Company announces $1B plan to build hydrogen-electric trucks in Arizona PDF Print E-mail
(Nikola Motor Company Photo)

PHOENIX — Semi-trucks that run on a combination of hydrogen and electricity will soon be rolling off production lines in Arizona, it was announced Tuesday.

Utah-based Nikola Motor Company said it had selected Buckeye as the home for its new plant that was expected to bring in more than $1 billion in capital investment to the region by 2024.

“We will begin transferring our R&D and headquarters to Arizona immediately and hope to have the transition completed by October 2018,” the company’s CEO and founder, Trevor Milton, said.

“We have already begun planning the construction for our new zero emission manufacturing facility in Buckeye, which we expect to have underway by the end of 2019.”

The 500-acre plant will create about 2,000 jobs.

The company scouted 30 sites before choosing Buckeye.

Gov. Doug Ducey, who has also lured electric car maker Lucid Motors to the state, said Nikola’s decision showed Arizona was leading the way in attracting new companies.

“This incredible new technology will revolutionize transportation, and we’re very proud it will be engineered right here in Arizona,” he said.

The million-square-foot facility will be built near Sun Valley and Wintersburg parkways, adjacent to a new master-planned community that will house an estimated 300,000 people.

“As the seventh-fastest growing city in the country, Nikola Motor Company is a huge asset which will help us achieve our goal of providing a place where Buckeye residents can live, work and play,” Buckeye Mayor Jackie Meck said.

Nikola has two models: The Nikola One and the Nikola Two.

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(Nikola Motor Company Photo)


Central China to gain hydrogen city PDF Print E-mail

Wuhan, capital city of central China's Hubei Province, will build itself into a "hydrogen city" through developing hydrogen energy industry, according to a city development plan.

The city is to advance research and development of core technology of hydrogen production, storage and transport, and improve hydrogen infrastructure in the coming years.

A hydrogen energy industrial park is expected to be built in the city, gathering more than 100 fuel cell automakers and related enterprises, the plan said.

The city will build up to 20 hydrogen fueling stations from 2018 to 2020 to support the running of about 3,000 hydrogen fuel cell-powered vehicles.

Wuhan is scheduled to become a world hydrogen city by 2025, with 3 to 5 world leading hydrogen enterprises and 30 to 100 hydrogen fueling stations. The annual production value of hydrogen fuel cells will exceed 100 billion yuan (around 15.63 billion U.S. dollars), it added.

"Despite a late start, China has made rapid progress in hydrogen development, mastering core technologies of the hydrogen fuel cell," said Zhang Qingjie, president of Wuhan University of Technology.

Wuhan, which sits on the middle reaches of the Yangtze River, is home to a number of car-making companies, including Dongfeng Motor Corporation, one of China's leading car-makers.

With China's preferential polices in hydrogen industry, Wuhan has great potential and a bright future in hydrogen energy development, Zhang said.

French Startup Launches Hydrogen-Powered Bicyles PDF Print E-mail

Jan. 16, 2018, at 12:51 p.m.

PARIS (Reuters) - A French start-up has become the first company to start factory production of hydrogen-powered bicycles for use in corporate or municipal fleets.

Pragma Industries, which is based in Biarritz, France and makes fuel cells for military use, has sold some 60 hydrogen-powered bikes to French municipalities including Saint Lo, Cherbourg, Chambery and Bayonne.

At about 7,500 euros per bike, and at least 30,000 euros for a charging station, the bikes are too expensive for the consumer market, but Pragma is working to cut that to 5,000 euros, which would bring their price in line with premium electric bikes.

"Many others have made hydrogen bike prototypes, but we are the first to move to series production," said founder and chief executive Pierre Forte.

The firm's Alpha bike runs for about 100 km (62 miles) on a two-litre tank of hydrogen, a range similar to an electric bike, but a refill takes only minutes while e-bikes take hours to charge. One kilo of hydrogen holds about 600 times more energy than a one-kilo lithium battery.

