Electric cars running on hydrogen, creating their own electricity as they drive, are officially no longer the cars of the distant future. As Hyundai Motor America president and CEO John Frafcik said last week: “The future is much closer than you think.” Come spring, you can go to a select Southern California Hyundai dealer (one near the growing hydrogen station infrastructure), put down $2999 and drive away in a Tucson fuel cell car, a compact SUV with water as its only tailpipe emission, a 300-mile range on a tank of free (for the life of the $499/month loan) fuel, and free Concierge Service (like that offered with the Equus model). Honda and Toyota will soon follow with their own fuel cell models.
To sum up the day-long program and paraphrase the philosopher Heraclitus, the only thing constant about the future will be change. The 100-plus year-old auto industry is heading into uncharted territory as it grapples with change inside and out of the vehicle. Electronic technology promises to radically alter the interaction of the driver and vehicle, even as the propulsion technology and fuel shifts to new ground and, in some cases, necessitating new lifestyles. One thing is clear, “Future Cars, Future Technology” will be an ever-changing topic for years to come.
Many automakers consider fuel cell vehicles the most “elegant” solution to the challenge of replacing the internal combustion engine, which is why they’re banding together to make sure they come to market.
The most popular way to extend the range of an electric vehicle is to add a small gasoline engine coupled with a generator as done in the Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid. The most popular way to extend the range of an electric bus is to add a fuel cell that generates added electrons. During the Winter Olympics, 100,000 riders were transported up Whistler’s 12 percent grades on 20 hydrogen fuel cell electric buses. Now SUVs made by Hyundai-Kai, General Motors and Toyota are also testing Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles.
Shell announced the opening of a new demonstration hydrogen station in Torrance, California, the first in the US to have hydrogen delivered to the site directly from an existing underground pipeline. GM successfully piloted 100 Equinox fuel cell vehicles during its Project Driveway. Toyota is planning to test 100 new fuel cell SUVs as it prepares for 2015 commercialization. 200 of the new Mercedes-Benz B-Call F-CELL are being put into use.
By Tom Bartley (4/30/11) In 2012, Toyota will start selling an SUV with 100-mile electric range – the RAV4 EV. In 2015, Toyota will start selling an SUV with an electric drive and 400-mile range – the FCHV. Electrically driven cars could fast become part of our transportation landscape and hydrogen is still in the […]
We want to believe in magic but unfortunately, there is no one magical solution. Save Gas, Save the Planet captures over 120 different ways that people are making a difference by riding clean, riding together, and riding less. As you read Save Gas, Save the Planet, you will discover a number of ways to burn less fuel without needing a new car. When, and if, you are ready for a new car, you will make a better choice.
This excerpt from the book Save Gas, Save the Planet highlights the future of Transportation 2.0. During the next 20 years we will witness a major shift from vehicles that are mostly mechanical to vehicles that are primarily electronic. People share tips and stories about how they save by riding smart, riding less, riding together, and riding clean.
Electric vehicle (EV) market introductions will get into high gear in 2011, accompanied by the arrival of charging station networks. During the course of 2011 many consumers will form their early impressions of the EV driving experience. Pike Research has prepared a white paper that makes 10 predictions about how the market will unfold during 2011.
Hydrogen can be produced at a wind turbine site for $5.55 / kg in the near term to $2.27 / kg in the long term, explains ‘wind energy & Production of Hydrogen & Electricity – Opportunities for Renewable Hydrogen’ prepared the DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory. A second analysis examined if wind could produce hydrogen […]
On April 20, 2004, after 40 years of fighting it was all smiles between auto executives from Detroit and the regulators of California’s health and emissions. That day a new governor signed the historic California Hydrogen Highways Executive Order.
California currently has 2,500 daily riders on hydrogen vehicles including cars, light trucks, delivery vans and buses. New California regulation will require major public transit operators to have over 1,000 hydrogen fuel cell buses in service before 2022. Early fleet adopters of hydrogen are often major users of solar power.
“One of the most serious business issues currently facing General Motors is our product’s near total dependence on petroleum as a source of energy. To address this issue, we have been implementing a strategy to displace petroleum through energy diversity and efficiency,” explained Dr. Larry Burns, Vice-President of Research and Development for General Motors, during his keynote speech.
Tim Powers, GM Western Regional Manager, revealed more details of the GM Project Driveway at the California Hydrogen Business Council meeting. GM will select at least 100 initial drivers of the Chevrolet Equinox Fuel Cell from people applying to participate at chevy.com.
Leaders from public transportation, the California Air Resources Board (CARB), bus and fuel cell manufacturers meet on June 21 at the South Coast Air Quality Management District (AQMD) to discuss plans to have 1,000 hydrogen fuel cell buses in service in California.