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Amid global electric-car buzz, Toyota bullish on hydrogen

17 Comments
By Yuri Kageyama

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$57,500 a piece... Sure it will not take off tomorrow morning.

Still, it could be a start towards much more than cars.

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$57,500 a piece... Sure it will not take off tomorrow morning.

They'll be taking off like roman candles as soon as they hit the roads and start getting into accidents.

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Good to read, at least from the environmental point of view. I am a firm believer that electric cars don’t do that much of good to the environment as projected. Yes city pollution comes down but that pollution is transferred to another location - that of the electricity generating power plant, which is now burning more of whatever fuel it is, to keep the cars being charged.

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Great speech on the environment. Car sales have peaked in first world nations along with many other commodities, and some are going down.

Jesse Ausubel

Nature is Rebounding: Land- and Ocean-sparing through Concentrating Human Activities

http://longnow.org/seminars/02015/jan/13/nature-rebounding-land-and-ocean-sparing-through-concentrating-human-activities/

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Toyota should make RAV4 size Hydrogen Fuel Cell car. The Mirai was too small. The small SUV Hydrogen Fuel Cell car will attract more customer. If Hydrogen gas is cheaper to fill the tank and easy to find filling station and then peoples will drive Hydrogen Fuel cell car. The EV has taken too much time to recharge fully for 300 Km. I'm not EV fan and never drive an EV. I'll rather drive Hybrid if I have to.

I'm very much Petrol head and a Sport car fan.

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Their first model should be called the Zeppelin.

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Hydrogen is viewed as potentially hazardous: the 1937 Hindenberg disaster, when 36 people died when the hydrogen-fueled airship caught fire and crashed, ended an earlier era of hydrogen-powered passenger travel.

Hydrogen is lighter than air; it rises as it burns; those casualties were the result of flaming gasoline from the engines falling on them. Likewise the specter of exploding hydrogen tanks is a myth.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UVNojwqylYM

John Kopasz, a scientist at the Argonne National Laboratory who performs research on hydrogen gas production, said that while there are inherent dangers with any combustible fuel, hydrogen fuel is safer than gasoline.

Source: https://www.computerworld.com/article/2852323/heres-why-hydrogen-fueled-cars-arent-little-hindenburgs.html

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Several years ago, Toyota made the call to go with hydrogen over electric (remember, they were a very early investor in Tesla, then sold their shares). It seems to me more like Toyota backed the wrong horse with hydrogen, but they'd rather double down than admit their mistake. There are probably strong incentives from certain governmental agencies to push forward with this as well. Either way, they're not making them because consumers are really looking for them. That might change in the future, but I'm not counting on it.

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Arrrgh-TypeToday  08:44 pm JST

It seems to me more like Toyota backed the wrong horse with hydrogen, but they'd rather double down than admit their mistake. 

You don't 'back the wrong horse' in the car industry, you choose a method of propulsion and he who develops and markets it the best, wins.

If you want an example of backing the wrong horse, look at Europe and its preference for diesel passenger cars. They thought they could continually develop it to meet ever more stringent emissions targets yet all that ended up happening was a slow and steady withdrawal from it. Toyota knew very well it was a dead end and developed the hybrid instead... as a stepping stone to full fledged EVs. The only problem with that was that battery technology is still nowhere near enough to convince the majority of people to make the switch. That's where hydrogen comes in, and Toyota knows that all that is stopping a lot more buyers from seriously considering one is the price. Everything else is down to marketing which Toyota have perfected (in Japan at least) already.

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There was an article about this a couple of weeks ago. Go Toyota, and anyone else helping to take the pressure off the electricity grid, and the seemingly 'urgent' need to build more nuclear power stations. Why does humanity feel compelled to put all our eggs in one basket?

Although a Tesla 'only' goes 480 km, the article says that a Mirai wil go an incredible 502 km per fill up.

Wow, a whole 22 km more! Er.... (Paragraphs 6 and 8 above.)

