Toyota preparing for a 10-fold increase in sales of fuel cell electric vehicles PDF Print E-mail

Japanese car giant, Toyota, is anticipated a surge in demand for new electric vehicles powered by hydrogen fuel cells.

In response, the company is constructing major new facilities to accommodate estimated sales of at least 30,000 by 2020. Current sales sit at 3,000 globally.

One new building will be constructed in Honsha to accommodate this growth, located next to the company’s first car factory built in 1938. The facility will produce the fuel cell stack, an essential component which generates electricity through a reaction between hydrogen and oxygen. This allows the car to be powered without relying on an internal combustion engine, which creates carbon dioxide and other harmful emissions.

“Fuel cells are now a mature technology and ready for wider distribution,” the company said in a statement.

“To encourage more widespread use of hydrogen-powered, zero emission vehicles, they need to be made more popular and widely available by the 2020s”.

Toyota was the first company to introduce a fuel cell car to the global market, called the Mirai. It was released at the end of 2014 and initially sold only 700 vehicles during its first year. This grew to 3,000 within two years.

Sales of fuel cell buses to Tokyo city authority have been in place since last year and the hope is at least 100 will be sold ahead of the 2020 Olympic Games.

The company is looking to build on this modest success by expanding the product range and the car’s appeal by bringing costs down. Furthermore, it will develop a strong hydrogen supply chain, in partnership with other companies, to accelerate demand for the low-emission vehicle.

Late last year, Toyota formed a new company with Mazda and Denso with the express purpose of staying ahead of the fast-changing electric vehicles market.  

Global Hydrogen Market to See 18.6% Annual Growth Through 2022 PDF Print E-mail

Industry Expansion Hinges on Environmental Concerns, Push for Energy Security

WELLESLEY, Mass., May 22, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Environmental consciousness, economic development advancements and the drive for energy security are all helping to push growth of the global hydrogen market, according to a report by BCC Research.

The global market is expected to see a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 18.6% through 2022, when it could be worth $14.1 billion, according to the report The Global Hydrogen Economy: Technologies and Opportunities Through 2022.

Major players in the market include Acta, Ballard Power Systems, Ceramatec, Diversified Energy, E. I. Du Pont de Nemours, Fuel Cell Energy, General Atomics, H2scan, Innovatek, Linde, Makel Engineering, Nanomix, Plug Power, SECAT, TechnipFMC, Uhde and Weldship.

Research Highlights

  • Industry growth will be led by hydrogen production, which expects a CAGR through 2022 of 29.2%. By size, the industry will be led by energy conversion, which anticipates a 2022 value of $10.7 billion. Energy conversion accounts for about 76% of the total market.
  • In 2016, roughly 53% of global hydrogen consumption went toward ammonia production, accounting for 33.4 million tons. Next in size was refining at 20% and methanol production at 7%.
  • Globally, consumption of hydrogen is expected to increase at a CAGR of 3.8% through 2022, when the market will consume 78.8 million tons.

“The gap between the current technology for hydrogen production, storage and use and that needed for a fully viable hydrogen economy is too wide to bridge in incremental advances,” said report author and BCC Research analyst Andrew McWilliams. “Closing this gap will require fundamental breakthroughs in technology and massive investments in new infrastructure. Hydrogen advocates point out the advantages of a hydrogen-based economy to justify these investments.”
Hydrogen Economy Challenged By Storage

Storage is a key enabling technology for the advance of hydrogen and fuel cell tower technologies in applications such as transportation, stationary and portable applications. The main hurdle to overcome is finding the ability to store enough hydrogen to provide adequate operating abilities in mobile applications. Storage technologies currently under development have the ability to meet U.S. Department of Energy onboard storage targets for 2020 and 2025, including direct storage, hydrocarbons, metal hydrides, ammonia, zeolites and polymers.

Hydrogen fuel cell trains herald new steam age PDF Print E-mail

Pollution concerns are prompting rail chiefs to convert 30-year-old trains to fuel-cell technology that gives off only water

Mark Hookham, Transport Correspondent

Commuters board an Alstom-built fuel cell-powered train in Germany
Commuters board an Alstom-built fuel cell-powered train in GermanyARNE DEDERT/DPA

Britain’s railways are to enter a new steam age with up to 100 ageing commuter trains poised to be converted to run on eco-friendly hydrogen. They could be on the network within three years and will be almost silent, with the same range and speed as traditional diesel and electric trains.

Their only emissions will be water, with some released as small puffs of steam above the train. The conversion programme — drawn up by Alstom, the French train maker — would make Britain a world leader in hydrogen train technology. Jo Johnson, the rail minister, called in February for all Britain’s 3,900 diesel trains to be scrapped by 2040.

