.”
            Source: http://www.allynintl.com/en/news-publications/entry/what-is-being-done-to-improve-the-efficiency-of-class-8-long-haul-trucks
            discussion of “super-trucks”. Wow, that’s better than I thought!
            Wikipedia has a chart that lists fuel cell system efficiency
            ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fuel_cell#Comparison_of_fuel_cell_types )
            (Proton exchange membrane fuel cell) as 30-50%. I followed the link 2 steps, and got the same range.. I think of fuel cells as having potential near 100% efficiency, but practical efficiency is currently much lower, unless you have a use for waste heat. Huh. Thank you, Bob.

          • Bob_Wallace

            I didn’t post the numbers that were bumping around in my skull but I was remembering someone posting 43% for the fuel cell used in someone’s FCEV.
            And I ran some numbers a while back to see if it was feasible to run 18-wheelers on batteries (with battery swapping). I found 45% for an efficient diesel engine with efficiencies running over 50% for the most efficient engines running at a fixed rpm (genset use).

            Waste heat. We lose so much of our primary energy that way.

          • Jens Stubbe

            CHP plants, that use engines that are kind of similar to truck engines and are supplied by the same companies that supply trucks, has electric conversion efficiencies in the forties and large ship motors has efficiencies up to 60% and a formula one engine has a peak efficiency around 45%.

            Motors are however improving and becoming lighter as well so fuel cells may not be the right choice.

          • Joel

            Aircraft are weight constrained, not volume constrained. If you think otherwise, you don’t understand fundamental concepts such as lift-over-drag. No one is suggesting putting hydrogen tanks into existing aircraft. It’s about designing future aircraft allowing them to have larger, but lighter, tanks.
            There are also a lot of scenarios where it makes sense to use renewables to produce hydrogen, e.g. when there is excess capacity.
            I’m not saying that fuel cell aircraft, trucks or whatever will be the winner, but I don’t think they should be dismissed.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Using A230 numbers. And I’ll do this in metric ’cause she’s a furrin plane.
            Maximum fuel load = 27,200 liters = 27.2 cubic meters.

            Total cargo space = 37.4 cubic meters.

            Cabin length = 27.51 meters.

            Cabin width = 3.7 meters (max) Average 3.5?

            Cabin height not given so 2.3 meters?

            Cabin volume = 221 cubic meters? That’s probably high due to rounded ceiling.

            Total fuselage volume (passenger and cargo) = 258 cubic meters.

            So to pack enough energy in the form of hydrogen we’d need 27.2 x 10 cubic meters = 272 cubic meters.

            Looks like if we filled the wings, passenger cabin and cargo hold with hydrogen we could fly SFO to Beijing. Maybe carry a very well heeled passenger or two in the cockpit.

            Or are you arguing that we make passenger jets 2x or more larger in order to carry the same number of passengers and their suitcases?

          • Joel

            Oh, I would not worry. I bet the aircraft designers understand physics well enough so that they don’t need to extrapolate A230 figures.

        • Jens Stubbe

          You can produce pellets that are dry that cannot break into fire unless they are heated to more than 400 degrees Celcius and has a far higher energy content per unit weight and volume than any liquid fossil fuel. Amminex that first commercialized the idea went bankrupt and now after a restructure market a similar pellet product for trucks to control NOx emissions. The chemical formula is Mg(NH3)6Cl2 that when heated released a combustible gas.

          I am just mentioning it as it could be important for aerospace where weight is really expensive to carry and you also realize some safety benefits.

      • nitpicker357

        I’ve always hoped that hybrid-lift blimps would make a go of it, just for the cool factor. Not for the passenger trade, though. More for wind turbine parts, and the like. You could fuel those with a combo of Hydrogen and some liquid fuel, in a proportion that gave an average density near that of air. Of course, I also want to have a genuine steam dirigible – one that uses steam as a lift gas. I make no representation about the practicality of these solutions.

  • Matt Wandel

    Good for Toyota and Japan. This will allow them to use garbage and sewage waste as feedstocks for hydrogen as well as wind and solar.

  • ROBwithaB

    You said something about fuel cells being the preferred technology for forklifts. That is overly broad, and if interpreted at face value, misleading.
    It would have been useful if you’d provided a bit of background information.

    Basically, diesel forklifts generally still win on cost. Especially if they are already paid for. Old forklifts can go on working for a decade or two, But diesel has a distinct disadvantage, namely emissions. horrible in any kind of enclosed space, and completely unacceptable in many environments (food processing, high tech clean room environments etc). Bottled gas (LPG, CNG), can be a workable replacement in some of those situations, but battery forklifts are becoming increasingly popular.
    Most electric forklifts use deep-cycle lead acid batteries. They’re cheap, and the weight isn’t a problem. In fact, it can be seen as an advantage. Forklifts are supposed to be heavy, so that the load doesn’t tip them over.
    Trickle charging overnight is not a problem for most businesses, which operate a single shift of perhaps 9 hours, with the forklift used intermittently throughout the day.

    However, there are some specific use cases where battery forklifts are not ideal, based on the current state of battery technology. In a 24/7/365 operation, charging the batteries becomes a problem. The chemistry of the lead cell means that there isn’t really a fast
    charging option available, so it’s not feasible to leave the batteries
    in the forklift while charging happens, because downtime is expensive.
    The capital costs of the machinery are a big deal. The operators can
    work in shifts, but the machinery is expected to keep going day and night on very tight schedules.
    Batteries can be swapped, but that generally requires manual labour, of the burly variety. Batteries are typically housed under the operator’s seat. So there’s a fair amount of downtime involved, disonnecting all the batteries, transferring them to the charging bays and so on.
    Then, the batteries that have been swapped out need to be charged up again. In a 24 hour operation, that might mean two batteries on charge for each battery operating within a forklift. So a 3 to 1 ratio.
    This means: A big investment in additional batteries, lots of space set aside in your warehouse to charge all those batteries (at prime commercial rental rates), lots of burly labour unconcerned with lower back injuries or similar workplace disability, someone to monitor the whole charging process, checking for dead cells etc, some impressively large and expensive electrical equipment, and still some significant downtime.

    So in the First World, where labour is expensive and fragile, commercial rentals are expensive and the WalMart economy demands round-the-clock hub and spoke logistics networks, there is a niche for fuel cells. That niche exists in very large mega-warehouses, where the cost of installing the hydrogen storage tanks and associated infrastructure can be spread amongst many vehicles.

    It is likely that this niche will disappear over time as battery technology improves. How long that might take is anybody’s guess. In the meantime, if big businesses in the right niche can save millions, they’ll go for it. These very high cycle machines will probably be completely amortised by the time the new technology comes about.

    It’s a very narrow use case, and cannot be seen as vindication of the Frankensteinian Mirai program. And it’s certainly no justification for the misleading headline of this article. Fuel cells might well have a place in a renewable economy, but it’s not going to be in passenger cars.

    And the wind turbine angle here is just a gimmick. There’s no reason to have all the hydrogen stuff directly in the shadow of the turbine. Electrons are electrons. By all means let’s transform to renewable sources of electricity. But let’s not pretend that the hydrogen production is somehow greenified by its close proximity to the renewable production.

    Disclaimer: I am not a forklift expert. Insights based on my experience as a commercial/industrial landlord.

    • Matt Wandel

      PLUG Power out of New York supplies fuel cell stacks for forklifts to Wal-Mart, Home Depot, BMW, Lowe’s, Nike, and many more. They’re on their 3rd generation stacks which are air cooled. They take approx 1 minute to refuel. PLUG has not yet turned a profit but they expect to in 2016. Their gross margins have gone from -25% to +25% in the past couple years. They have some warranty costs to deal with because of stack failures in the field. The new generation stacks are no longer experiencing failure. Their customer’s that run three shifts have seen an increase in productivity because they do not need to wait for batteries to charge.

      • ROBwithaB

        Yup. It’s those 3-shift operations that are the big market for this technology. Refuelling time is a much bigger deal for a just-in-time logistics chain than it is for the average motorist.
        And the bigger the fleet, the better the economies of scale on the infrastructure installation.

        I’m not opposed to fuel cells in principle, I can foresee a number of possible applications for them.
        Just not in passenger vehicles.

  • respectmyplanet .

    Some of the commenters here are really against Hydrogen as a fuel source.

    • ROBwithaB

      Not at all.
      Because it ain’t a “fuel source”.

      • Matt Wandel

        I should have said “fuel” instead of “fuel source”. Thanks for the correction.

    • Bob_Wallace

      First, hydrogen is not a fuel source. Natural gas/methane can be converted to hydrogen. Methane is the fuel source, hydrogen is simply a ‘refined’ product much like gasoline is a refined product from petroleum. Petroleum, in that case, is the fuel source.

      Reforming methane into hydrogen releases CO2 into the atmosphere. any thinking person should be opposed to that.

      Second, if hydrogen used as an energy storage solution (renewable electricity -> hydrogen -> electricity) it is a very inefficient way to store energy. Many people are against waste when we have much better solutions.