Most auto executives see fuel cells not batteries for future EVs Read more: http://www.digitaljourn PDF Print E-mail
A survey by giant auditor KPMG finds that though there is a growing electric vehicle (EV) market in China and also increasing global pollution limits for autos run on fossil fuels, a majority of global auto executives take a dim view of battery-run EVs.
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Most senior executives see battery-run EV's (BEVs) as likely to be superseded by fuel cell vehicles (FCEVs)
KPMG stands for Klynveld Peat Marwick Goerdeler. The survey by KPMG,a large professional service company that employs about 189,000 people, shows that 62 percent of senior auto executives think that eventually EV's will be leapfrogged by fuel-cell vehicles. The executives feel that the challenges of building an adequate infrastructure of both lower-rate and DC fast-charging infrastructure for long-distance travel will allow fuel-cell vehicles to eventually dominate over battery-run EVs.The survey was based on data collected from 953 senior executives.Fuel Cell run EV's (FCEVs)The executives are not saying that vehicles now run by fossil fuels will not eventually be replaced by EVs but that EVs run by batteries will lose out to EVs run by fuel cells.A FCEV uses a fuel cell rather than a battery to create electricity. The cells generally use oxygen from the air as well as hydrogen to generate the electricity that powers the motor. While this avoids the problem of having an extensive charging infrastructure the vehicles still need stations where they can obtain hydrogen fuel and the infrastructure for that needs to be created.As of now there are only 36 public hydrogen fueling stations for autos available in the U.S. Some critics doubt that hydrogen will ever be efficient or cost-effective for automobiles compared to other zero emission technologies. However auto execs on the whole appear to be optimistic about the technology.As a recent Digital Journal article reports at least one auto maker Hyundai is introducing a new fuel-cell powered electric vehicle betting on a promising future for the technology.Luxury car maker Porsche however will soon be selling six separate plug-in hybrid models.Increase in EVs market share will be driven more by regulation in the futureThe KPMG survey includes a chart showing the increase in EV's over the next several years. In 2018 there are expected to be about 96 million vehicles worldwide with only 5 percent being EVs.By 2023 the chart shows 110 million vehicles globally, and the EV market share is projected to be up to 37 percent. However, it is estimated that only seven percent of this is from market demand while up to 30 percent comes from regulations.Fifty percent of executives believe that as the years pass towards 2025 battery-operated EV's will be a key trend because the regulatory environment will dictate this. In spite of the increase in the share of the market by EV vehicles 76 percent of the executives thought that the internal combustion engines will continue for many years as the dominant type of drive train.At the same time, 78 percent saw the breakthrough technology in EVs not to be new battery technology but the development of the hydrogen fuel cell-powered EV (FCEV). The report says: "The faith in FCEVs can be explained by the hope that FCEVs will solve the recharging and infrastructure issue BEVs face today." However, FCEVs have their own problems in that they need an infrastructure of stations providing hydrogen fuel. There are also costs in transporting hydrogen to the stations.China to stop production of fossil fuel powered vehiclesChina is launching a campaign to increase the percentage of its vehicles that have zero emissions. It is now the largest global market for EVs.Last September, the deputy interior minister, Xin Guobin, announced that China is doing research to reach a timetable for stopping production of traditional internal combustion style vehicles. This will certainly help relieve the pollution problems faced by many Chinese cities.Several countries have already bans on fossil fuel powered vehicles. Norway plans to ban them by 2025. The UK, France, and India have also announced bans.

Read more:
Hyundai’s new Hydrogen Fuel Cell SUV Made its Debut at CES 2018 PDF Print E-mail

As car manufacturers battle to dominate the lithium-ion-powered e-vehicle scene, Hyundai has decided to go against the flow by unveiling its newest hydrogen fuel cell SUV at CES 2018.

On Monday, the South Korean automaker, Hyundai, introduced its latest car model at CES 2018 in Las Vegas. However, instead of equipping it with the now popular lithium-ion car battery, the company’s newest utility vehicle is powered by a hydrogen fuel cell.

For years, a number of car manufacturers have been pushing fuel cell e-vehicles in the mainstream market. While the auto industry’s shift to cleaner, cheaper, and more sustainable vehicles and energy sources has been dominated by battery-operated electric cars, Hyundai, Toyota, and Honda, to name a few, remain positive about the potentials of hydrogen fuel cells.

“We call this the next future utility vehicle,” Hyundai Vice President, Ki-Sang Lee, said.

@Hyundai_Global unveiled its new hydrogen fuel cell vehicle #NEXO at #CES2018CLICK TO TWEET

Dubbed as NEXO, this vehicle picks up where the Tucson FCEV left off. The Tucson FCEV was Hyundai’s first attempt at mass producing a hydrogen fuel cell-powered car for its customers in Asia, North America, and Europe. NEXO has now taken over that position for Hyundai and has been designed to impress.

Nexo: The Future of Hydrogen Fuel Cell-Operated Vehicles

Hyundai’s newest crossover hydrogen fuel cell-powered SUV is said to be an all-new platform equipped with the company’s latest car techs. Nexo features a voice command system, artificial intelligence, and can be switched into an autonomous car.

According to Hyundai, Nexo was built from the ground up with a fuel cell in mind. Thus making the car design lighter while giving the hydrogen fuel tank a more strategic layout. The Nexo notably resembles the current Tucson compact SUV. However, Hyundai has said that its design allows for more passenger space, improved aerodynamics, acceleration, and efficiency.

As part of the company’s recent line of so-called “eco-vehicles,” Hyundai sees hydrogen as the future in this field.

“NEXO embodies everything we have learned in five years of the Tucson fuel-cell vehicle,” Ki-Sang Lee went on to say. According to The Verge, Nexo is reportedly packed with the following new technologies and features:

  • 0-60 mph time in about 9.5 seconds
  • A 370-mile range
  • Remote Smart Parking Assistant
  • Lane following system that allows Nexo to remain centered in its lane up to 90 mph
  • Highway Driving Assistant that uses sensors and map data to adjust speed when needed automatically
  • Wide-angle camera that can see blind spots while changing lanes or parking

Like the Tucson FCEV, expect the new hydrogen fuel cell-powered Nexo to be available in select markets where hydrogen fuel refilling stations are available. Hyundai has said that it plans to sell the Nexo in California later this year; a seemingly bold move to compete with battery-powered e-vehicles in the region. Aside from California, the car will most likely be available in South Korea, Australia, and a number of European countries.

Nexo is just one of the 18 eco-friendly vehicles that Hyundai plans to release by 2025, including plug-in hybrids, hybrids, battery electrics, and hydrogen fuel cell cars.


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