Category Archives: Hydrogen — Fuel Cells
Honda FCV Concept to Make North American Debut at 2015 North American International Auto Show
Dec 17, 2014 — TORRANCE, Calif.
— Honda FCV Concept demonstrates the exterior and interior styling evolution of the next-generation zero emissions Honda fuel-cell vehicle
— Next-generation Honda FCV is intended to provide significant gains in packaging, interior space, cost reduction and real-world performance, including an anticipated driving range in excess of 300-miles
The Honda FCV Concept will make its North American debut at the 2015 North American International Auto Show on Jan. 12. Continuing more than a decade of Honda leadership in the area of fuel cell vehicle (FCV) technology, the Honda FCV Concept showcases the styling evolution of Honda’s next fuel-cell vehicle, anticipated to launch in the U.S., following its introduction in Japan, which is scheduled to occur by March 2016.
As the next progression in Honda’s dynamic FCV styling, the Honda FCV Concept features a low and wide aerodynamic body with clean character lines. The interior strives to achieve harmony between man and machine by taking advantage of new powertrain packaging efficiencies delivering even greater passenger space than the Honda FCX Clarity fuel cell vehicle, including seating for up to five people.
The Honda FCV Concept made its world debut in Japan on Nov. 17, 2014, followed by an announcement that Honda will provide FirstElement Fuel with $13.8 million in financial assistance to build additional hydrogen refueling stations throughout the state of California in an effort to support the wider introduction of fuel-cell vehicles.
Honda Fuel-Cell Vehicle Firsts:
The original FCX became the first EPA- and CARB-certified fuel-cell vehicle in July 2002. The FCX also was the world’s first production fuel-cell vehicle, introduced to the U.S. and Japan in December 2002.
Additional highlights include:
— The Honda FCX was the first fuel-cell vehicle to start and operate in sub-freezing temperatures (2003).
— The FCX was the first fuel-cell vehicle leased to an individual customer (July 2005).
— With the FCX Clarity, Honda was the first manufacturer to build and produce a dedicated fuel-cell vehicle on a production line specifically made for fuel-cell vehicles (2008).
— Honda was the first manufacturer to create a fuel-cell vehicle dealer network (2008).
Honda Environmental Leadership
Based on its vision of «Blue Skies for our Children,» Honda is taking a portfolio approach to reducing the environmental impact of its products, advancing fuel efficiency, low emissions and fun-to-drive performance with new powertrain technologies from its Earth Dreams Technology™ lineup, which includes more fuel-efficient engines and transmissions and advanced electromotive technologies. Honda’s alternative-fuel vehicle lineup includes the Fit EV, Civic Hybrid, the CR-Z sport hybrid coupe and the Accord Hybrid, the most fuel-efficient 5-passenger sedan in America1, as well as the Accord Plug-In Hybrid and the Civic Natural Gas, the only dedicated natural gas-powered passenger car available from a major automaker in America.
# # #
1 Based on 2015 EPA mileage. Use for comparison purposes only. Your actual mileage will vary depending driving conditions, how the vehicle is driven and maintained, battery pack age/condition and other factors.
B-Class Electric Drive reduces CO2 emissions by as much as 64 percent: B-Class Electric Drive awarded environmental certificate
Stuttgart. Locally emission-free, significantly more eco-friendly over its complete life cycle thanks to 64 percent lower CO2 emissions than the equivalent B 180 petrol model, generous in terms of space and range (200 km) and still dynamic on the road (output of 132 kW): the B-Class Electric Drive is a convincing proposition in all sorts of ways. Its high environmental compatibility has now also been confirmed by the inspectors at the TÜV Süd technical inspection authority, who have awarded the electric-drive Sports Tourer from Mercedes-Benz the environmental certificate in accordance with ISO standard TR 14062. This certification is based on a comprehensive life-cycle assessment of the B-Class Electric Drive, documenting every detail of relevance for the environment.
«The fact that we are able to integrate the electric motor and batteries into a perfectly ‘normal’ B-Class does not only mean that we can assemble the Electric Drive alongside the other B-Class vehicles on one production line, but almost more importantly means that our customers do not have to make any compromises at all in terms of spaciousness, safety or comfort», explained Professor Dr Herbert Kohler, Chief Environmental Officer at Daimler AG. «The B-Class Electric Drive is an important milestone along our journey towards emission-free driving.»
Mercedes-Benz analyses the environmental compatibility of its models throughout their entire life cycle – from production, through their long years of service, to recycling at the end of their lives. This analysis goes far beyond the legal requirements. The Environmental Certificate and supplementary information are made available to the public as part of the «Life Cycle» documentation series, which can be accessed at http://www.mercedes-benz.com.