      Using hydrogen as a storage technology would mean having to install 2x to 3x as many wind turbines and solar panels. It would prolong our use of fossil fuels.

      Informed people have climbed down off the hydrogen band wagon….

      • Matt Wandel

        Water, bean burritos, sewage, landfill waste, and many other things can be converted into hydrogen also. I should have said “fuel” not “fuel source”. Thanks for the oversight Bob.

        • Bob_Wallace

          A bunch of years back I got very excited when I found out about making biofuel from used restaurant cooking oil. My excitement lasted a few seconds while I contemplated the size of the tank in a deep fat fryer and the size of a diesel pickup fuel tank. Idea fail. Source limited.

          There’s going to be demand for methane for a long time. That may take up all the available sewage/landfill supply. There may not be any to convert to hydrogen. Certainly not enough to fuel a world full of FCEVs.

          I wonder what the average fart volume is for a normal adult? If we could capture all that methane would it be enough fuel to back the FCEV out of the garage? Process all your poop and all your organic waste. Could you drive a mile?

      • Jens Stubbe

        Which much better solutions ?

        Synfuels is less energy efficient but does not require the world to scrap the entire liquid and gaseous infrastructure including all existing combustion engines to go 100% renewable.

        By increasing demand for solar and wind you drive down cost.

        I think you should reflect a bit more about the fast track strategy to get off fossils.

        A quick search reveals that in 2014 the entire global electricity production was 23.000 TWh or 23.000.000 GWh, which is 0,73 GWh per second.
        https://yearbook.enerdata.net/world-electricity-production-map-graph-and-data.html

        Tesla Gigafactory project 50GWh annual storage battery production.

        Tesla has explained that they will be producing more battery capacity on an annual basis than humanity has produced so far.

        I do not know how many GWh backup you recommend for a renewable grid but I suppose you will end up with a number that requires thousands of Gigafactories.

        If you set the number problem aside for moment then you should reflect over the other possibilities to limit the supply demand discrepancies because they all reduce cost fluctuations by either shifting consumption in time or geographically, which undermine the arbitrage strategy where owners of batteries speculate in buying cheap and selling expensive.

        • Bob_Wallace

          The world will need around 180 ‘Gigafactories’ in order to supply batteries for 90 million EVs a year. I have no idea how many GFs we would need for grid storage.

          I can see a possibility for synfuels for airplanes and as fuel for deep backup. I really doubt it can compete for short cycle storage.

          • Ronald Brakels

            That might be 10 million EVs per year if autonomous driving greatly reduces demand for vehicles. That and the fact that autonomous electric cars aren’t going to smash into things much or wear out quickly,

          • Bob_Wallace

            Good point. Autonomous cars should reduce car ownership and bring down the numbers. From 90 million to 10 million seems like a stretch, but down.

          • Ronald Brakels

            Well, a lot of current car production is to meet demand in countries where the large bulk of the population didn’t have cars before, similar to how the US rapidly filled up with model T Fords and other vehicles one hundred years ago. Once China switches from people who have never had cars getting cars to just replacing cars world car production should slack off, although just when that happens will also depend on what’s going on in places like India and Nigeria.

            The older generations in carcentric nations such as the US and Australia may cling to private car ownership, but I don’t think most people in places like Japan and Europe will hang onto their cars if the cost and waiting times for taxis plummets. And countries without established car cultures will regard using automated taxis as normal.

            And even in the USA and Australia younger generations are obviously not into driving as much as their elders. They have made it clear they would much rather fiddle with the valves on their personal multivacs and examine computer mimeographs on the intertubes than actually drive.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Yeah, all that, but….

            Unless we really start staggering office opening times and class start times at school we’re still going to need a lot of cars to move the masses to their ‘9 to 5’.

          • Ronald Brakels

            Those rush hours in the morning and late afternoon mean that battery packs per car don’t have to be Tesla large. They just need to be large enough to get through the peak demand period and then which ever ones are lowest on energy can start recharging themselves. So they might only need a battery pack say the size of the current Leaf. (Of course, the optimal battery pack size may turn out to be larger than that, particularly with large decreases in battery costs.)

          • Bob_Wallace

            Possibly, but I suspect battery costs will come down enough that we won’t bother with low range EVs. The difference between a 28 kWh Leaf and the Tesla 3’s (possible) 50 kWh pack may be less than $2k in a few years.

          • Ronald Brakels

            And the larger battery size will enable them to charge up on cheap solar during the midday lull and run all through the late afternoon/evening peak. Then they charge on cheap wind power late at night to be ready to meet the morning peak. But if anyone doubts battery production can ramp up quickly enough, self-driving taxis can still take a lot of cars off the road using only moderate sized battery packs. And for anyone who thinks current battery prices are some sort of hoax by people trying to fund unnecessary lithium mines in Australia, self driving hybrid taxis could take a lot of cars off the road and eliminate a great deal of oil use. All we have to do is make self driving cars safer than human piloted ones.

          • Peter

            Being able to right-size the vehicle will also have a really big impact on battery size. An autonomous single seat electric vehicle would work fine having only 10 kWh of battery capacity.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Yes, there could easily be a niche for small, low range EVs which would be used for short runs around neighborhoods. When I made my earlier post I was assuming a full sized car.

            And we could see single passenger commuter pods for those who don’t want to share a ride, great for someone who wants to do some work during the commute. If some people could work during their commute that might let them leave home later and leave work earlier which would reduce congestion during commute hours.

            And a few autonomous vans and pickup one could phone up. When you need to move or haul something large home.

          • Ronald Brakels

            Provided they don’t take up much space they could cut congestion.

          • Bob_Wallace

            What if we had a lot of single or double occupancy EV pods and they were able to ‘hook up’ into EV clusters.

            Think something smaller than the Smart Car. Small enough to fit two abreast in a single lane. And able to drive while making contact with the car in front of them.

            A cluster of these little puppies could form up based on destination and drive while wasting no space between cars. Perhaps four would take the road space of a single midsize car. The result would be to (virtually) take three cars off the road.

            The Twizy is 47 inches wide. Maximum legal highway width is 96 inches. (102 for buses.)

            http://www.vanrental.co.uk/vanblog/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/renault-twizy-cargo-2-sm.jpg

            The Twizy is 91 inches long. The 2002 Lincoln Town Car is 215 inches long.

            https://theprospectory.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/punch.jpg

            With batteries under the floor rollover should not be a problem. As we move to cars with collision avoidance then the risk of being hit becomes very low. (All new US sold cars will have to have automatic braking in 2022.)

            Get rid of the steering wheel, free up the dash space for a laptop. Install a joystick for manual steering.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Then imagine a spontaneous carpool system where one inputs their destination and the time they want to leave.

            A single occupancy pod might show up or it might be a vehicle with up to four rows of seats and eight doors. No crawling over others to get in/out. The individual seats could even be partitioned off so people could work in privacy.

            Single occ pods deliver from your suburban home to a central location where you transfer to a eight-seater for the long part of the commute.

            Lots of options once a large number of cars are no longer owned by individuals and are self-driving. With a little creativity we should be able to pack a lot more people into the available road space.

          • Ronald Brakels

            To me it looks like the hardware required for a car to be self driving will become quite cheap over time, so small should definitely be an option. No joystick though. Many passengers won’t have a valid license and those who do are likely to only know how to use a steering wheel, so it could get messy.

            Having four large comfy seats per vehicle means there is plenty of spare capacity for peak periods, provided people are willing to ride share. And if those 4 seats can become 6, that would be useful for families and groups of friends. Strangers might no want to sit right next to each other, but people who know each other probably won’t mind if it means they can stay together as a group.

            So just what mix of car sizes there will be remains to be seen. But what to do with babies is a question though. Will people have their own personal baby capsules which will click into place, or will autonomous taxis have a comforting set of metal claws with which to grasp them? Or will self driving cars be so safe people will just be able to hold infants?

          • Bob_Wallace

            I’ve been wondering how cheap is possible.

            One can buy new 5 MP digital cameras from a brand name company for less than $30. Assume a self-driving car will need (just for the self-driving part) 2 or 4. One or two with regular filters for object identification and 1 or 2 with infrared filters to spot people and animals. I’d guess $50 or less for four cameras.

            One camera with a fisheye lens and a wide aspect sensor might work. One for visible light and one for infrared.

            The processing system shouldn’t be very expensive. I have a $100 digital camera that identifies faces and takes the shot when the subject is smiling. It’s doing the sort of object identification that the car would have to do. Maybe $100 to $200 for enough processing to do object identification and calculation collision paths.

            Some lidar to see through the fog. No idea what that would cost. Manufactured in large volumes it could be cheap. I see a scanning lidar with a 40 meter range online for $115.

            Hardware costs paid by a year or two insurance savings.

            Might need a couple more cameras for backing up and detecting dangers coming in from the sides.

