Concept of the Day: Hyundai Fuel Cell Farm

October 21, 2013 § Leave a comment

hyundai fuel cell farmOK, it’s a gimmick, but Hyundai’s Fuel Cell Farm is quite a charming concept. It’s a contained aquaponics ecosystem – plants growing in water, fed by waste from fish, using waste water from the ix35’s tailpipe – and is on display at the mo at the Design Museum, London. More here. But where does the hydrogen come from? Two refuelling stations in London, a third on the way, but the fuel itself still has to be synthesized from somewhere.

And in other recent green cars/transportation news:

  • An on-demand, personally-tailored bus service – accessed using smartphone apps – is being trialled in Helsinki.  The Kutsuplus service chargers users in its nine-seat minibuses by the mile, clustering together people who want to travel in the same direction. More details on the story from Treehugger.
  • The system is the solution for sustainable urban transportation, and it’s about access (incl. financial) rather than the transport itself, according to a big new report from UN Habitat, “Planning and Design for Sustainable Urban Mobility”. Worth a read…
  • Minimising the need for ‘forced car ownership’ would address growing social and environmental concerns, says a report from Sustrans discussing ‘transport poverty’.
  • The home/car hybrid: Denso and Nagoya University have developed in-vehicle energy management technology to co-ordinate domestic electricity usage and generation (from solar panels) with EV and PHEV charging and energy storage in the car’s batteries. More here.
  • A large-scale trial is to start in Stuttgart of tech to integrate EV/PHEV optimisation, energy demand/supply, traffic/fleet management and the energy and transport sectors on a single platform. The iZeus project is based at KIT, Karlsruhe, and includes 30 Mercedes-Benz Vito E-Cell vans plus 90 private cars – Smart Fortwo ed, Opel Ampera and Toyota Prius.
  • Over 8000 i3s have been ordered in advance of the European launch next month, and an upping of production is under consideration, says BMW.
  • By 2070, passenger road transport could be almost oil-free. Says who? Shell, outlining two possible scenarios (depending on level of governmental intervention), in a new report discussing transitions and resilience, tipping biomass as an easier/more viable fuel option than hydrogen or 100% renewable electricity.
  • Reality sets in for autonomous car developers? Useful rundown of the challenges – including the possible lack of capacity even with 4G to cope with all the data – here.
  • Volvo is exploring energy storage in car body panels and structural elements, possibly to supplement or even replace batteries; more here.
  • A solar-powered EV-share (on-demand short-term rental scheme) called SUNMOOV has just launched in Lyon; more here. Let’s hope it’s less incendiary (literally) than the Paris Autolib’ has been lately…
  • Discussion on greening the freight sector at Guardian Sust Biz; UPS sees oil as remaining dominant for a long while yet, and diesel best option for road freight, but is liking natural gas, according to latest quotes.
  • Nissan is rolling out its New Mobility Concept (aka Renault Twizy) on trial car-share fleets in Japan: first up is a 30-vehicle fleet in Yokohama, with 100 cars in 70 locations within the year. More here.
  • Interesting blog post at PE (iMechE): connected cars tech is evolving more quickly, but with a different focus, in emerging/developing markets, according to senior engineer at Tech Mahindra.
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