Toyota still bullish on fuel cells

Discussion in 'Prius, Hybrid, EV and Alt-Fuel News' started by bwilson4web, Jan 16, 2014.

  1. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web BMW i3 and Model 3

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    Please don't bother me with the facts but I remain skeptical about fuel cells. Still it sounds as if Toyota has addressed each technical hurdle. What isn't clear is if these will just be California cars not just initially but forever. But I could see where they would make sense in China:
    Source: Toyota Trying to Replicate Prius Success with Fuel Cells | TheDetroitBureau.com

    The only problem is this is a second hand account, filtered by an automotive reporter. Here are his comments from Toyota:
    2014 Automotive News World Congress- Bob Carter | Corporate

    Bob Wilson
     
  2. Scorpion

    Scorpion Active Member

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    Switch the "i" and the "sh" in "bullish". Now, add a "t" at the end.
    That, I believe would me a more accurate title for Toyota's FCV pursuit. :rolleyes:
     
  3. GrumpyCabbie

    GrumpyCabbie Senior Member

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    Bit harsh lol, but probably not far off either :whistle:
     
  4. Trollbait

    Trollbait It's a D&D thing

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    I don't think getting a FCEV to work is the real issue. Yes, they will be pricy at first, but that can change in time. Just as with Tesla level BEVs.

    The real issue is refueling infrastructure when it comes to hydrogen fuel cells. It isn't an easy to transport in an economical way material. Most homes have the ability to refuel a BEV. Even then Tesla has taken it upon itself to build out infrastructure to make the cars more acceptable to the public. So far Toyota's, and AFAIK the rest of FCEV makers', attitude has been, "we'll make the car, you build the infrastructure." Which gives the impression that they don't really care if the cars themselves are successful, but other ancillary benefits. Like ZEV credits, Toyota will get 3 times the credits for selling a FCEV versus a BEV in California. No credits for selling it outside Ca, so they don't care if the cars are only viable in Southern California.
     
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  5. austingreen

    austingreen Senior Member

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    Germany and Japan are the other market. IMHO if they are sucessful in japan, they will import coal to supply the hydrogen.
    Why would they possibly make sense in China. China does not care about CO2, nor does it like Japanese imports. Car pollution can be reduced with the normal methods we do in the US. China is much more likely to go with plug-ins than fuel cells.

    Its a pr campaign for government money. California has pledged $200M for tax payer funded infrastructure, and more in tax credits. Toyota wants even more goverment money.
     
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  6. GrumpyCabbie

    GrumpyCabbie Senior Member

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    I think it's a change of strategy by a Japanese company who want to reduce emissions, but since Fukushima, electricity in their home market is no longer as abundant they're looking at alternatives.

    Personally it's a mistake for the reasons given above. With Tesla offering 300 mile BEV's, the argument of them being no use for higher mileage drivers is no longer as valid.

    It's more to do with Big Oil wanting an excuse to continue making a product for people to burn, rather than you popping a solar array on your roof and getting cheap power for your BEV.
     
  7. austingreen

    austingreen Senior Member

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    Absolutely, but the nukes in Japan were what was supposed to produce all the cheap hydrogen. This is a program that has been going on a long time in Japan along with plug-ins. Toyota and Honda bet on hydrogen, nissan on plug-ins. Honda now has sort of changed their minds, but continuing just in case in partnersip with gm. With the home market most likely needing to import coal as the cheapest source of hydrogen, it doesn't sell as well for government incentives under abenomics.

    Big oil in the form of exxon and chevron are against fuel cells, and sued CARB over its scheme to force them into it. Shell and BP, the european oil companies are in favor, but its luke warm at best, they don't really care. Exxon and chevron see phevs as a good way to sell both their oil for gasoline and natural gas to generate electricity.
     