            Joystick. We can work around the problems you mention. If the occupant isn’t licensed then limit car speed to 5 miles an hour and turn collision avoidance system on super-high. Give the ten year old the ability to pull in the driveway/whatever.

            Baby Seats.

            Ford’s already built a car with built inhttp://i.imgur.com/aroSw3c.jpg?1 kiddie seats.

            Oops, wrong concept.

            I think someone has designed a converting seat. But, worst case we might have to develop a stroller that converts into a car seat and build the seats to adequately restrain.

            Very worst case, equip some call up cars with car seats. I can also see some ‘little pods’ with only one seat and the rest open for stuff. A Twizy for one and a lot of pizzas.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Image link didn’t work…

          • Ronald Brakels

            I thought the joystick might be for when the software fails and needs some assistance. For stuff such as where exactly the car should park when it arrives at an address, a touch screen might be used. Probably on the passenger’s own mobile phone. And presumably the system would then remember where you want to be dropped off.

            I also presume that I will be able to call a taxi and start walking to my destination and it will find me and pick me up. A feature governments should encourage if they don’t want their citizens to get too out of shape.

            And speaking of pizzas, did you see the pizza delivery robot they want to trial in New Zealand? I will be giving a speech later in Parliament about the Australian New Zealand pizza gap. http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2016/03/dominos-pizza-delivery-robot/

          • Ronald Brakels

            And if it had PV a smaller vehicle could get a higher portion of its energy from it than a larger vehicle.

          • Jens Stubbe

            Ride sharing would limit the number of cars on the streets and autonomous driving will allow larger speeds and more traffic on the same roads.

            In the nineties my company won a national competition for the design of Denmarks road signage (was never implemented due to a financial glitch and change of government). Intelligent signage and roads where you shift the capacity according to the traffic pressure could lower energy consumption and travel time tremendously.

          • Bob_Wallace

            My thinking is that with autonomous vehicles we could have ‘spontaneous’ carpooling. You’d notify the system of your destination and when you’d like to leave. The system would identify the most appropriate vehicle and pick you up.

            Ride sharing can be hard now because you have to make arrangements with one or more people whose schedules might change from day to day.

            We might have four and six passenger vehicles running around neighborhoods shuttling people to the closest rapid transit terminal. Or to a much larger passenger automated bus. And at the other end people would load into the vehicle that most efficiently takes them to their final destination.

            If the ride is comfortable and cheaper than driving one’s own car I think we’d see a big drop in highway congestion.

          • Ronald Brakels

            Actually, the 90 million figure would be for all vehicles, not just passenger cars, and while autonomous cars have a lot of potential to reduce passenger car ownership, they may have less of an effect on the production of vehicles that are currently utilized at a higher rate then passenger cars, such as delivery and other work vehicles. But, without the need to pay for a driver, and because electric vehicles are a lot quieter, there is the potential for things such as increased night time deliveries. Particularly if the receiving side of things becomes more automated.

          • Jens Stubbe

            Bob Synfuels will never ever compete for the short cycle storage market as you will not cycle Synfuels back to electrons to service the grid. What Synfuel production provides is a market for excess electricity, which provides an economic incentive to over provision with renewables. When you over provision you more or less constantly supply more electricity to the market than the market demands, which kills a lot of the short cycle market for batteries.

            Grids generally has peak consumption at a factor 2 over average consumption and there is a factor 4 between low demand and peak demand.

            Over provision go well hand in hand with various strategies to shift consumption in time and geographically but these strategies are also poison to grid scale battery storage because they kill demand supply mismatch and consequently the price fluctuations that create the margins for battery owners.

            I think there is a fair amount of industrial processes and household consumption that industries and households would be willing to time shift consumption provided they were remunerated financially for the trouble. And I think that both businesses and private homes will embrace smart grid thinking and hand control over at least some of their electricity consumption.

            Renewable deployment drives cost down and more deployment drives cost further down, which makes the over provision strategy very appealing to the renewable industries. This is actually also poison for grid scale battery storage because the less economic value that cycle in and out of batteries the higher price fluctuation you need to create the margins that battery storage thrives on.

            The ongoing development in both wind and solar is increasing the capacity factor on a steady basis, which is bad for supply side fluctuations and thereby reduce demand supply mismatch.

            The likewise fast development of greater power efficiency in especially lighting and displays slash peak power and limit demand supply mismatch further.

            I think storage will be a behind the meter phenomenon in developed countries but important for grid deflectors and micro grids in especially areas in the developing world with good insolation and poor wind resources.

            Ps. You can probably make do with less than 180 Gigafactories for 90 million EV’s annually because they do not have to and probably won’t have Tesla size batteries.

          • Bob_Wallace

            I agree with most of what you say. I realize that overbuilding will likely be cheaper in some circumstances than adding storage.

            I see synfuel as a candidate for deep storage. But flow batteries and PuHS are also in the running.

            I’m not sure about your battery plant claim. The P/T Gigafactory is designed to produce enough packs for 500,000 EVs a year. That’s a mix of luxury and midsize/compact EVs with a much higher portion of the lower kWh packs.

            We probably will also be turning to electric trucks and they are likely to have larger packs than the Tesla S.

          • Jens Stubbe

            My friend Peter has built this electric truck with 1600kg battery. http://skafte.dk/bandit.php

            I do not think Synfuel will be for deep storage for a very long time and perhaps never. But it all depends on how we plan the future. I simply do not think storage is a large part of the equation at all despite all the hype.

            Ps. Peter drives an Audi 8 with 12 cylinders and all the extras you can find after having tied out a Tesla first.

          • Bob_Wallace

            We are likely to free up a lot of existing petroleum storage over the next few years. Since storage is already in place synfuel could be a least expensive deep storage technology.

            The same holds for PuHS. We have thousands of existing dams that could be converted.

            Biofuel can be burned in converted coal plants.

            Flow batteries might be able to use existing petroleum storage tanks for large scale chemical storage.

            Whether we need long term storage/storage awaits a large scale modeling of renewable supply, demand, and transmission.

  • ROBwithaB

    I sometimes play: “Guess the author based only on the title”.

    This one was too easy to be any fun.

  • cynicus

    First: I have nothing against Toyota (am an Prius owner) but I just don’t get it. The article touts fuell cell as a solution to aproblem that is not a problem in the first place.

    Note, I’m not an industry fork-lift manager but many years ago I worked with diesel and electric forklifts in a vacation job for several years in a b2b construction materials warehouse. The indoor electric reach fork lifts worked all day and got charged at night, ready the next day. During the period that I worked there the outdoor Toyota diesel forklifts also got replaced by pure electric forklifts that outclassed the diesels in every way imaginable. These also got used the whole day hauling and lifting brick pallets, bigbags and gipsum, many of those at least 1.5 tons and up to 5 tons. Ready for a new day after a night recharging.

    Hence, I do not see the need for a complex fuel cell (that still needs a battery for peak loads) in a fork lift and necessary on site hydrogen storage/fuell station for most applications. Perhaps there is a market in very large 24/7/365 warehouses?

    • Bob_Wallace

      Twenty-four hour operation could be achieved with rapid recharging during operator breaks or with battery swapping.

      The only possible niche I see is in frozen food/material warehouses. And even there it seems like it would be possible to insulate the fork lift battery pack. Batteries give off heat as they are being charged and discharged. That produced head might be enough to keep the battery pack warm. Plus the pack could be heated up during breaks.

  • Embrace hudrogen

    You can’t do nothing about japanese bright hydrogen future. It is coming and you can either embrace it or step aside.

    • nakedChimp

      Will be fun to watch 130 Million people go hydrogen while the remainder of the planet (~7,240 Millions) will go BEV.
      Can’t imagine a more funny show actually.

    • Bob_Wallace

      Wrong. We can point out the foolish of the hydrogen future. Especially if the hydrogen is produced by reforming natural gas or methane hydrates.

      If you look at how the world has embraced the Toyota Mirai you’d probably realize that the Japanese bright hydrogen future is a failure.

  • patb2009

    Hydrogen has a lot of ZEV credits but it’s missed it’s window.

  • Stan Hlegeris

    Why do the Europeans and Japanese continue to push fuel cell vehicles?

    Because their flagship auto manufacturers have been completely and finally disgraced by Tesla. If they go with battery-powered vehicles, a decade late, they’ll have to admit that their once-proud companies are close to ten years behind the new international standard.

    They’re trying to dodge this recognition by clinging to the hope that fuel cells can be a competitive alternative.

  • Mike333

    Tina Fails Math, again.

  • Ed

    I am at a lose on this one. Of ALL possible applications for batteries, the forklift market would seem to be optimum, because a single exchange/recharge point in a warehouse/factory could to the job handily…all without introducing a volatile fuel into the facility.

    I also struggle trying to understand how hydrogen vehicles can be considered clean unless the hydrogen is from fully renewable sources. All discussions of hydrogen seem to talk about using fossil fuels to create hydrogen. What am I missing here?! Why not just use CNG? Same environmental impact?

    And…there is the matter of packaging. This photo show the simplicity of battery electric vs. hydrogen and hybrid.