Over its entire life cycle, comprising production, use over 160,000 kilometres and recycling, the B-Class Electric Drive produces emissions of CO2 that are 24 percent (7.2 tonnes – EU electricity mix) or 64 percent (19 tonnes – hydroelectricity) lower than those of the B 180 — despite the higher emissions generated during the production process. This is due primarily to the exceptional efficiency of the electric motor, which gives rise to significant advantages during the use phase. One key factor here is its ingenious energy management system: the optional radar-based regenerative braking system, for example, ensures the optimal recuperation of braking energy back into the battery. This further enhances the efficiency of the drive system and enables even greater ranges.
CO2 emissions during the use phase here depend upon the method used to generate electricity. In 160,000 kilometres of driving use, the new B-Class Electric Drive (NEDC combined consumption from 16.6 kWh/100 km) produces 11.9 tonnes of CO2, assuming use of the EU electricity mix. When electricity generated by hydroelectric means is used to power the electric vehicle, the other environmental impacts relating to electricity generation are also almost entirely avoided. The B 180 (NEDC combined consumption 5.4 l/100 km) on the other hand emits 23.8 tonnes of CO2 during the use phase.
Scania to test wirelessly charged city bus for the first time in Sweden
Scania has become the first company in Sweden to test a wirelessly charged electric-hybrid city bus. The bus will start operating on the streets of Södertälje, Sweden, in June 2016 as part of a research project into sustainable vehicle technology.
Scania is undertaking intensive research into various types of electrification technologies that could replace or complement combustion engines. Induction is among the options being investigated and would involve vehicles wirelessly recharging their batteries via electrified roads.
Now, for the first time in Sweden, Scania and the Stockholm based Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) plan to test the technology in real-life conditions. The project will be run through their jointly operated Integrated Transport Laboratory research centre.
Swedish Energy Agency will provide 9.8 MSEK for the project’s realisation. Other stakeholders include Södertälje Municipality, Stockholm County Council and Tom Tits, the tech-oriented museum for children and youths.
As part of the field tests, a Scania citybus with an electric hybrid powertrain will go into daily operation in Södertälje in June 2016. At one of the bus stops there will be a charging station where the vehicle will be able to refill wirelessly from the road surface enough energy for a complete journey in just six-seven minutes.
«The main purpose of the field test is to evaluate the technology in real-life conditions,» says Nils-Gunnar Vågstedt, Head of Scania’s Hybrid System Development Department. «There is enormous potential in the switch from combustion engines to electrification. The field test in Södertälje is the first step towards entirely electrified roads where electric vehicles take up energy from the road surface.»
To build an infrastructure and convert bus fleets to vehicles that run exclusively on electricity will provide many advantages for a city. With a fleet of 2,000 buses, the city can save up to 50 million litres of fuel each year. This means the fuel costs decrease by up to 90 percent.
Apart from induction, Scania’s research and development department is looking at different technology options, including the take-up of energy from overhead electrical wires or from rails.
«Our customers have different needs and prerequisites when it comes to switching to more sustainable transport. Therefore we don’t want focus on just one technology. Instead we are continuing research in different areas,» says says Nils-Gunnar Vågstedt.
Linde, Sandia partnership looks to expand hydrogen fueling network
LIVERMORE, CALIF. — Sandia National Laboratories and industrial gas giant Linde LLC have signed an umbrella Cooperative Research Development Agreement (CRADA) that is expected to accelerate the development of low-carbon energy and industrial technologies, beginning with hydrogen and fuel cells.
The CRADA will kick off with two new research and development projects to accelerate the expansion of hydrogen fueling stations to continue to support the market growth of fuel cell electric vehicles now proliferating among the major auto manufacturers. On Nov. 17, Toyota became the latest to unveil a fuel cell electric vehicle.
Last week, Linde opened the first-ever, fully certified commercial hydrogen fueling station near Sacramento with support from the California Energy Commission.
Kickoff projects will help increase H2 fuel station openings
A recent Sandia study, funded by the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Fuel Cell Technologies Office in the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), determined that 18 percent of fueling station sites in high-priority areas can readily accept hydrogen fueling systems using existing building codes.
The development of meaningful, science-based fire codes and determinations, such as those found in that study, shows that focusing on scientific, risk-informed approaches can reduce uncertainty and help to avoid overly conservative restrictions to commercial hydrogen fuel installations.
Continuing down this path, the first project in the Sandia/Linde CRADA will be demonstrating a hydrogen fuel station that uses a performance-based design approach allowable under the National Fire Protection Association hydrogen technologies code, NFPA 2. The project will include support from the DOE.