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  8. austingreen

    austingreen Senior Member

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    Toyota exec touts fuel cell cars, dismisses EV rivals - Chicago Tribune
    I find the logic baffling. Toyota appears to be the naysayer, putting lots of money into press saying plug-ins won't work, with Toyota taking on gm's role to cut it down.

    Toyota wishes that we would ignore the real difference
    Toyota Announces Fuel-Cell Powered Vehicles, Declares 2015 Release | The Bottom Line (UCSB)
    The prius did not require these things, it really acted very much like regular ice vehicles, requireing exactly the same infrastructure, and not blowing out cost.
     
  9. DeadPhish

    DeadPhish Senior Member

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    I think that we in the NA probably will only see them in Cali in the foreseeable future. However I strongly believe that the pressure to develop FCV's is being forced by the powers to be in Japan for the JDM primarily. Japan has no natural resources in fossil fuels. It's completely dependent on the rest of the world to supply its needs. I think that the decision to make FCV's fits the JDM needs much more than those here in NA where multiple and plentiful sources of fossil fuels exist.

    China and then Europe are probably very good secondary markets after Japan. China as noted above with its catastrophic smog problem is serendipitous disaster that's looking for a solution.

    How will the infrastructure be created? In the JDM that's not too difficult to imagine... the gov't mandates it to be done. The facilities already exist... every Toyota, Daihatsu and Honda dealership in the entire country could be required to install NG conversion and H2 pumping equipment. Instant infrastructure. But as with everything else if there's money to be made someone else will step in and create additional competition buy building even more conversion/pumping facilities.

    It may even catch on somewhat in the Western Hemisphere, but I think that it's a long way off.
     
  10. Trollbait

    Trollbait It's a D&D thing

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    I know it is being pushed in Japan, and also some Northern European countries. All of which cover a small geographical area. So the cost of infrastructure to cover the country will be cheap.

    I don't see how it can help out Japan much in terms of fossil fuel dependence if they are just going to use fossil fuels to make the hydrogen gas.

    China will likely go plug in. Vehicle emissions are poor because the regulations are lax. Tightening those up will improve the smog issue as it did for LA and other major cities here. There are already Chinese car companies investing EVs and China has the raw resources for the batteries. Being big also makes hydrogen infrastructure a costlier proposition.
     
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  11. hyo silver

    hyo silver Awaaaaay

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    I'm still very skeptical, but I'm not going to write off Toyota before I see I've seen what they're talking about. Who knows, maybe they have defied the laws of physics......
     
  12. austingreen

    austingreen Senior Member

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    Japan imports lng, which is much more expensive than our natural gas in the US. In Japan it would diversify from oil to lng, but that isn't much of a trade off there. That is why the dirty secret is out in Japan. The most likely switch with hydrogen is oil to coal, which is a cheaper more abundant resource than oil or lng (it takes a lot of energy to liquify then ship natural gas). They can build coal platns with carbon sequestration (ccs) to produce hydrogen and electricity. It is not the rosy scenario they had years ago of producing hydrogen from excess nuclear power. This scenario is likely much more costly to Japanese tax payers than plug-ins, but Honda and Toyota have a great deal of influence in the Japanese government, definitely more than nissan and mitsubishi, and they have invested more over the last 20 years in fuel cells. Definitely toyota should test this technology, and it may be viable in the future.

    What I dislike is the flood of anit-plug-in press releases and speaches in America. Toyota is going to produce these cars in Japan with Japanese workers. I think its very bad form for Bob Carter to insult personally the CEOs of Tesla, VW, and Nissan for their plug-ins, while asking american tax payers to pay for Toyota's R&D.
     
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  13. SynEco@eVehicle.co.nz

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    What you guys believe "maybe?" true if talking only hydrogen Fuel Cells but imagine a fuel cell that can use a liquid fuel density to produce electricity ( eg Methanol fuel Cell ) .. Now you would have the energy density of a liquid fuel ... combined Fuell Cell conversion with Hybrid Electric drive efficiency ..

