Toyota Fuel Cell Sedan revealed, mid-week news round-up

June 25, 2014 § 3 Comments

toyota fc sedanIt’s not exactly the prettiest of things, but this is what the final-production Toyota’s Fuel Cell Sedan will look like; it has been confirmed for launch in Japan in April 2015, and later in the summer of 2015 for Europe and North America. Japanese pricing will be around seven million yen (£45,450 or so) and sales will be limited to areas which have some sort of a hydrogen refuelling infrastructure. Performance and cruising range are said to be “similar to that of a petrol-engined vehicle” and refuelling takes around three minutes once you’ve located a hydrogen source, preferably of hydrogen generated using solar, wind or other renewable electricity.

  • Further to the above, five hydrogen refuelling stations will open in Denmark this year, connecting the major cities and routes to Germany; five more in 2015, putting all citizens within a 15kn range of one. All using hydrogen generated by renewable-source electricity, too; more at Green Car Congress.
  • This week’s concept from charlesbombardier.com (see below): the Aladdin, an induction-charging platform to transport vehicles from one place to the other, including the lifting/moving of ICE vehicles – buses, cars, trucks, etc. – within a zero-emissions zone, for example. Its designer, Ray Mattison, envisages a network of pick-up points and ramps across a city, and sees it as a way to smooth over the transition from ICE to electromobility. More at the Globe and Mail.
  • Report on the Royal College of Art vehicle design MA students’ summer show at Autocar: themes this year include low-cost EVs, basic and recycled materials, customisation and transformability, and a focus more on city contexts than the driving experience. Good stuff…
  • TUV Nord has done a lifecycle assessment of the Kia Soul EV, and declared it as having a smaller carbon footprint than its diesel equivalent. The assessment took into account factors including energy consumption, materials used in its construction, recyclability, tailpipe emissions (greenhouse gases 40% reduced). Release posted here.
  • There’s a couple of electric motorbikes doing show-and-tell test drive tours of the USA right now: Italian brand Energica is showing off its Ego, but creating more column-inches is the Harley-Davidson LiveWire. Whilst obviously it’s great to have start-ups and niche manufacturers entering the e-space and increasing competition, it’s getting the iconic brands involved that will really help accelerate the mainstream adoption of electromobility.
  • The Molecules Project – multimodal transport link-up platform, including shared EVs and e-bikes – launches next week with pilot projects in Berlin, Barcelona and Paris. It’s to trial all-in, all-mode connected transport solutions across metropolitan areas.
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§ 3 Responses to Toyota Fuel Cell Sedan revealed, mid-week news round-up

  • domscho says:

    The LCA on the Soul EV is an interesting story, but fairly useless unless one knows which country it is assumed the vehicle is driven in. Korea’s grid electricity has about the same intensity as the UK, so if the analysis assumes the car is owned and driven in Korea, we can assume the numbers would be right here too. However, if it was taken over to China, it would instantly become worse than a diesel. Whereas, a UK owner driving to France would have a much ‘greener’ car the moment they drove off the ferry!

    • The Driver says:

      To some extent; and Autoblog Green’s headling/synopsis is a bit misleading, too, though the basic gist still holds strong. TUV are doing a European comparo, not looking at Korean/Chinese usage – I would imagine that they have modelled data from a number of European countries in which the car will be sold, and averaged out to get the final figure or based the calculations on a typical renewables mix.

      Of course the mix of renewables is an issue, and varies between countries, but that’s only one part of the story, so the research is not “fairly useless” – what it does do is pick out the relative impacts of manufacturing and at end-of-life, which together will ultimately account for a larger proportion of an EV’s whole-life carbon footprint, I understand, than its in-use phase.

      BTW, the Ricardo work for the LowCVP (Life-Cycle Assessment of Low Carbon Cars 2020-2030, 2013) is a good reference – http://www.lowcvp.org.uk/resource-library/reports-and-studies.htm – and this also explains a bit more about ISO 14040 certification.

      • domscho says:

        My apologies – I didn’t mean to suggest that the research itself was ‘fairly useless’, only that the headline doesn’t actually tell you very much about the lifecycle emissions of the car unless you know the country emissions factor it’s based on. Of course it may be that the in-use emissions are small relative to the embedded emissions, but if that’s the case then that needs to be made clear in the press release.

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