California’s Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program states that Linde expects to open new fueling stations in late 2015.
NFPA 2 provides fundamental safeguards for the generation, installation, storage, piping, use and handling of hydrogen in compressed gas or cryogenic (low temperature) liquid form and is referenced by many fire officials in the permitting process for hydrogen fueling stations.
«Sections of NFPA 2 are typically not utilized by station developers, as they instead have focused more on rigid distance requirements for fuel dispensers, air intakes, tanks, storage equipment and other infrastructure,» explained Sandia risk expert and fire protection engineer Chris LaFleur.
«We know we can get hydrogen systems into more existing fueling facilities if our risk analyses show how they meet the code,» she said. «This will help boost the developing fuel-cell electric vehicle market significantly.»
The project, LaFleur added, will provide a foundation for the hydrogen fueling industry to implement the performance-based approach to station design and permitting, leading to sustained expansion of the hydrogen fueling network. The pilot demonstration, she said, will provide clear evidence that a performance-based design is feasible.
Infrastructure, safety the focus of second project
«Linde’s business interests in building and operating more hydrogen fueling stations for retail use align perfectly with our research goals aimed at accelerating clean and efficient energy technologies into the marketplace,» said Chris San Marchi, lead researcher in Sandia’s hydrogen safety, codes and standards program.
«We expect our investment with Sandia will lead to a broader consortium of other commercial partners,» said Nitin Natesan, business development manager at Linde. «We’re happy to lead the way for industry, but ultimately we need others on board to join the effort to address barriers to entry of hydrogen fueling infrastructure.»
The second project currently taking place under the new CRADA focuses on safety aspects of the NFPA code and entails the modeling of a liquid hydrogen release.
«With Linde’s help, we’re developing a science-based approach for updating and improving the separation distances requirements for liquid hydrogen storage at fueling stations,» said LaFleur. Previous work only examined separation distances for gaseous hydrogen, she said, so validation experiments will now be done on the liquid model.
Sandia’s Combustion Research Facility, for years considered a pre-eminent facility for studying hydrogen behavior and its effects on materials and engines, is a key element of the research.
This focus on improving the understanding of liquid hydrogen storage systems, LaFleur said, will result in more meaningful, science-based codes that will ensure the continued expansion of safe and available hydrogen fuel to meet fuel cell electric vehicle demands.
This work is aligned with Hydrogen Fueling Infrastructure Research and Station Technology (H2FIRST), an EERE project established earlier this year, and builds on over a decade of DOE investments in developing meaningful codes and standards to accelerate hydrogen and fuel cell markets in the U.S.
Lithium-sulfur batteries are of great commercial interest because they boast theoretical specific energy densities considerably greater than those of their already-well-established cousin, lithium ion batteries.
In the journal APL Materials, from AIP Publishing, a team of researchers led by Dr. Vasant Kumar at the University of Cambridge and Professor Renjie Chen at the Beijing Institute of Technology describe their design of a multifunctional sulfur cathode at the nanolevel to address performance-related issues such as low efficiency and capacity degradation.
Metal organic frameworks (MOFs) have attracted plenty of attention recently, thanks to wide-ranging applications in hydrogen storage, carbon dioxide sequestration, catalysis and membranes. And to create their cathode, the team tapped MOF «as a template» to produce a conductive porous carbon cage — in which sulfur acts as the host and each sulfur-carbon nanoparticle acts as energy storage units where electrochemical reactions occur.
«Our carbon scaffold acts as a physical barrier to confine the active materials within its porous structure,» explained Kai Xi, a research scientist at Cambridge. «This leads to improved cycling stability and high efficiency.» They also discovered that by further wrapping the sulfur-carbon energy storage unit within a thin sheet of flexible graphene speeds the transport of electrons and ions.
What’s behind the improved capacity? Fast charge-transfer kinetics are made possible by an interconnected graphene network with high electrical conductivity, according to the team. Their work shows that the composite structure of a porous scaffold with conductive connections is a promising electrode structure design for rechargeable batteries.
This work provides a «basic, but flexible, approach to both enhance the use of sulfur and improve the cycle stability of batteries,» Xi said. «Modification of the unit or its framework by doping or polymer coating could take the performance to a whole new level.»
In terms of applications, the novel battery design’s unique integration of energy storage with an ion/electron framework has now opened the door for fabrication of high-performance non-topotactic (not involving a structural change to a crystalline solid) reactions-based energy storage systems.
What’s next for the team? «We’ll focus on fabricating hybrid free-standing sulfur cathode systems to achieve high-energy density batteries, which will involve tailoring novel electrolyte components and building lithium ‘protection layers’ to enhance the electrochemical performance of batteries,» noted Xi.