There is growing concern about the impact of diesel emissions at railway stations. The Rail…

Anheuser-Busch orders hundreds of hydrogen trucks from zero-emission startup Nikola PDF Print E-mail
Photo: Nikola Motor Company

Hydrogen-powered semi truck startup Nikola Motor Company announced today that Anheuser-Busch, the maker of Budweiser beer, has placed an order for “up to” 800 of its zero-emission big rigs. Nikola says it will start delivering the trucks to the beer distributor in 2020, and that it will show off a final production version of the truck at the 2019 Consumer Electronics Show. Other terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Nikola, which just this week filed a patent lawsuit against Tesla, says that its trucks are supposed to get anywhere from 500 to over 1,000 miles on a full tank of hydrogen fuel, which gets used to power an electric motor. The trucks can be refueled in about 20 minutes, the company says. To support this and other future orders, Nikola says it’s planning to build “over 700 hydrogen stations” in the US and Canada by 2028. It’s working with Anheuser-Busch to develop the first 28 of those public hydrogen fueling stations, the company says, with the first two opening later this year.


Anheuser-Busch also preordered 40 of Tesla’s fully electric semi trucks


This is not the first bet Anheuser-Busch has placed on medium-haul trucks powered by renewable energy, nor is it the company’s first flirtation with generating headlines by way of aligning with advanced technology. The beverage conglomerate recently preordered 40 of Tesla’s electric semi trucks. It also offered up 50,000 cans of Budweiser to be the first shipment on the self-driving trucks being developed by Uber.

But Anheuser-Busch recently announced a new sustainability effort and said that it wants to power its entire “dedicated fleet” (aka the trucks it directly operates in its supply chain) with renewable energy by 2025. That dedicated fleet maxes out at about 900 trucks, the company says, which accounts for about a third of its distribution network. Nikola’s trucks will be “critical” for meeting that goal, according to Ties Soeters, Anheuser-Busch’s vice president of logistics procurement.

“The reality of achieving that goal is more down to Nikola’s capabilities to deliver on various promises,” Soeters said on a conference call with reporters this morning. “The only way that we’ll ever get to a number less than that is if those things don’t come to fruition.”

That said, other deals like the one with Tesla offer a bit of a hedge, Soeters said. “We’re looking at multiple technologies, honestly,” he said. “The reality is we see the technology that both Nikola and other alternatives represent as being complimentary within our overall portfolio. And we do believe that the various technologies that exist out there will allow us to be able to achieve our ultimate goals.”

The wiggle room in the language of today’s announcement — “up to 800” — is a nod to the fact that Nikola is not yet in production, and therefore, it has a ways to go before it can manufacturing hundreds of trucks. “We don’t know how fast we can build those,” Nikola CEO Trevor Milton said on the call. “We have a contract to deliver 800 trucks To Anheuser Busch, but it depends on how fast we can build them and build the stations.”


Nikola’s manufacturing partner has recently come under fire for the pollution levels of its own trucks


Anheuser-Busch is putting a lot of faith in what is still a very young company. But while Nikola is a startup, it has already secured lots of help from established industry players. Ryder is handling distribution and maintenance for Nikola’s forthcoming fleet of trucks, and the big rigs will be built by trucking company Fitzgerald until the startup gets its 1 million-square-foot manufacturing plant up and running in Arizona.

Fitzgerald is best known for building “glider” trucks, which are built without engines. This allows them to be retrofitted with rebuilt engines. This ultimately lowers the cost, but it also could lead to more pollution. Fitzgerald has recently come under fire for its glider trucks because the rebuilt engines are able to skirt emissions rules. And an analysis done by the EPA in 2017 showed that Fitzgerald’s trucks emitted 43 times as much nitrogen oxide as trucks that comply with modern emissions standards.

Asked in a follow-up email how this squares with Nikola’s green ethos, Milton said “[e]very zero-emission Nikola truck we build at Fitzgerald will take another diesel off the road. That is our goal.”

Photographer: Jin Lee/Bloomberg FedEx Rolls Out First Hydrogen-Fueled Delivery Van in New York PDF Print E-mail
May 1, 2018, 10:39 AM EDT
  • Fuel-cell-powered vehicles gaining in buses and forklifts, too
  • Technology has long trailed hybrids and plug-in vehicles

FedEx Corp. has begun delivering packages in upstate New York with its first hydrogen-powered van in North America.

The roll-out is a milestone for hydrogen vehicles, which are emission-free but have struggled to attain the success of hybrids and plug-in electric vehicles. That’s largely because there isn’t a network of hydrogen filling stations. Now the technology is catching on in forklifts, buses and other vehicles that return to a central fueling depot.

“This is one way we’re working to revolutionize transportation,” Mitch Jackson, chief sustainability officer at FedEx, said in a statement Tuesday.

 FedEx’s van is powered by a fuel cell that converts hydrogen into electricity, running a virtually silent engine that emits only a trickle of water as a byproduct. It was built by an Ohio company called Workhorse Group Inc., using a fuel cell from Plug Power Inc. The van will refuel at a station in Latham, New York, where Plug is based. The company rose 0.6 percent to $1.84 a share at 10:26 a.m. in New York.

Another fuel cell vehicle supplier, Ballard Power Systems Inc., on Tuesday said it secured agreements to supply 40 fuel cell modules to power Van Hool NV buses in Germany. Burnaby, British Columbia-based Ballard rose 2.2 percent to $3.28 at 10:27 a.m., after earlier rising as much as 8.1 percent.

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