    The best future for Hybrid is to replace the ICE component in Hybrid EV with the Fuell Cell to produce a Hybrid PBEV/FCV without the ICE.
    I hope they are NOT just focussing on H2 FCV :)

    We also believe ALL Hybrids SHOULD be PlugIN :) for direct Solar /electric charge at home.

    Also don't lose sight that the Nimh battery used in the PRIUS is already a closed H2 cycle battery. But being closed cycle is limited energy content/density.

    UUmmm .... Don't forget ToyoTa is a SHARE holder in TESLA Motors also. :)
     
  14. SynEco@eVehicle.co.nz

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  15. Trollbait

    Trollbait It's a D&D thing

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    Other hydrogen carriers have been discussed in other fuel cell threads. Methanol or natural gas would go a long way of solving the infrastructure issue. Much easier to transport room temperature liquids, and NG pipelines are virtually everywhere already. CNG is also a good fuel for ICEs. So stations that pump CNG will have more potential customers than a hydrogen one while FCEVs are still new.

    NG fuel cells are already available for home power. The units are just the size of a refrigerator. Methanol fuel cells are farther out from commercial use. Even hydrogen might work out with laser metal hydrides, since they won't require as extensive a hydrogen infrastructure. They also sound nifty.

    So why push hydrogen FC cars now? Why spend millions of tax dollars on hydrogen infrastructure when it may be obsolete in a relatively short time?

    Fuel cells very well may become the range extender of a plug in down the line, and I agreed, they would be better than an ICE. None of the FCEVs coming out, or a concept are a plug in.
    Yes, I think might have something to do with the Nummi plant. Tesla buys the plant off Toyota(old GM had to pull out), and Toyota invests some in Tesla. I don't think Toyota has expanded their shares like Mercedes has though. they happen to make a lot of money with the shares, but it doesn't signify their own direction in the car market.

    Toyota's interest in plug ins only seems to go as far as meeting regulations, incentives, and market prssures. The new Rav4 EV is only sold in California, and its drive train is built by Tesla. Their in house compliance BEV, the eQ, was going to be subpar to models already available, so they cancelled it.

    The others might only be offering a BEV to comply with CA ZEV program, but some are taking their models nationwide. Toyota appears to have no interest in doing so. The focus is on this FCEV, which will get 3 times the ZEV credits compared to a BEV.

    The Prius plug in is still only available in 14 states, and not in Europe because Toyota feels the electric grid is too dirty. While the next gen Prius and its plug in should be arriving around the same time as their FCEV, more publicity is being spent on a car that will only be available in Southern California.
     
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  16. GrumpyCabbie

    GrumpyCabbie Senior Member

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    Hate to disagree with you. It's in the cleaner markets in Europe (UK, Norway, Holland etc) in the same way it's only in certain States in the US.

    The PIP has been available here for years, though was originally quite pricey.

    Toyota Prius Plug-in | Toyota UK

    Not sure why you feel our grid is dirty either. Norway has a clean one, France has a nuclear one and ours runs about 60-70% fossil fuel - natural gas and coal, the rest being nuclear and renewable.

    UK Grid Live - Our Green Energy - Ecotricity
     
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  17. SynEco@eVehicle.co.nz

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    We are doing our own PRIUS PlugIN upgrades at present in NZ.. Toyota have "trial" Plugin PRIUS here but wont release to the retail market. :(

    PlugINs on the market here now are .. 1. Nissan Leaf 2. Holden (GM) VOLT. 3. a few Mitsubishi MiEV . 4. 2014 April : Mitsubishi Outlander PlugIN.

    The Grid power here in New Zealand is 75% renewable power generation and growing, so that is not an issue here. ( mainly Hydro, GeoThermal, Wind )

    we charge our PRIUS PlugIN on Night rate Off PEAK power.