«Toyota engineers were simultaneously working on a brand new technology that met all the driver’s needs with an even smaller carbon footprint.»
Toyota has released a number of new promotional videos for the hydrogen-powered 2016 Mirai. Most are exactly what you’d expect: pretty, full of promise and vaguely informational. But there was one line in the Product Introduction video that caught out ear.
In the Product Information video about the Mirai, the narrator goes into a short history of Toyota’s green car advances. After talking about the Prius and the Prius Plug In, making EVs for urban commuting and the rest of Toyota’s advanced fuel programs, we hear this: «Never satisfied though, Toyota engineers were simultaneously working on a brand new technology that met all the driver’s needs with an even smaller carbon footprint, one that took its lead from nature itself.» You can watch the video (and four others) below.
Plug In America co-founder Paul Scott told AutoblogGreen, «Show us the math! Toyota claims the FCV has a smaller carbon footprint than their EV, but every paper I’ve read indicates the FCV uses 3-4 times as much energy to travel a given distance as an EV. If they are making this claim, let’s call them out to prove it. Show us the math!» There’s some math that comes out in favor of EVs here and here.
«BEVs and FCs have a very similar carbon footprint, dependent on fuel source.» – Toyota’s Jana Hartline
Plug-in vehicle advocate Chelsea Sexton went further. «Assuming appropriate comparisons in energy feedstock, basic science doesn’t support the notion that the footprint of an FCV is smaller than that of an EV,» she told AutoblogGreen, explaining that «appropriate comparison» would mean using similar energy generation methods for both hydrogen and plug-in vehicles. Not the tendency, she noted, «of H2 fans to compare FCVs based on solar-based electrolysis to EVs running on coal-bases electricity and similar shenanigans.» Besides, Sexton said, «focusing purely on efficiencies entirely misses the biggest struggles that FCVs face in the market, namely fuel price, inconvenience, and market fear, even if the vehicles themselves are initially subsidized. An average consumer won’t understand the true energy equation, but even if not yet sold on a full EV, he’ll grok that a Chevy Volt provides most of the «long range, fast fueling» promise of FCVs today at a fraction of the cost and no compromising.»
Toyota says the video does not directly compare EVs to fuel cells. Instead, said environmental communications manager Jana Hartline, «The video outlines our portfolio of technologies that have been developed over the last 20 years (hybrids, PHVs, EV) then references the simultaneous development of fuel cell technology. The commentary is merely noting that 20 years ago we started working on fuel cell vehicles that have a lower carbon footprint than traditional vehicles and even hybrids. BEVs and FCs have a very similar carbon footprint, dependent on fuel source.» Watch the video below (again, it’s the Product Information one, and the quote above starts at around 1:45) to get your own take on what the comparison is.
Toyota, through its Lexus arm, had to retract a pro-hydrogen ad earlier this year when it was discovered that the ad made incorrect claims about H2, including that there were «20 states with an ‘established infrastructure’ for hydrogen.»
The study also shows that switching to vehicles powered by electricity made using natural gas yields large health benefits. Conversely, vehicles running on corn ethanol or vehicles powered by coal-based or «grid average» electricity are worse for health; switching from gasoline to those fuels would increase the number of resulting deaths due to air pollution by 80 percent or more.
«These findings demonstrate the importance of clean electricity, such as from natural gas or renewables, in substantially reducing the negative health impacts of transportation,» said Chris Tessum, co-author on the study and a researcher in the Department of Civil, Environmental, and Geo- Engineering in the University of Minnesota’s College of Science and Engineering.
The University of Minnesota team estimated how concentrations of two important pollutants — particulate matter and ground-level ozone — change as a result of using various options for powering vehicles. Air pollution is the largest environmental health hazard in the U.S., in total killing more than 100,000 people per year. Air pollution increases rates of heart attack, stroke, and respiratory disease.
The authors looked at liquid biofuels, diesel, compressed natural gas, and electricity from a range of conventional and renewable sources. Their analysis included not only the pollution from vehicles, but also emissions generated during production of the fuels or electricity that power them. With ethanol, for example, air pollution is released from tractors on farms, from soils after fertilizers are applied, and to supply the energy for fermenting and distilling corn into ethanol.
«Our work highlights the importance of looking at the full life cycle of energy production and use, not just at what comes out of tailpipes,» said Bioproducts and Biosystems Engineering Assistant Professor Jason Hill, co-author of the study. «We greatly underestimate transportation’s impacts on air quality if we ignore the upstream emissions from producing fuels or electricity.»
