Concept of the Day: Honda FCEV

November 21, 2013 § Leave a comment

honda fcevAnd here’s a proper pic of the Honda FCEV Concept, on display this week at the Los Angeles Auto Show. It’s previewing a fuel cell car to be launched in the US and Japan in 2015, with European sales following. No word as yet on production scale or numbers. This concept shows a first-time packaging of all powertrain components in the engine bay, freeing up cabin space and promising flexibility (as well as co-operative development with ICE vehicles), and a 60% increase in power density of the fuel cell stack compared to the previous FCX Clarity prototype’s despite a 33% reduction in size. Driving range is claimed to be over 300 miles, with a three-minute refuelling time, and it’s a full five-seater. Meanwhile, Hyundai announced details of its lease plan for the Tucson FCEV – to include unlimited free hydrogen. Press release posted here.

  • Meanwhile, Volkswagen’s electric-drive chief Rudolf Krebs has been speaking about the efficiency losses involved in hydrogen fuelling – and has said that the best all-round prospect is a plug-in vehicle (electric) with fuel cell range-extender. Discussion at LA Show reported here, plus VW release on its alt-power strategy (electrification of vehicles in all sectors).
  • Handy briefing document on energy system transformation from the ESRC (Economic & Social Research Council). Even briefer summary: understanding public views, values, attitudes towards energy is crucial, but British public generally positive about change. Full 48-page report here.
  • Further to the above, people are more open to the idea of more sustainable consumption at times of life changes – moving house, birth of a child, etc. References, links to talk by Ian Christie of the Centre for Environmental Strategy, University of Surrey, here.
  • And also at University of Surrey: researcher Izabela Jurewicz is working on energy storage using textiles (carbon nanotube fibres and yarns) to optimise lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles. More details here.
  • Jaguar Land Rover has formed a collaboration with Intel for future vehicle information/entertainment technologies, including cockpit devices to connect car and cloud. JLR’s opening a new R&D centre in Portland, Oregon, to give it a US West Coast base near Silicon Valley and other tech clusters. Quote from Intel VP and general manager of Automotive Solutions Division Elliot Garbus: “Consumers expect their in-vehicle experiences to be an integrated part of their digitally connected lifestyle; this requires enhanced levels of connectivity and intelligence in the car.  As part of our work with Jaguar Land Rover, we are exploring innovative ways to inform, entertain and assist drivers and passengers in a safe way; speeding development of unique experiences from the car to the cloud.  Our goal is to accelerate opportunities for new types of in-vehicle services and applications in the Internet of Things.”
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