    • Bob_Wallace

      CNG doesn’t work in a closed environment. Carbon monoxide.

      There are some H2 fuel cell forklifts in use. I think mostly/all in refrigerated warehouses. I’m guessing batteries didn’t work too well in the cold environment and H2 was a reasonable solution for this small niche.

      Hydrogen advocates seem to be pulling a bait and switch game when it comes to ‘clean’. They talk and talk about how we can make hydrogen from water with renewable energy. They love to talk about the mythical “free” electricity. But when the rubber hits the road it’s steam reforming of natural gas.

      • neroden

        Oh, working in a refrigerated environment. That’s an understandable niche.

        • Bob_Wallace

          I seem to recall one major H2 fuel cell forklift user was Walmart in its frozen food warehouse.

          I’d think properly insulated lithium-ion packs would work as well.

      • Joseph Dubeau

        Japan and Denmark do not have Natural Gas resources like California and Texas. Israel is poor in fossil fuels also.
        They have import it, it’s expensive.

  • Steve_R

    So you have a sub heading that says”Toyota Gets The Last Laugh…Eventually” but there is nothing that explains why or how they get the last laugh, just that maybe, for some unexplained reason we may decide to go through all the trouble (and inefficiency and extra cost) using renewable electricity to make renewable hydrogen, when you could just use all that juice directly in a battery. Don’t know why we’d do that, don’t think we’d do that, so why do you say they get the last laugh?

  • Julian Cox

    Just to point out the fact that this is a PR stunt of zero economic merit. In all cases the electrical output of the wind turbine in the depicted configuration has a higher economic value than the value of the resulting hydrogen when used for energy retrieval. This is economics 101 underpinned by an immovable law of thermodynamics. This remains true regardless of the energy-related end-use. When figure of merit is vehicle miles travelled per KWh produced by the turbine this system is at least twice as expensive at delivering miles than simply powering BEVs across a smart grid before considering any of the inherent downsides of transporting compressed liquids verses simply transmitting electricity to market at light-speed along wires. Considering the maintenance and labor necessary to deal with electrolysis and distribution, the bottom line is more likely four to six times more expensive per mile travelled in addition to the fact that building FCVs is currently uneconomical and building competitive FCVs with attractive performance and utility is physically impossible given the vastly superior cost performance trajectory of pure BEVs that are already better, are getting better and cheaper more rapidly and have vastly more scope for improvement without encountering hard thermodynamic limits

    • One-Of-A-Kind

      Did you ever get those 10’s of thousands of dollars paid back to those people you scammed for batteries that never showed up?

      • Bob_Wallace

        How about you present some proof for your charges?

        I’m very serious about that. Very serous.

        • One-Of-A-Kind

          http://evtv.me/2012/10/1754/

          http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1718940&page=2

          “This is my 2nd post on this subject. A friend, customer and fellow racer has sent $18900. to Flight Power (Julian Cox)for a pack that was supposed to be delivered months ago. I understand Juliann Cox believes the Racer is to dangerous to ship batteries to. Why did he except the cash payment and why does he not just send the funds back?

          Both these folks have been well over 100 mph on the dragstrip before, they also drive Teslas.NHRA has driver testing and license procedures for those that want to go quick and fast.

          I vote for NHRA to judge a SAFE driver not someone from Hong Cong.

          Flight Power/Julian Cox DO THE RIGHT THING HERE

          Dennis Berube”

          https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/NEDRA/conversations/topics/15657

          The Julian Cox of this website is from London, UK.

          All the same person.

          • Julian Cox

            I am the same person but what you are dredging up is internet heresy of one side of a legal matter between a person issuing profuse threats to damage a company and a company that no longer exists. I merely represented that company at that time under advisement and I was later reliably informed that the person responsible for these events did in fact cause a fire or explosion with batteries he sourced elsewhere and I would pity that supplier, more so if this individual had harmed or indeed killed himself and or others. I recall clearly that the customer was presented with a clear option between carrying out his threats to libel the business and receiving a refund despite putting the company to expenses amounting to the net cost of a bespoke project. You are in fact repeating hearsay resulting from that customer’s libel, which was his choice.

            My presence on this site is to impart experience – and to the extent that some of that experience was damned ugly may well help me to defend a higher cause than any of our individual interests. I have no interest in re-running or even defending the past but as for my part in it, I can assure you I took no pleasure nor any benefit from the events you are laying at my doorstep and as for your allegations that “I scammed” anyone – you are factually dead wrong to such an absolute extreme you have no idea how wrong you are. Kindly stick to the topic under discussion.

          • One-Of-A-Kind

            Your beef is not with me, but MANY others out there:

            “Now Zachary Vex appears to have lost $19,000 paid for a battery pack in April to Julian Cox and Flight Power. Promised a 21 day delivery, as of October Vex has received nothing and Cox is bleating to the community on the NEDRA list that he just “can’t in good conscience send this dangerous pack to this guy.” If you can’t send the pack in seven months, how about the $19,000 in lieu of? He couldn’t possibly. It was a custom pack and some how COX is the victim here” -JACK RICKARD, EV-TV MotorWerks

          • Bob_Wallace

            Goodbye Ben.

            Please don’t sneak in again. You really aren’t wanted.

    • neroden

      The phrase “public private partnership” indicates that the Japanese government is setting fire to the people’s money by bribing Toyota to convert the electricity to hydrogen and back (wasting electricity to do so).

  • JamesWimberley

    “… The strict space/time continuum demanded by the modern logistics industry …”
    Is that the Special Theory of Relativity, the General Theory of Relativity, or the Public Relations Handwaving Theory of Relativity?

  • Jenny Sommer

    I did not read the article but they need a KiteGen if they are serious about wind energy…

  • tibi stibi

    is the hydrogen the battery?

  • Karl the brewer

    I appear to have been lured to this article by the words Tina Casey, Toyota and 67 comments. I’m just off to fetch the popcorn.

    • Bob_Wallace

      Tina does like to poke at folks with a sharp stick from time to time….

      • Karl the brewer

        And CT is all the better for it.

        • Bob_Wallace

          It gives us all a bit of exercise. We get to jump up and down in our chairs and shout at the clouds.

          Now, time for my mid-day nap….

      • TinaCasey

        Who, me?

        • Bob_Wallace

          Naw, that other Tina. You know, the evil twin….

    • Ivor O’Connor

      I’m with you. I saw the heading. Assumed it was Tina again and decided not to take the obvious bait. Then this evening I see 100+ comments and decided it would be a nice chance to eat popcorn…

  • neroden

    “That’s a somewhat disingenuous take on personal mobility fuel sourcing,
    since you can’t drive a car with an oil refinery on it either, but
    whatever.”
    Wasn’t there one of those in a Mad Max movie?

  • Bob_Wallace

    Wind turbine -> hydrogen -> fuel cell.

    or

    Wind turbine -> battery.

    Using the sort of DC voltages and current in the Tesla Superchargers the forklift batteries could probably be recharged during the driver’s required ten minute breaks.

    Electricity costs would be about one third as much.

    The cost of hydrogen extraction and compression equipment along with fuel cell costs would likely be more than a battery pack.

    Looks to me to be yet another solution looking for a suitable problem. And failing….

    • Joseph Dubeau

      Most EV owners charge at night.
      So, “Wind turbine -> battery.” is more like “Natural gas -> battery.”
      In reality, it is “Wind turbine – > grid.”

      • Bob_Wallace

        Fork lifts, not EVs.

        Make it wind turbine and/or solar panels. Hydrogen as a storage technology just doesn’t seem to make sense.

        • Joseph Dubeau

          I read this article the other day, they are intending on building the fueling stations for fcv. Without a commit who knows.
          This will be part of the dog and pony show around the Olympic Village.

  • neroden

    Dead On Arrival:

    http://ssj3gohan.tweakblogs.net/blog/11470/why-fuel-cell-cars-dont-work-part-1

    This is a four part series from someone who actually advocates fuel cells for *stationary use*. He says they’re DOA for cars, and goes into *excruciating* detail.

    • Karl the brewer

      The most perceptive part of that article? “People don’t like change” That little statement explains our entire predicament at the moment.

  • Mike333

    The BMW i3, the most advanced EV on the market. This is the car Toyota needs to emulate. It’s economics with wind and solar are industry leading. This is the future.

    • Adrian

      Toyota’s 1/X carbon fiber concept a few years back was an instruction manual for BMW to make the i3. It’s still a mystery why Toyota never did anything more with it.

      • Bob_Wallace

        I suspect Toyota has become Detroitized. The Big Three dominated and became complacent. They didn’t question their own wisdom. And they gave the auto market away to other companies.

      • Mike333

        Wow. Forgot all about this.
        Toyota was once a real leader.

        • One-Of-A-Kind

          Once a real leader?

          Who sells more hybrids than any other manufacturer?

          Who sells more vehicles than any other manufacturer?

          Who has more revenue than any other manufacturer?

          Hint: all three questions share the same answer.