The researchers also point out that whereas recent studies on life cycle environmental impacts of transportation have focused mainly on greenhouse gas emissions, it is also important to consider air pollution and health. Their study provides a unique look at where life cycle emissions occur, how they move in the environment, and where people breathe that pollution. Their results provide unprecedented detail on the air quality-related health impacts of transportation fuel production and use.
«Air pollution has enormous health impacts, including increasing death rates across the U.S.,» said Civil, Environmental and Geo- Engineering Associate Professor Julian Marshall, co-author on this study. «This study provides valuable new information on how some transportation options would improve or worsen those health impacts.»
ULEMCo, the ultra-low emissions vehicle company, has started converting white Ford Transit Vans into hydrogen diesel hybrids instead of vehicles that solely run on diesel fuel. This conversion has resulted in 70-percent lower carbon dioxide emissions for the vans.
According to ULEMCo, “In the tests, Ford Transit vans converted to hydrogen diesel hybrid achieved emissions of 59g/km of carbon dioxide, some 70% lower than a typical diesel Transit. Harmful nitrous oxide emissions were reduced by 40%.
“Using the dual fuel conversion, van operators can continue to use the full tank of diesel after the store of hydrogen is used up, extending their total range to as much as 700 miles between fill ups. Importantly, the conversion kit takes up no valuable cargo space as it fits underneath the vehicle. The van’s driving performance is not affected.”
The drivers of the vans can run for 200 miles on hydrogen fuel before automatically switching over to diesel. Another advantage for fleets is that the hydrogen equipment can be switched over to other vehicles as the fleets upgrade and acquire more vehicles.
Filed under: Hydrogen Cars
BMW at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) 2015 in Detroit.
On 12 January 2015, BMW will welcome in the new car year by unveiling a raft of new products at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit.
A fixture on the calendar since 1907, the event originally known as the Detroit Auto Show has a long tradition in the USA. This year will be the 27th time it has been held on an international stage, and more than 200 exhibitors will gather at the COBO Center on the Detroit River to present their latest offerings to a large audience. More than 18 million people have visited the show since 1989. The public days take place from 17 – 25 January.
Celebrating their world premieres in Detroit are the new BMW 6 Series Convertible, Coupe and Gran Coupe, as well as the new BMW M6 Coupe, BMW M6 Convertible and BMW M6 Gran Coupe high-performance models. They will be joined at the NAIAS by the cutting-edge BMW i models and innovative services encompassing the world of electric mobility. And BMW ConnectedDrive will be showcasing its over-the-air regular automatic map updating technology.
The new BMW 6 Series Convertible, the new BMW 6 Series Coupe and the new BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe: three genuine athletes grace the luxury class.
One highlight of the BMW stand at this year’s Detroit Motor Show is the world premiere of the new BMW 6 Series model range. The combination of intoxicating sports performance, majestic ride comfort, a luxurious interior ambience and innovative equipment features marks out the members of the BMW 6 Series line-up. The new BMW 6 Series Convertible, the new BMW 6 Series Coupe and the new BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe meet the highest expectations of a sporting luxury car in terms of driving dynamics, comfort, advanced technology and imposing elegance. Supreme power development, impressive refinement and exemplary efficiency are attributes shared by all of the engines available for the new 6 Series Convertible, new BMW 6 Series Coupe and new BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe. The range consists of a petrol V8 producing 330 kW/450 hp (fuel consumption combined*: 9.1 – 8.6 l/100 km / 31.0 – 32.9 mpg imp [with xDrive 9.5 – 9.1 l/100 km / 29.7 – 31.0 mpg imp]; CO2 emissions combined*: 213 – 199 g/km [with xDrive 221 – 213 g/km]), a 235 kW/320 hp six-cylinder in-line petrol engine (fuel consumption combined*: 7.9 – 7.4 l/100 km / 35.8 – 38.2 mpg imp [with xDrive 8.4 – 7.9 l/100 km / 33.6 – 35.8 mpg imp]; CO2 emissions combined*: 184 – 172 g/km [with xDrive 195 – 183 g/km]) and a straight-six diesel with 230 kW/313 hp (fuel consumption combined*: 5.8 – 5.2 l/100 km / 48.7 – 54.3 mpg imp [with xDrive 6.0 – 5.5 l/100 km / 47.1 –51.4 mpg imp]; CO2 emissions combined*: 153 – 139 g/km [with xDrive 158 – 146 g/km]). All enjoy the benefits of the BMW TwinPower Turbo technology developed under the banner of BMW EfficientDynamics, all meet the EU6 exhaust emissions standard and all link up as standard with an eight-speed Steptronic sport transmission. As an alternative to sending their engine power to the rear wheels, all new BMW 6 Series model variants can also be specified with the BMW xDrive intelligent all-wheel-drive system.