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To boot Tesla would do less than 400Km after 5 years due to battery wear and tear in which the batteries loses it's charging capacity while there will be no problem with the fuel cell technology that will reduce range.

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Go Toyota, and anyone else helping to take the pressure off the electricity grid

Will electric vehicles not put more pressure on the grid, either through the charging of batteries or the production of hydrogen for fuel cells?

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Well Tesla just went over 1000 km in a vertified test (1078 km on 2017 august 4th) with a 100D so I don't get the point of this article. Although Tesla is a luxury car, so it's almost double the price, with the advancement of EV cheaper models will start to appear as well.

Hydrogen is still more dangerous in case of collisions because your gas tank might blow up and shrapnell will kill you. And hydrogen is even more flamable than fuel so you are done if the tank is damaged. It's not a question that the future is EV, the questions is how to make better batteries, generators, energy sources, faster charging etc.

The grid could get overwhelmed in places if too many electric cars are distributed before we can sort out the energy situation. The good news is that because electric cars cost too much right now, they will prevail first in places where the electric generation if going towards renewable energy and there's more electricity to go around, so there shoudn't be a problem.

The problem for Japan is that they are behind on green energy and more than 60% on fossil fuels and almost 30% on nuclear power with only 10% green. Huge investments would be needed for green energy to prevail, while the country is in debt over it's head and six feet under. Compare this to Germany where fossil fuels is only around 52% and they expanded green to 30% in recent years. They had to slow down green energy creation because their grid couldn't take it and it was causing some problems. Guess where electric cars will be popular when BMW, Mercedes and Audi will start to go electric. Oh wait they already did that! The future is here and Japan gazes on the past in nostalgy.

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Hydrogen is made cheaply via natural gas, so the natural gas lobby will love supporting hydrogen. But it's just a conversion of energy, like a battery. It's not an energy source. You lose a chuck of it converting it to storage, then lose more again when in use. It's only practical at large scale and ridiculous at small scale. Is the most corrosive volatile element in the universe, literally the worst design choice ever made, and takes a lot of time and money to make inert in storage and usage. Pinto-Hindenbergs in the making.

Electric batteries are also not a source of energy and as the name implies also a battery. However Electric batteries can store energy from anything that has power that can make electricity. Water, wind, solar, thermal, 100 gerbils in spinning wheels, humans on bicycles, whatever. Doesn't catch invisible fire in air and doesn't need expensive storage systems to use.

Thus making the prospect of electric batteries always cheaper than any hydrogen system. Always more versatile, always going to exist in the future, as it doesn't depend on a fossil fuel, only that something be in motion or have a temperature change.

Make a highway a microwave transmitter to pickups into an electric vehicle, and you have infinite range for electric vehicles as long as they are on it. That's where the future is going

This article might as well have been about Sony, notorious for technology that was always too expensive and eventually replaced

How about an article about a Japanese company that won't be instantly replaced? Someone that puts to mind their use of electric motors, research, or development? That's where the future lies.

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I was driving down the highway on a nice sunny day and couldn't figure out why my windshield was constantly getting sprayed with a very noticeable amount of liquid when it clearly wasn't raining. Then I realized I was driving behind one of these Toyota Mirais and the liquid was its exhaust water. It was enough water to really be annoying and it frankly pissed me off that I was having to use my wipers on a clear day. It's a design flaw that Toyota needs to fix. Not sure why they didn't put the exhaust up under the front end of the car instead of at the rear like on traditional gasoline powered cars.

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@USNinJapan2

water as waste product from fuel cell is in form of steam since the bonding reaction between hydrogen and oxygen releases a large amount of heat as well.

Haven't seen the the tail gate of Mirai but don't think it will condense in large amount to spray the windshield in the rear.

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Triring

It was just like the spray you'd get from the car in front of you spraying its windshield wiper fluid but coming from underneath the rear bumper where the Mirai's tailpipe is located. Annoying as hell being stuck behind it.

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