Anne Ominous
I am sure I come across as overly-critical at times, but... DAMN that thing is ugly. The hood arrangement makes it look like it has been in an accident that broke the hood, and those "scoops" at the front corners almost certainly do nothing for the aerodynamics.
If you're going to add big features just for the looks, why not fins in the back? No, wait... already been done.
I wish they would put more emphasis on EV technology.
@Milton You make a good point, you know how they could reduce the need for hydrogen stations? Well seeing as they already are using the synergy drive/hybrid why not make it run say 30 miles on pure electric, a hydrogen plug-in hybrid. Then 10% of the range would be electric, however probably 80% of the distance would be powered by electricity which will always be cheaper than hydrogen. Even if hydrogen lives up to all its promise it would still be practically 80% electric.
Such a car would have quite a lot of use for example if your power goes down you can use the fuel cell to power your house, also if the grid is about 100% renewable and there is a time with not enough wind/solar for days then people can just let their cars power the grid for a few days and visit the fuel station more often. Could be a lot cheaper than building power plants that only get used for a week a year.
Ian McIntosh
It is going to be a convenience calculation. People buy cars for the "freedom" to travel where and when they want; this is captured by the concept of the road trip.... You see it in car ads, and particularly in car design. No-one needs a fraction of the performance of a modern car for commuting. The result has been that the weakness of eco friendly cars has been the poor performance at long range driving - most people rarely travel this distance but will be reluctant to purchase a car that cannot do it. They could increase the battery range, at a significant cost in weight, but that would mean giving up either performance or hydrogen storage/fuel cell output. EVs are currently highly limited in the road trip mode - at best a couple of hours driving followed by a 1/2 to 1 hour charge cycle. Toyota has always focussed on ensuring the charge cycle is completely unnecessary - their hybrids lacked any ability to charge the battery simply to ensure the petrol engine competitors could not harp on the charge time.... I imagine we are seeing a similar approach here. Tesla is already in the market with a 400 mile electric car, with a 90 second battery swap. Toyota's fuel cell hybrid needs to compete - both performance and convenience wise. That means the car needs to be able to run completely from the fuel cell (much the same as the current generation of ICE hybrids can) - which requires a certain minimum power output from the plant, and carry enough hydrogen for a 400 mile trip, while still providing sufficient performance at high speed to make road trips enjoyable.
Nick 1801
The other question is: have they solved the hydrogen storage problem? As I understand it, if you fill your car with hydrogen and then leave it for a week, all the hydrogen will have leaked out. Hydrogen atoms are so small, no container can keep them in.
The Skud
I also favor a "in-house" hydrogen making system, alongside the battery recharging systems that work in off-peak hours. Plug in when you get home, then during the off-peak hours you will end up with a fully charged and 'gassed' car for the next day. If enough of these systems get made and used, the Peak / Off-peak highs and lows will flatten a bit, easing the severe loads on power generation plants. Now if they can find a good use for the oxygen that is split off from the water when you are making the hydrogen ....
Craig Jennings
I thought the code for fuel cell vehicles was. Fuel cell. Fuel storage. Fuel production. Somewhere to get the fuel.
So all we're interested in this article is where to get the fuel?
I'm pretty sure most people know which order of importance these things need "cracking".
All very interesting but fueling stations are very much the minor issue with hydrogen. We still need to be able to produce it in an energy efficient manner from other than another fuel (natural gas) and also solve the transport, storage and safety issues before its potential can be realised. Whilst there have been many encouraging developments recently we are still appear quite a few years away from this. At the moment it is still a long way more efficient and effective to use the electricity that is used to produce hydrogen to fill up an EV's battery. Tesla is still on the right track.
I don't get the Advantage of hydrogen so much energy goes into liberating and compressing it it has to be expensive.
What I don't understand is why we are messing about with batteries at all.
Didn't Ford ages ago have a Ford Focus that had been converted to burn Hydrogen directly?
To me that is what we should be doing, then you can keep your existing gas guzzling cars and instead of guzzling petrol they guzzle hydrogen and produce water vapour.
All we have to crack then is a hydrogen fuelling station network and methods of ensuring that the Hydrogen tank is safe in an accident. Clearly if Toyota have this car that problem has been cracked.
Having millions of cars running around with all these weird substances in the battery that will cause a huge pollution nightmare in the future when these have to be replaced is not good. Let alone the huge costs of shipping the raw material around the World from where these rare metals are to be found such as China is a bad idea. So we finally lose our dependency on the Arab World for Oil only to create another one making us dependant on the Chinese!?
I have seen loads of projects here on Gizmag where Scientists are working on alternate ways to produce hydrogen, the most promising one was the one that used salt water and I think it was bacteria to convert the sea water into hydrogen and it also produced clean water so it could be a desalination plant as well. Why are we not pursuing this sort of thing and making ourselves entirely non-dependent on other super powers and not creating huge amounts of pollution shipping these rare metals for batteries around the World??
If cars ran on hydrogen directly rather than via a battery I would imagine all existing cars could go through a process similar to the one we currently have that converts them to run on liquid petroleum gas and in one fell swoop you have solved the pollution problem?
I think the only good thing about this is that it will encourage a hydrogen filling station network.