The new BMW M6 Coupe, the new BMW M6 Convertible and the new BMW M6 Gran Coupe: driving dynamics, exclusivity and efficiency from the top drawer.
Another Detroit highlight will be the world premiere of the new BMW M6 models. The BMW M6 Coupe, BMW M6 Convertible and BMW M6 Gran Coupe allow BMW M GmbH to restate its leadership in the high-performance luxury segment. The outgoing models had already set new benchmarks with the flawless balance of power, efficiency, agility, comfort and luxury that is typical of M models. And now the new BMW M6 line-up is poised to write a fresh chapter in this success story, fuelled by an even more finely honed, well-resolved overall concept. Part of the credit here goes to an extended range of standard equipment (including LED headlights and Park Distance Control), the cutting-edge tech-style interior with iPhone-look Central Information Display and centre console in black panel design, and the even greater scope for individualisation brought about by new exterior colours, new leather shades, a full-leather trim variant with contrast stitching and attractive accents in black chrome. The unparalleled 4.4-litre V8 turbocharged engine, meanwhile, delivers a two-pronged promise of extraordinary performance and outstanding efficiency. This high-tech unit boasts impressive, innovative M TwinPower Turbo technology and develops 412 kW/560 hp. At the same time, however, the new BMW M6 Coupe and the new BMW M6 Gran Coupe require a combined fuel consumption of just 9.9 litres/100 km (28.5 mpg imp)* in the ECE test cycle, which equates to combined CO2 emissions of 231 g/km* (BMW M6 Convertible: fuel consumption combined: 10.3 l/100 km [27.4 mpg imp]*; CO2 emissions combined: 239 g/km*).
The mobility of the future: BMW i rolls out additional services to complement the BMW i3 and BMW i8.
Following the successful launch of the electric-powered BMW i3 and the BMW i8 plug-in hybrid sports car, BMW i is now extending its range of services focusing on every aspect of electric mobility and rolling them out internationally. With the BMW i3 and BMW i8, BMW i offers customers not only a choice of electric vehicles, but also far-reaching complementary products to ensure the cars provide long-term service. ChargeNow, for example, is a charging and payment service which is enjoying continuous expansion – thanks to the addition of new fast-charging stations – and which supports international roaming. BMW i drivers who are reliant on a permanent parking space with a charging facility will find a suitable solution in ParkNow LongTerm, while the ParkNow web and app-based service helps drivers to find a space as and when they need one while out and about. ParkNow offers car park and roadside parking spaces in hundreds of cities across North America and can filter the results of searches according to price, distance and the availability of services such as charging stations and car washes. DriveNow offers car-sharing options for more than 350,000 registered customers in the USA and Europe at the latest count, and another international rollout is now in the pipeline. And finally, «Second Life» pilot projects in the USA, Germany and China allow lithium-ion batteries from BMW i vehicles to be used as stationary energy storage devices after their service life on the road.
Always up to date thanks to intelligent connectivity: navigation map updates via mobile phone networks.
With regular automatic map updating for the navigation system, BMW is widening its lead as the world’s top provider of on-line-based in-car services. Updating takes place over the air (via the mobile phone network) using the vehicle’s built-in SIM card. This innovative solution, which entails no licence fees or data transfer charges for customers, forms part of the new generation of the Navigation system Professional. The system updates itself regularly several times a year whenever a new map version becomes available. The update is installed conveniently and completely automatically. Regular updating means there is never any delay before users are able to use the latest map software, providing the basis for an impeccable navigation experience.
* Figures according to ECE test cycle, may vary depending on the tyre format specified. All performance, fuel consumption and emissions figures are provisional.
Further information on official fuel consumption figures, specific CO2 emission values and the electric power consumption of new passenger cars is included in the following guideline: «Leitfaden über fuel consumption, die CO2 emissions and den Stromverbrauch neuer Personenkraftwagen» (Guideline for fuel consumption, CO2 emissions and electric power consumption of new passenger cars), which can be obtained from all dealerships, from Deutsche Automobil Treuhand GmbH (DAT), Hellmuth-Hirth-Str. 1, 73760 Ostfildern-Scharnhausen and at http://www.dat.de/en/offers/publications/guideline-for-fuel-consumption.html. LeitfadenCO2 (GuidelineCO2) (PDF ‒ 2.7 MB)
For the latest information about US specifications, including fuel efficiency, equipment, and pricing, please visit www.bmwusanews.com.