          • eveee

            Who sells more vehicles than any other manufacturer?
            VW
            http://money.cnn.com/2015/07/28/investing/volkswagen-toyota-biggest-carmaker/

            Who has more revenue than any other manufacturer?
            VW
            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_largest_companies_by_revenue

            HInt: Try researching first.

          • jeffhre

            Yes, it is common knowledge that the other self destructing OEM is the largest seller. Is it ironic that the three largest sellers reached the peak and then went into self destruct mode? An auto manufacturer Sports Illustrated phenomena?

          • eveee

            I like it. I cheated slightly. VW and Toyota are seesawing. VW has probably fallen. But obviously, market domination by either is not a reality.
            Can we have a Sports Illustrate auto manufacturer swimsuit model? LOL.

  • jeffhre

    Baby steps…Or the unfolding of the fuel cell end game?

  • vensonata

    The usual comparison of Battery to hydrogen is “why use twice the electricity to produce hydrogen vs direct to battery?” But consider; if wind is overproducing the cost of the fuel is zero in both cases. But still one asks, “but why use twice as much free fuel making hydrogen?” And now the final reason why it could make sense: Because hydrogen can be stored in great quantity which is not economical for batteries. So if the electricity is free from overproduction and exceeds the storage capacity of batteries then hydrogen storage is viable for later use. So hydrogen may have a niche for long term storage.

    • Foxy

      I don’t see too many companies siting a wind turbine where it’ll be overproducing for significant amounts of time. The economics don’t make sense.

      • eveee

        Yes. Thats a ways off. Renewables integration is still so low there is not much excess. You can count the days and hours of curtailment. Adding transmission is a much easier way of reducing curtailment and has already been done in Texas and everywhere else it has happened.

        I cant say it enough. Lowest hanging fruit first.
        http://reneweconomy.com.au/2015/german-grid-operator-sees-70-wind-solar-storage-needed-35731

        Lets hope we get to 70% renewables over a wide area real fast. Then we can start having this conversation in earnest.

        • Frank

          Yes, for sure, though I’m curious if Texas is going to hook to any other grid in a serious way. They hit a peak of 45% for a breif moment. A little more than double, and they could peg it.

          • Bob_Wallace

            “The Texas Interconnected System — which for a long time was actually operated by two discrete entities, one for northern Texas and one for southern Texas — had another priority: staying out of the reach of federal regulators. In 1935, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Federal Power Act, which charged the Federal Power Commission with overseeing interstate electricity sales. By not crossing state lines, Texas utilities avoided being subjected to federal rules. “Freedom from federal regulation was a cherished goal — more so because Texas had no regulation until the 1970s,….

            . The ERCOT grid remains beyond the jurisdiction of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, which succeeded the Federal Power Commission and regulates interstate electric transmission.

            Historically, the Texas grid’s independence has been violated a few times. Once was during World War II, when special provisions were made to link Texas to other grids, according to Cudahy. Another episode occurred in 1976 after a Texas utility, for reasons relating to its own regulatory needs, deliberately flipped a switch and sent power to Oklahoma for a few hours. This event, known as the “Midnight Connection,” set off a major legal battle that could have brought Texas under the jurisdiction of federal regulators, but it was ultimately resolved in favor of continued Texan independence.

            ERCOT has three ties to Mexico and — as an outcome of the “Midnight Connection” battle — it also has two ties to the eastern U.S. grid, though they do not trigger federal regulation for ERCOT. All can move power commercially as well as be used in emergencies”

            http://www.texastribune.org/2011/02/08/texplainer-why-does-texas-have-its-own-power-grid/

            As coal is phased out and oil revenues drop Texas may decide they’d like to sell some solar and wind electricity to other states. Money rules.

          • eveee

            Yes. It would probably be beneficial for Texas to hook to their neighbors in many ways. They have had power brownouts and other problems. Solar and wind have healed that, but outside power is still a benefit to them. And their surplus would be a benefit to all.

            Yes. I see them starting to have surplus wind power as they get over 20GW on occasion.

    • eveee

      Fuel cost is zero, but not all cost. Its a question of how you capture energy when electrical demand is zero. But this begs the question. With FCEV so expensive, no refueling and distribution infrastructure, and with EVs on the rise, there will be no “excess”. It will go straight into waiting batteries in EVs. The amount of storage in a million plus EV fleet is ginormous. And EVs can be hooked to the grid 95% of the time they are not in use just like a portable phone in its charger.

      • Truth hurts

        With FCEV so expensive
        Toyota Mirai $58k
        Tesla S $70k
        nuff said

        • jeffhre

          nuff said?
          $58K for a four seat, advanced propulsion Carolla vs $70,000 for a 5 + 2, 2 trunk high performance, Mercedes CLS+ class all electric replacement? Seriously?

          • Truth hurts

            Tesla’s interior is a joke with a big display looking funny.

          • neroden

            Model S has the best interior of any car I’ve ever driven.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Oh, come on. The ModS interior is not all tarted up like a Trump palace. It can’t be the best….

          • neroden

            Heh heh heh. I admit I like clean, Spartan interior designs. What won me over was the center “purse tray”. I can put my briefcase or sheaf of papers flat in it.

          • Kyle Field

            You had me at sheaf

          • sault

            Plus, Tesla makes an operating profit on each Model S sold while Toyota may be losing a substantial amount of money on each Mirai. And Tesla already has quick charging infrastructure in place while Toyota had to stop sales of the Mirai because they couldn’t get enough temporary fueling stations in-place in SoCal Toyota dealerships.

          • jeffhre

            Yeah, but seriously what’s that interior rank on the international scale of funniness?

        • eveee

          Little said.
          Toyota Mirai. 0 to 60 9 seconds.
          http://www.theverge.com/2014/11/21/7252377/toyota-mirai-drive-massive-bet-on-hydrogen-power

          Weak infrastructure hobble sales.
          http://www.autoblog.com/2016/01/23/weak-hydrogen-infrastructure-delays-toyota-mirai-sales/

          Coast to coast driving? Forget it. Who cares how long it takes to fuel up if there is no place or its 100s of miles away.

          Eponymous.

          • Truth hurts

            Forget about telling people to forget. Japanese do as they see fit and don’t ask your money. Let them be they know what suits them better

          • eveee

            Wake up dude.

            “But despite all that, Japan’s government looks likely to miss its own target of having 100 hydrogen filling stations in operation across Japan by March 2016, making its dream of a hydrogen-powered economy seem unlikely at this time.”

            “The reasons for the delay aren’t entirely known, but it’s worth noting that each hydrogen fuelling station costs around $5 million to install and commission. In order for privately-owned companies to invest that kind of money in adopting hydrogen fuel alongside more conventional fuels like gasoline and compressed natural gas, a return on investment has to be guaranteed.

            Right now, with only the hand-built, loss-leading Toyota Mirai hydrogen fuel-cell car in production, making a return on an investment in hydrogen isn’t assured. Even with government subsidies offering to meet up to one half of the $5 million build costs per site, those within the industry say it will take at least ten years, possibly more, before a return on investment takes place.”

            Even the Japanese government is back pedaling when faced with reality of excessive infrastructure costs.

            https://transportevolved.com/2015/04/15/japan-admits-it-wont-reach-hydrogen-fuel-cell-filling-station-goal-for-2016/

          • Truth hurts

            Honda FCX Clarity is another hydrogen car on the market. The delay is due to some regulations that are not in place but they will be there. Why alays quote how much refueling stations cost they dont ask you to pay.

          • jeffhre

            Which market – Japan only? And when – a year from now? “Why alays quote how much refueling stations cost they dont ask you to pay.” Yes, as a matter of fact they are asking us to pay – my state has committed to spending over $100 million more public dollars to build them. Even though filling a FCEV tank is nearly quadruple the cost of charging a battery – they dont ask you to pay.

          • Mike333

            The Chevy Volt is a better solution, faster, better performance, less expensive to build and the Solar/Electric/Gas station infrastructure is already built.

          • Mike333

            For any sane business person. It’s a return on investment.
            Already EV’s and the Volt give you better results at lower cost than a fuel-cell vehicle. No sane business person would spend this kind of money knowing he’ll Never make a profit.

            But, not all business persons are sane.
            Just watch CNN.

          • Julian Cox

            There is definitely a profit motive here. It just isn’t the “green” one that is being promoted. In fact nothing could possibly be any further from the truth.

            Tier one profit motive is to derail public energy and transportation policies, to siphon off funding and credits and to create media confusion while in the US, luring government interest aligned with domestic fracking. Tier two profit motive is the exploitation of Japan’s methane hydrates as SMR feedstock, a national resource the Japanese consider capable of powering their economy for the next 100 years.

          • Joseph Dubeau

            They have had the Leaf in Japan for a number of years.
            It isn’t exactly winning hearts and minds.
            Have you been to Taipei or Toyoko and seen how people live?

          • jeffhre

            Leaf may not be winning hearts and minds – but it has won about 200,000 sales.