    In the 80's we had CNG infrastructure throughout the country and Govt. incentive for car conversion BUT then after a change of Govt. and IMF forced currency downgrade .. The Big corporates moved in, took over all the independently owned Gas stations .. AND pulled out the CNG infrastructure after demand fell due to conversion subsidy being pulled.
    Those that owned service and gas (CNG) stations combined were even forced to separate the service side of their business from the Gas Pump side so that the Corporates could control the Pumps and Fuel supply options. Now along with Petrol and Diesel, they only supply LPG refills for your barbeque tanks!!
     
  18. spwolf

    spwolf Senior Member

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    it is pretty funny to read posts like this... Toyota is biggest producer of car batteries in the world, sells 1.3 mil hybrids per year and invests huge amounts of money into battery R&D.

    FCV is a hybrid... it is powered by electric motor, and has li-on battery in it. Yes, same as EV. They are not plugin, because that would add weight and cost and it makes no sense. But sure, by extending the battery you get a plugin.

    Toyota does not push PHEVs because PHEVs dont make financial sense. Toyota pushes hybrids because they can make money on hybrids and they do - they sold 1.3million in 2013, and their operating profit should be more than $20 billion.

    In fact what Toyota is saying, is that while they are investing in battery R&D, they are simply not seeing production battery technology coming down in costs, while they managed to bring FCV much further in cost.

    Toyota has invested in EV-related technology far more than Nissan or any other manufacturer. Tesla has not invested almost anything, they buy technology from the market, they dont create it. They spent their R&D on creating their car, not batteries.

    So this nonsense of Toyota propagating this or that because they didnt invest in EVs is hillarious. They invested in EVs the most. They sell 1.3m hybrids per year, which are basically partial ev's and have all the same components as ev's, just smaller... Now Nissan, GM and Tesla, how many EVs do they sell exactly? is it even 200k/yr all together? Vs 1.3 million hybrids for 1 manufacturer?

    I really dont see whats so complicated to understand with regards to FCV's... it seems very simple - without huge advances in battery tech, you wont see EVs viable. And even then if magically new batteries come and are 100x cheaper and lighter, they will still not be viable for busses and trucks. So for large long distance use, FCV's will always be viable.

    And Toyota does them all because they have largest R&D in the world and had overall for past 10 years total.
     
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  19. Scorpion

    Scorpion Active Member

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    I agree with the last part of what you said.

    But the reason I am calling "B.S." on Toyota's Fuel Cell pursuit is because -as others have pointed out- the absolute GARGANTUAN infrastructure requirements, and Toyota's unwillingness to build it without public assistance.

    Now, speaking of Tesla being partly owned by Toyota, I would like to share with you this link. (apparently the CEO of Tesla agrees with me, and boy do I wish I could see the look on Toyota executives' faces after reading his comments (starting at 29:00))

    Tesla, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk: 'Fuel cells are so bullshit' (and he's right) | VentureBeat | Green | by John Koetsier
     
  20. spwolf

    spwolf Senior Member

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    Hello Austin, how are you? I still see anti Toyota agenda is strong. Bob Carter did not insult anyone. He simply responded that he doesnt care about Elon Musk's/VW/Nissan insults about FCV tech.

    There is nothing anti-plugin in the PR, it is incovenient truth. As to american tax payers - Toyota is also an american company and I am sure that whatever R&D funds were giving were tiny fraction of what Tesla got... At least Tesla seems to be doing great stock price wise, so thats awesome... taxes given to huge failures that got bought by Chinese is a lot more problematic to american tax payer.

    As to hydrogen generation in Japan... Japan actually imports a lot of lng and is buying up sources of lng world wide. It is in fact using 40% of WORLDs sales of LNG right now.

    So I am pretty sure that they "plan" to use LNG and wastefills to generate hydrogen. But I am not so sure that hydrogen cars will be priority in Japan, they seem far more usable in USA than Japan and that is kind of what Toyota writes in their PRs as well.
     
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