In Japan’s Aichi Prefecture, Toyota will be adding a couple more assembly lines by the end of 2015 to handle the demand for its Mirai fuel cell vehicles, an investment of over $165 million. On next Monday, December 15, 2014, Toyota has stated that they will begin manufacturing the first commercial Mirai cars in this Prefecture.
According to Nikkei, “Exports to the U.S. and Europe are also expected to begin in the summer of 2015. Especially in California, regulations that promote zero-emissions vehicles are seen creating a tailwind. Toyota’s current capacity will not be enough to meet brisk demand at home and in the U.S.
“Toyota plans to sell 400 Mirais in Japan by the end of 2015. In the U.S., it seeks to move 3,000 units or more by the end of 2017. In Europe, the plan is to sell 50 to 100 units a year around 2016.”
The Hyundai ix35 Tucson fuel cell vehicle is a commercial vehicle already available for lease in Southern California. With the Toyota Mirai commercially available in the summer of 2015 in California, this will spur the building of hydrogen fueling stations in that state.
In fact, today in West Sacramento, CA the first public hydrogen fueling station in Northern California is being unveiled at a Ramos Oil Company facility. This will be the first of many to be opened publicly in the Golden State within the next couple of years.
Filed under: Hydrogen Cars
The last semi-official number we had for pre-orders for the 2016 Toyota Mirai fuel cell vehicle was around 200. But demand is strong enough that Toyota is saying that it will spend 20 billion yen ($168 million US) to expand annual production capacity at the «secretive workshop» where the Mirai will be built from 700 in the first year (2015) to around 2,000 after that.
Japanese newspaper Nikkei reported the increase and also breaks down where Toyota expects to sell the small number of Mirai vehicles it will make in the first few years: 400 in Japan by the end of 2015, 200 or 300 In the US in 2015 (and then 3,000 by the end of 2017) and between 50 and 100 in Europe annually starting around 2016. To make all of these hydrogen cars, Toyota will add two lines to the factory where the fuel cell stacks and tanks are built and it will also upgrade the assembly location.
In the US, the Mirai will initially only be sold in California next year and will start at $57,500 or lease for $499 a month for 36 months (with $3,649 due at signing). The Japanese automaker is including hydrogen fuel for «up to three years» at that price, mostly because no one knows how to accurately measure and sell H2 for cars quite yet.
Related Gallery2016 Toyota Mirai
Geologic storage of hydrogen gas could make it possible to produce and distribute large quantities of hydrogen fuel for the growing fuel cell electric vehicle market, the researchers concluded.
Geologic storage solutions can service a number of key hydrogen markets since «costs are more influenced by the geology available rather than the size of the hydrogen market demand,» said Sandia’s Anna Snider Lord, the study’s principal investigator.
The work, Lord said, could provide a roadmap for further research and demonstration activities, such as an examination of environmental issues and geologic formations in major metropolitan areas that can hold gas. Researchers could then determine whether hydrogen gas mixes with residual gas or oil, reacts with minerals in the surrounding rock or poses any environmental concerns.
Storage seen as key to realizing hydrogen’s market growth
Should the market demands for hydrogen fuel increase with the introduction of fuel cell electric vehicles, the U.S. will need to produce and store large amounts of cost-effective hydrogen from domestic energy sources, such as natural gas, solar and wind, said Daniel Dedrick, Sandia hydrogen program manager.
As Toyota, General Motors, Hyundai and others move ahead with plans to develop and sell or lease hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles, practical storage of hydrogen fuel at large scale is nessesary to enable widespread hydrogen-powered transportation infrastructure. Such storage options, Dedrick said, are needed to realize the full potential of hydrogen for transportation.
Additionally, installation of electrolyzer systems on electrical grids for power-to-gas applications, which integrate renewable energy, grid services and energy storage will require large-capacity, cost-effective hydrogen storage.
Storage above ground requires tanks, which cost three to five times more than geologic storage, Lord said. In addition to cost savings, underground storage of hydrogen gas offers advantages in volume. «Above-ground tanks can’t even begin to match the amount of hydrogen gas that can be stored underground,» she said.
The massive quantities of hydrogen that is stored in geologic features can subsequently be distributed as a high-pressure gas or liquid to supply hydrogen fuel markets.
Model helps identify the most favorable storage locations
While geologic storage may prove to be a viable option, several issues need to be explored, said Lord, including permeability of various geologic formations.
A geologist in Sandia’s geotechnology and engineering group, Lord for years has been involved in the geologic storage of the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve, the world’s largest emergency supply of crude oil.
For her study on geologic storage, Lord and her colleagues analyzed and reworked the geologic storage module of Argonne National Laboratory’s Hydrogen Delivery Scenario Analysis Model. To help refine the model, Lord studied storing hydrogen in salt caverns to meet peak summer driving demand for four cities: Los Angeles, Houston, Pittsburgh and Detroit.