          • eveee

            Thats a good one. CNN. LOL.

          • ROBwithaB

            The Donald?

          • Mike333

            No. This is corporate to corporate bribery.
            We have governments to decide the “social good”. You don’t leave that up to a corporation, or, we’d all be dead from cigarette cancers.

          • Mike333

            The Volt out performs and costs less, with current infrastructure.

            When a politician or CEO follows the obviously insane path you can be sure there’s money in his pocket.

          • eveee

            Sometimes its just power, but heck money and or power, not that much difference. In Japan. TEPCO and the government are friends.

        • vensonata

          Isn’t the FCEV subsidized by Toyota to the tune of about $70,000 to get it to that $58,000? And because thet lose so much money on each car, aren’t they planning to sell just a handful?

          • Truth hurts

            No it is before incentives

          • Zooba

            Before government incentives, but Toyota is selling the Mirai at a loss. The Model S has a 20% gross profit margin.

          • Truth hurts

            is there any link to prove it?

          • Harry Johnson

            Why don’t you prove hydrogen is better from an economic standpoint than a battery. Can you do it?

          • Truth hurts

            No I am not gonna do it cause I did not claim it though I think so. But I like it and japanese like it and they are gonna push it and I like it.

          • Harry Johnson

            nuff said

          • Bob_Wallace

            Are you unaware what a mess the Japanese have made of their economy over the last couple of decades? Do you put much faith in the Japanese decision making process?

          • Truth hurts

            Yes, you all can argue, write tons of explanations, japanese are still gonna go their way. You can write an angry letter to Toyota, Honda or whoever else and demand to build supercharges and buy Tesla on all their money, but they are not gonna do it. Toyota has been decades on the market they can figure out what they should do.

          • neroden

            Yeah, Toyota can choose to drive themselves into bankruptcy. They will do so.

          • Truth hurts

            Write them a letter asap and warn them

          • neroden

            Hey, I make money if they go bankrupt. I’m invested in their competitors. No reason for me to warn them.

          • Bob_Wallace

            A few decades back you could have made the same comment substituting in Ford and GM. Look where that attitude got them….

          • Truth hurts

            I see GM is doing good. While Tesla is going to produce a 30k EV car GM already coughed it up. Tesla promise GM deliver

          • Bob_Wallace

            Reallly? Can you go to your dealer and purchase a Bolt? Drive one away?

            GM will probably start selling Bolts a few months before Tesla starts selling Mod3s. Let’s see how the two compare and if GM manages to work out a rapid charging solution.

          • Truth hurts

            You can already watch testdrives on youtube. For Tesla there is no even a render.

          • Bob_Wallace

            I don’t get your point. There are likely going to be two new 200+ mile EVs for sale in 2017. We do not yet know how they compare in terms of specs and quality. We think the GM EV will cost about $2,500 more than the Tesla, will have limited rapid charge ability, and may go on sale first.
            Does that somehow make one a winner and the other a loser? Or are you simply unable to admit when you’re wrong and you’re flailing around for a new issue?

          • Truth hurts

            How can I bve wrong if one company has already delivered a product and another can not even present a picture. Mind you that company is not even positioning itself as a EV company, still they did it laughing and another just does PR

          • Bob_Wallace

            You win the Daily Tiresome Poster award.

            Let us know where to send the gold star so you can glue it to your forehead.

          • Truth hurts

            Truth hurts

          • Andre Needham

            “Q4 Automotive gross margin, excluding $8 million of ZEV credit revenue, was 20.9% on a non-GAAP basis and 19.2% on a GAAP basis”
            http://files.shareholder.com/downloads/ABEA-4CW8X0/1709466055x0x874449/945B9CF5-86DA-4C35-B03C-4892824F058D/Q4_15_Tesla_Update_Letter.pdf

          • neroden

            If I remember correctly, Model S is heading for a 25% gross profit margin this quarter. Model X, being new, is dragging down the margins at the moment. (Yes, that’s being promptly burned on R&D and factory construction and Supercharger construction and service center construction and overhead. But you get the point.)

          • Bob_Wallace

            It’s been down a bit lately. 18% for the most recent reporting quarter.
            https://ycharts.com/companies/TSLA/gross_profit_margin

          • vensonata

            Cost to Toyota about $130,000 wasn’t it? Beats me, I am not a fan of hydrogen, but I think I recall that inconvenient number.

          • Truth hurts

            The price tag says 58. I dont know about other numbers

          • vensonata

            “As originally reported by Autoblog Green, Cox said Toyota is “probably taking a hit of 50,000 to 100,000 euros per unit” on each 2016 Mirai it sells.”
            That is a source

        • Zé M. S.

          How about doing this way:

          Toyota Mirai $58k
          BMW i3 $43k
          Mercedes-Benz B-class Electric Drive $42k
          Chevy Bolt $37k (in a few months)
          Chevy volt $34k
          Kia Soul EV $33k
          Nissan Leaf $30k
          VW e-Golf $30k
          Ford Focus Electric $30k
          Chevy Spark EV $26k

          • Bob_Wallace

            Add in cost per mile to operate.

            Toyota has stated 17 cents per mile for their Mirai.

            A 30 mpg ICEV burning $3/gallon fuel costs 10 cents.

            An EV using 0.3 kWh and charging with 12 cent electricity costs 4 cents.

            Toyota has stated that they hope to get the cost of driving their FCEV down to 10 cents per mile. Eventually.

          • Truth hurts

            Mirai has the highest milage of all of them so it is resonable it costs more

          • Zé M. S.

            He’s also the only car from the list that cannot be charged at home and has the worst charging infrastructure by far. You seem to regard only the benefits of fuel cell technology and completely ignore its disadvantages.

          • Truth hurts

            Just you wait. They will build all the infrastructure

          • sault

            With hydrogen stations running $2M apiece, you could build at least 40 DC quick charge stations for the same money. 1,000 quick chargers could provide a station every 100 miles along major U.S. interstate corridors. This makes all 200-mile range EVs coast to coast driving capable. Meanwhile, fuel cell cars would need 1,000 stations plus a huge amount of redundancy in all major cities and a lot of minor ones too just to do the same thing since they can’t charge at home like EVs can. Just to be charitable, let’s make the urban redundancy to be another 1,000 hydrogen stations, but this is probably way too low.

            Running the numbers, $50M investment at most for EVs to become coast-to-coast capable while FCVs will need $4B to start doing the same thing. And Fuel Cell Vehicles will be a hard sell until almost all of the fueling netowrk is in place. EVs by comparison can just charge wherever there’s a grid connection and overnight L1 charging is already available at literally millions of locations. Never mind the fact that hydrogen stations are much more difficult to get permitting, proper zoning and siting for. Or that the operating cost for a FCV is 3 – 4 times higher than an EV, or that a FCV has a lot more maintenance issues and potential points of failure. Oh, and companies are already making gross profit on EVs while FCV makers are taking substantial losses on each one made.

          • Truth hurts

            You can build your own car company and make real all these dreams. As far as Toyota is concerned they want hydrogen cars, not battery, hydrogen.

          • Jenny Sommer

            Maybe they could use the fuel cell in Hybrids. When there is no H2 available you could still fuel it with gas till they have built enough H2 stations (in 20-30years?). Maybe the battery could be big enough so that you only need the H2 for range extension. 70km batteries range without the need for the H2 range extender should do. You would want to charge as often as possible anyways since H2 is pretty expensive.

            I still don’t understand why they have done the Mirai. It isn’t even a full sized car and the performance is inferior to EVs.

          • Knetter

            Hell the performance is inferior to fossil cars, my station wagon is faster than the Mirai.
            70k to be able to drive across country today
            vs
            60k to maybe someday be able to.

          • Sreehari Variar

            I don’t think anyone is contesting what Toyota wants. Almost everybody is trying to explain what makes sense. What Toyota thought they want 5-10 years ago and thus heavily invested in and what makes sense now may not necessarily be the same thing.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Ten plus years ago fuel cell cars and nuclear energy seemed likely to be the solutions we would adopt. Batteries, wind and solar were too expensive. But the price of batteries, wind, and solar have fallen rapidly leaving fuel cell cars and nuclear behind.

            We may be only 3-4 years from purchase price parity for EVs I can’t see a route for H2 FCEVs. There’s no known way to make clean hydrogen at an affordable cost.

          • Truth hurts

            In terms of battery’s costs you always operate like 3-4 years from now figures and for hydrogen you tend to presnt even some older not state of the art figures. In 3-4 years hydrogen technologies are gonna be improved as well. Japanese target 800000 hydrogen vehicles by 2030. Just accept it and peace out. There is nothing you can do about it.

          • Bob_Wallace

            OK, tell us the route to affordable hydrogen.

            We know how batteries become cheaper. And the $145/kWh and $130/kWh prices are 2017, not three years from now.

            BTW, you might want to read the site commenting policy. People who make repeated false claims, well, they get disappeared.

          • Truth hurts

            Probably policies are not working since you are still around.