She determined that 10 percent above the average daily demand for 120 days should be stored. She then modeled how much hydrogen each city would need if hydrogen met 10, 25 and 100 percent of its driving fuel needs.
Los Angeles has three times the population of Detroit and more than six and a half times the population of Pittsburgh, but the nearest salt formations are in Arizona, so Lord included the cost of getting the stored hydrogen from Arizona to Los Angeles.
Even so, Los Angeles’ modeled costs are significantly less than those for Detroit and Pittsburgh. Salt formations in Arizona are thicker than those for Detroit and Pittsburgh, with larger and fewer caverns. Houston has the best conditions of the four cities because the Gulf Coast offers large, deep salt formations.
To examine the cost of geologic hydrogen storage, Lord started by selecting geologic formations that currently store natural gas. Working with Sandia economist Peter Kobos, Lord analyzed costs to store hydrogen gas in depleted oil and gas reservoirs, aquifers, salt caverns and hard rock caverns.
Their paper, «Geologic storage of hydrogen: Scaling up to meet city transportation demands,» was published in the International Journal of Hydrogen Energy.
A geologic solution for peak period storage
Other fuels are already stored geologically. Oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, for example, is held in large man-made caverns along the Gulf Coast. Natural gas is stored in more than 400 geologic sites to meet winter heating demands.
Lord envisions that excess hydrogen produced throughout the year could be brought to geologic storage sites and then piped to cities during the summer, when the demand for driving fuels peaks.
Depleted oil and gas reservoirs and aquifers initially seem the most economically attractive options, she said. «Just looking at numbers, because they can hold such a larger volume relative to any cavern you create, they look cheaper,» she said.
But hydrogen gas is a challenging substance to store. «Because it’s a smaller molecule than methane, for example, it has the potential to leak easier and move faster through the rock,» Lord said.
Depleted oil and gas reservoirs and aquifers could leak hydrogen, and cycling — filling a storage site, pulling hydrogen out for use and refilling the site — can’t be done more than once or twice a year to preserve the integrity of the rock formation, Lord said.
With a salt cavern or hard rock cavern, «there are no permeability issues, there’s really no way anything can leak,» she said. «You can bring more product in and out, and that will, in the long run, decrease your costs.»
Hard rock caverns are relatively unproven; only one site holds natural gas. But salt caverns, which are created 1,000 to 6,000 feet below ground by drilling wells in salt formations, pumping in undersaturated water to dissolve the salt, then pumping out the resulting brine, are used more extensively and already store hydrogen on a limited scale, Lord said.
Lord said her work could lead to demonstration projects to further cement the viability of underground hydrogen storage. Salt caverns are the logical choice for a pilot project due to their proven ability to hold hydrogen, she said. Environmental concerns such as contamination could also be further analyzed.
However, salt formations are limited. None exist in the Pacific Northwest, much of the East Coast and much of the South, except for the Gulf Coast area. Other options are needed for development of a nationwide hydrogen storage system.
Lord’s work adds to Sandia’s capabilities and decades of experience in hydrogen and fuel cells systems. Sandia leads a number of other hydrogen research efforts, including the Hydrogen Fueling Infrastructure Research and Station Technology (H2FIRST) project co-led by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), a maritime fuel cell demonstration, a development project focused on hydrogen-powered forklifts and a recent study of how many California gas stations can safely store and dispense hydrogen.
Forget Dueling Banjos. Audi is proposing «Dueling Motors» for its Audi A7 Sportback H-Tron Quattro concept vehicle. All in the name of appropriate pickup, of course.
The German automaker, which showed off the concept sedan at the Los Angeles Auto Show last month, is pairing a plug-in electric motor with a hydrogen fuel cell powertrain. Each motor powers two wheels, maintaining the Quattro’s all-wheel-drive pedigree. The car’s 8.8-kWh lithium-ion battery can drive the car as far as 31 miles on battery-power alone. After that, the water-vapor-spewing fuel-cell engine kicks in.
Audi executive Ulrich Hackenberg told Automotive News Europe that the unusual set-up is necessary because the hydrogen fuel cell powertrain alone would only power two wheels while providing an insufficient 136 horsepower. Not exactly sport-sedan material, especially for a car that weighs about 4,300 pounds, even if it is a zero-emission ride.
Combined, the two engines give the sedan 231 horsepower as well as a combined single-charge/full-tank range of almost 350 miles. What it all means is that the A7 can go from 0 to 60 miles per hour in less than eight seconds and has a top speed of about 112 miles per hour, and can still dash through the snow.