          • Bob_Wallace

            It’s probably a good time for you to think about whether you want to participate in discussions on this site.

          • Truth hurts

            It is all right I post as a gest, mate

          • Julian Cox

            Toyota is making plans for a leisurely transition of its technology base, based on Toyota’s needs and wants. Customers will have abandoned Toyota in less than half of that time for better options from alternative suppliers, none of whom are burdened with hundreds of $billions of soon to be obsolete engine manufacturing equipment. Toyota does not have the margins to restructure in time without passing through bankruptcy and bailout where by its current management’s plans are irrelevant on the timescales contemplated because they are out of a job and long gone by then. It took 13 years to transition from mostly horse and carriage to mostly automobiles in New York. The world has not slowed down since then. What you and Toyota are forgetting (besides basic and immovable economics and physics of making cars) is that the sum of all customers and the sum of all capital markets is vastly richer than any company, including Toyota. Toyota does not get to decide the outcome.

          • Truth hurts

            Let us see how it all will turn out. BEVs with their minuscule sells are not in position to teach others.

          • jeffhre

            And you can build your own H2 refueling station – as Toyota has no plans to do so. (They asked the dealers to take them – the dealers said they would rather use their real estate to sell cars)

          • Bob_Wallace

            I bet you believe that the Tooth Fairy is real as well….

          • eveee

            The Tooth Fairy doesn’t believe in hydrogen cars.

          • eveee

            Just you wait Henry Higgins, just you wait. You’ll be sorry but your tears will be to late.

        • ROBwithaB

          Toyota makes a very significant loss on each Mirai sold, I believe.

    • jeffhre

      Yet, the cost of the fuel is not zero. H2 is not the low cost option – even when the energy input cost is zero.

    • Mike333

      This is a dead issue with the BMW i3 getting 120 miles of range in July, the Tesla’s, the 2018 Leaf with 150 mile range, the 2017 Bolt with 200 miles of range.

      This is a hydrogen greenwash. A PR stunt, the real hydrogen will still come from Japanese Frackers. Kiss you fresh water goodbye and watch your cancer rates go up.

      • Truth hurts

        It is like accusing BEV in shifting load from oil to coal.

      • Shane 2

        Which frackers? References please.

      • Andy

        A 2018 Leaf with only 150 miles of range would be DOA. They need to be in line with the Bolt and Model 3, and even then it will be a year late.

        • Bob_Wallace

          Not necessarily.

          If Nissan could bring a 150 mile range E to market for several thousand dollars less than the Bolt and Mod3 then I suspect there’s a market.

          A multiple car household might be very happy with one long range EV and one or more shorter range EVs if it saved them a lot of purchasing money.

          A 150 mile range EV should be a very solid 100 mile EV in the worst of driving conditions.

          • eveee

            If the Leaf went 150 miles per charge and had a 30 minute charge vs the 90 minute Bolt, the Bolt would be driven out of the market. Nobody needs a 200 mile city car.

        • Ronald Brakels

          The Leaf is a car that is designed for Japanese porpoises. Sure Nissan wants foreigners to buy them, but the majority of Japanese car owners just don’t drive that far. They tend to do their long distance traveling by train. It also useful in countries like Australia where multiple car households are the norm which lets a short range electric car be used for driving around town at low cost and a vehicle with greater range can be used for longer trips. Of course any potential purchasers of the Leaf in Australia should bear in mind how high temperatures can affect its performance and ability to be recharged.

          • nitpicker357

            And how big is the Japanese cetacean market? I knew Tesla had plans to make at least one amphibious car (unit, not model). I was unaware that Nissan had similar ambitions.

          • Ronald Brakels

            The potential market for sales to all kinds of marine creatures is quite large. They’re not doing it just for the halibut.

    • Bob_Wallace

      Electricity will not be free. No wind farm is simply going to give away electricity and incur wear and tear on its hardware. If the wind farm can’t cover costs and make some profit they’re going to sit it out.

      “Free” electricity is a temporary and very limited event due to PTC subsidies for wind. Because wind can sell for close to nothing and still cover costs and profits wind can bid very low when demand is low. Thermal plants (coal and nuclear) do not want to go through an off/on cycle and will bid in at zero cents.

      As subsidies go away, as more EVs come online, as more storage is installed we’ll see no free electricity.

      • Ronald Brakels

        Well, in Australia coal doesn’t bit in at zero cents. In Queensland which is mostly coal powered, negative price events are caused by coal power stations not wanting to shut down and too much power getting supplied to the grid. This causes electricity prices to go negative to firmly convince someone to cut production. So no generators were bidding in at zero cents, or negative cents, it’s just an oversupply situation solved by a financial penalty. These events are usually short and sharp.

        Wind is a price taker and doesn’t bid in a price. It’s electricity is just taken and they are paid the price set by generators that bid in electricity. So it has the disadvantage of not being able to affect prices, but the advantage of having its power always taken first. In South Australia generation from wind plus coal (plus gas used for spinning reserve) can exceed the state’s ability to consume and export electricity. In this case the price goes negative to convince generators to shut down and to convince large consumers of electricity to use more electricity by paying them to consume it. But since the coal power station doesn’t like to shut down it will sometimes keep operating for hours at a loss. Not because it bid in at zero or a negative price, but simply because there is too much power entering the grid and with no carbon price coal only costs them dollars a tonne and so find it cheaper to pay the penalty and keep operating.

        • neroden

          This situation seems *ripe* for independent battery operators to arbitrage. When the power price goes negative, turn your batteries on and get paid to suck the power out of the grid. (Or does the bidding not work that way?) Then when the price is high, bid the power back into the grid. You get paid on both ends…

          • Ronald Brakels

            It would only take a fairly small amount of battery capacity or pumped hydro for negative electricity prices to mostly disappear. And since negative electricity prices don’t happen very often, they could only boost profits from energy storage, it would not be worthwhile to have batteries sitting around waiting for prices to go negative. And negative electricity prices are about to mostly disappear in South Australia anyway, as our one remaining coal generator which is basically responsible for them is soon going to shut down for good. (Its one source of coal has already closed, once its on site reserves are gone, that’s it.)

    • neroden

      It is true that hydrogen may have a niche for stationary storage. This, however, is not that.

    • Brian S.

      That’s basically how I see it. I don’t think the economics will work for a long time outside of certain niche applications like forklifts, but if we commit to >95% renewables, the storage potential of hydrogen will look pretty good. The economics are pretty tough for the foreseeable future, though.

  • Zooba

    “… why go through all the trouble of using renewable electricity to make renewable hydrogen, when you could just use all that juice directly in a battery EV?”

    Good question, but I don’t see an answer.

    • eveee

      Perceptive. There is none. Japan is doing a flop. And for no reason. Its characteristic of how they head in the wrong direction. They will change. When they have to.

    • Mike333

      Someone at Toyota either is a Total Math and Physics Failure,
      or they’re being BRIBED by the Carbon industry.

      This is pure greenwash. Sure, you Can make hydrogen from wind, but, 99.9999% of the hydrogen used will come from frackers in Japan.

      Toyota management either being bribed or extorted.
      Possibly just another day in Japan.

      • Ronald Brakels

        Liquid Natural Gas from Australia converted in Japan is probably the cheapest way for them to produce hydrogen. International LNG spot prices are pretty low at the moment.

        • Mike333

          Any time there’s a conversion, there’s an energy loss.
          Has Japan gone senile at the top?

          • Ronald Brakels

            There are a few things that could be happening:

            1. Ha-Ha Suckers!: Toyota doesn’t really want to build fuel cell vehicles, they simply want to discourage the adoption of electric cars until they are ready to dominate the market. After all, every hydrogen vehicle they develop is just an electric car that could have a battery pack inserted in the large space taken up by fuel cells and hydrogen tank.

            2. When I was your age: Toyota executives remember the 70s when hydrogen cars were a popular idea and haven’t moved on. In other words they are senile.

            3, Choosing Winners Poorly: Japan has chosen a field to excel in, as they have done in the past, and has chosen poorly. A strategy that worked in the past when they could see what was successful or not in other countries is no longer effective since they have caught up and are now the ones making mistakes for others to learn from. For example, choosing a winner did not work for them when it came to RAM production. Sure they were right that RAM would be vital for computers and all kinds of electronics, but they didn’t see that it wouldn’t be very profitable.

            4. Weapons of War: Fuels cells will have many military applications and fuel cells for cars is just a smoke screen for their development for military use in a country where militarism is frowned upon for some good reason.

            5. Toyota is right: Fuel cell cars are the future and will massively fall in price and out compete battery powered cars.

            Toyota and Japan as a whole contains may people with many motivations and what is actually going on could be any combination of the above factors plus others not mentioned.

          • Mike

            Guys, don’t forget that it was and still is TOYOTA who brought EV fans the first mass production electricity powered vehicle. You welcome!!! They did exactly the same move back then with Prius then what they are doing now. Basically back then they created thirsty lame piece of garbage and pushed it to people. And look, people are still buying it … literally. Until now there is large percentage of people (mostly dumb, but hey, those works well for the politicians too) who actually believe that EVs are slow and useless as they are basing their expectations on Priusles. Now silly Tesla came up with a real EV, so they have to act fast and spend a lot on propagating and creating something what will get the mass into believe that EVs are rubbish… once more…

          • Brian S.

            Well that seems a little unfair. The Prius has been a perfectly serviceable car for the vast majority who do not have $70k+ to spend on their next auto. I’m sorry it’s not sexy enough for you.

          • ROBwithaB

            The Prius was the car that made electric vehicles mainstream.
            And it served as a proving ground for many of the pivotal technologies we now take for granted.
            A very important stepping stone on the path towards sustainable transportation.
            The sad thing is that Toyota had a huge head start, and they squandered it completely – Pig-headedly trying to force their way down the narrow dead-end of Fuel Cell Close, whilst everyone else is cruising down Battery Electric Avenue (or getting ready to launch.)

          • Ronald Brakels

            We’re going to rock on through electric avenue,
            And then we’ll take it higher.

          • ROBwithaB

            Just had a weird flashback involving robotic dancing and ridiculous hairstyles.

          • Ronald Brakels

            We must have got the good Priuses here in Australia. They are used as taxis. Among the things that do not move slowly in Australia are taxis. I’ve seen a Prius taxi pull ahead of two wasteland raider dune buggies from the lights and then fake out an oncoming Doof Battle Wagon to make it think it was going left and then pass it on the right. A Doof Warrior managed to spray some flame on the Prius, but barely enough to blister the paint.

          • Chris B

            There’s a lot of Camry hybrids as taxis as well.

            It saves them a fortune on brakes and petrol as they get driven 24/7, and the battery pack when they were first brought out here mistakenly had a “year” warranty not a “kilometer” warranty which was awfully convenient for them. That’s now been fixed.

      • Shane 2

        Is there any evidence for a significant fracking industry in Japan? Do they have significant tight gas sedimentary rock formations?

        • Julian Cox

          The answer is horrific. The Japanese plan is to disturb what they consider to be a 100 year supply of methane hydrates in clathrate formations in their costal waters = Deliberate runaway global extinction-level climate change. This is why the Toyota Hydrogen scandal is much is more important to prosecute than the “clean diesel” scandal ever was. Much more.

          • neroden

            Thank you for the warning. What can be done to stop this? Is Greenpeace on the case ? — they are extremely good at disrupting attempted oceanic operations.

            Can we maybe get an article on this on the front page of CleanTechnica? This lunacy is worth some serious advocacy to stop.

          • Julian Cox

            “This lunacy is worth some serious advocacy to stop.”

            Could not have put it better. It would be highly appropriate for Greenpeace to put this at the top of their list. This is a tragedy that can actually be stopped – and perhaps Cleantechnica can help with that.

            FYI Japan is planning to make Hydrogen the theme of their 2020 Olympics with chilling parallel to the 1936 Olympics that a certain dictator used to paint a wholesome facade on his national ambitions.

          • Brian S.

            I’m sorry, what?!? Nazi comparisons? Really?

          • Ronald Brakels

            And the 2016 Kingaroy peanut festival is having a public demonstration of peanut oil pressing. A chilling parallel to the peanut oil that was used to power the Battleship Yamato of Imperial Japan.

          • Brian S.

            Thanks, Abe-san!

          • Truth hurts

            It is Godwin’s law

          • Julian Cox

            Well yes. The 1936 Olympics was subverted as a PR tool to paint NAZI Germany as a wholesome beacon of peace and good sportsmanship, then it plunged the world into chaos and wiped out millions of people.

            The 2020 Japan Olympics is slated to be subverted to promote Japan’s Hydrogen Economy ambitions as a wholesome, clean and bright future for the children of the world against a backdrop of deliberately destabilising gigatons of undersea methane hydrates guaranteeing runaway climate change on a scale that if not prevented, in hindsight will make the NAZI holocaust seem comparatively tame.

          • Brian S.

            Ok, we’re done here. Wow.

          • Julian Cox
          • respectmyplanet .

            Can you share some source information about this: “The Japanese plan is to disturb what they consider to be a 100 year supply of methane hydrates in clathrate formations in their costal waters, commencing this year (2016) ” ?

          • Julian Cox
          • respectmyplanet .

            Julian,
            This is a recent graphic published by the EIA about where our electricity comes from.
            http://www.eia.gov/naturalgas/weekly/

            The three major components are coal, natural gas, and nuclear. The line near the bottom of the graph represents solar and wind.

            What is your general plan to eliminate coal, natural gas, and nuclear that provides sustained power for America’s hospitals, water systems, and transportation sector?

    • socrateos

      Apparently the author does not know the whole story. There are several projects going on in parallel in Japan, and one of which is a set of technologies that will produce hydrogen using sunlight directly without converting it into electric energy. This is considered as the “Holy Grail” of hydrogen production that is to be implemented in the later phase of the national project for Hydrogen Society.

      • Bob_Wallace

        There’s probably a project underway somewhere that intends to turn pig snouts into hair spray.

        Just because someone has an idea does not mean that we’ll ever see an affordable product.

        What you probably ought to pay attention to is Japan’s very large methane hydrate supply and the desire of some to start mining it from Japan’s coastal waters and reforming it into hydrogen.

        The planet cannot tolerate more carbon extraction.

    • Marion Meads

      I dread the day when the Fuel Cell Hydrogen Powered Unicorn would laugh out loud back at me…

      Within 5 years, after within another 5 years, and still another 5 years… for how long have they been saying these?

      The only thing that really amazes me is that the hydrogen powered fuel cell unicorn seemed to be immortal, it just won’t die!

      • Joseph Dubeau

        “Fuel Cell Hydrogen Powered Unicorn would laugh out loud back at me.” This could be a headline for a Tina article.

        • Marion Meads

          that will be the day!

      • Jfake Hname

        idk but it may be that they are simply covering their bases and spending some effort on perfecting hydrogen extraction.
        im sad to say even a cheap source of hydrogen will not keep the fuel cell unicorn alive.

    • Joseph Dubeau

      The majority of Grid power is dependent on fossil fuels.
      “using renewable electricity to make renewable hydrogen”
      will make a fcv greener than an EV which would be a travesty.

      • Bob_Wallace

        Why would you do that? Hook up a new wind or solar farm. Send the electricity to batteries.

        You’d lose half or more of the energy if you used hydrogen as a storage medium.

        • Joseph Dubeau

          It might have something to due with fact nobody has built any grid storage yet.

          • Bob_Wallace

            We’ve got lots of grid storage.

          • JamesWimberley

            Google pumped hydro. Japan has 21 GW of it. There are a fair number of gigawatt-scale plants elsewhere, one in the US.

          • Joseph Dubeau

            James, can you tell how much you charge from storage at night?
            The claim is that we can save it to storage and later charge an EV with it.

        • ecopmaster

          Another overlooked consideration (at least it appears that way) is that forklifts operate in a very closed and relatively small environment. Electric forklifts with small batteries could be recharging or directly running by inductance charging along routes. So major pathways have imbedded charging circuits, and the small batteries get the forklift to the minor warehouse tributaries and the trucks/trains at the docking/loading area. A huge win/win for BEV forklifts, everyone comes out ahead but the FCV fanciers.

    • Mike Gitarev

      1. Time to charge Lithium.
      It’s time taken from productivity, or it’s replacement machinery, space, and lot of money for spare batteries.

      2. Cost of storing variable wind electricity – again space and lot of money.

      Assuming they will need just one cryo facility with some pipes – it may sounds like reasonable choice, even with loosing two thirds on electricity-hydrogen-electricity chain.

      • Mike333

        No. That hydrogen infrastructure isn’t free or cheap.
        You lose 50% of the energy in the conversion.
        That alone, will pay for your battery system.

        Secondly electricity needs a wire to transfer power.
        Hydrogen needs Pumping stations, pipelines, trucks, ships, Hydrate mining equipment or a fracking industry.

        Hydrogen is Insanity compared to Electric.

        • Mike Gitarev

          I’m not talking about hydrogen in general, only about this usage case with local usage for forklifts.

          In common case you’re absolutely right, hydrogen will be usable only if scientists will invent magic chemistry to densily store hydrogen at room temperature and pressure.

      • ecopmaster

        I just posted this on another comment, seemed more relavant here —

        Another overlooked consideration (at least it appears that way) is that forklifts operate in a very closed and relatively small environment. Electric forklifts with small batteries could be recharging or directly running by inductance charging along routes. So major pathways have imbedded charging circuits, and the small batteries get the forklift to the minor warehouse tributaries and the trucks/trains at the docking/loading area. A huge win/win for BEV forklifts, everyone comes out ahead but the FCV fanciers.

        • Mike Gitarev

          Yes, you’r absolutely right. Extra wires and loss in wireless charging combined will be several times cheaper than hydrogen infrastructure.

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