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Toyota unveils revamped hydrogen sedan to take on Tesla

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The only hydrogen filling stations that I have seen in Japan are operated by Eneos, an oil company. That should tell you something.

The "hydrogen economy" is a scam. It's a way to greenwash fossil fuel and make it look like an eco-friendly solution. The secret that none of the promoters of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles want you to know is that the only economical route to produce hydrogen for fuel cell vehicles (FCV) is from fossil fuels such as coal or LNG. Almost all the hydrogen produced today is produced through steam reformation of natural gas, which is not a carbon-free or renewable energy source. A car like the Toyota Mirai run on hydrogen produced this way actually produces more CO2 per km than a regular gasoline powered car!

Yes, you can also produce hydrogen from renewable energy sources like solar panels or wind turbines, but the conversion losses of electrolysis, fuel cells and high pressure gas storage are such that this technology would consume three times more electricity per km than equivalent battery powered cars.

That is why FCVs are a dead end. Even if you ignore the scarcity of hydrogen fuel stations, the high cost of fuel cells, this technology is simply to inefficient to be competitive with batteries, unless you ignore the climate disaster from skyrocketing CO2 levels and produce hydrogen from dirty fossil fuels instead of from renewable sources.

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To add to that: If battery vehicles were 50% cheaper to operate than combustion engine vehicles, we would see battery operated trucks, trains, ships, and airplanes everywhere. Or do you seriously think any manager would pass on the option to save 50%, and manufacturers would not jump into this market full speed?

So tell why we see none of these things...

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Electric cars don't use any coal or oil. They are recharged with electricity generated in a number of ways.

There is not a "number of ways". Fundamentally, the electricity comes from the grid. If want to run a car with solar panels on the roof, look at the ridiculous contraptions that actually do that.

And as your own statistics confirm, the grid is fundamentally supplied by fossil fuel. How much electricty gets lost in transmission of power lines? There must be statistics out there, but you ignore that point.

The cost of EV per kilometer/mile is less than 50% of gas filled cars.

Well, if that is so, you dont need to promote them, the market will take care of it.

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zichi

Currently and for many decades all vehicles burn oil.

Yes, that is what I said. Electric car = coal and oil cars. So what is the point?

With EV's and better battery technology will be cleaner and less polluting.

That is a non sequitur. Why is it "less polluting" to burn fossil fuel to create electricity, send the electricity of long power lines with losses, and then store it in expensive and inefficient batteries, instead of creating it on the spot?

Changes will hppen with power generation. Most homes williB energy self sufficient and EV will be part of that.

So you are arguing for creating energy locally. Well, that is what combustion engine car does.... according to your previous argument, should it not be better to create energy centralized to send it to the invididual homes? That will be "cleaner and less polluting" after all, no? Got to love the logic here, LOL!

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Well, it looks better than the 3rd gen Prius.

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Zichi:

For the time being, coal fired plants are necessary here in Japan but they will be replaced by other means.

By what means? I agree that modern nuclear technology should be promoted, but am I wrong in assuming that majority of the "electric car" fans are also against nuclear?

Looking at your link about Japan (why did I waste the time...) I notice that "LNG" and "oil" are listed separately from "coal" and adding those, we get to about 80% energy supply from fossil fuels for Japan. So how is burning fuel to power a grid to power an electric car better than burning fuel to run a car??

I notice that Japan has a high percentage of hydro and geothermal, nothing wrong with that, but those resources are local and limited. The wonderful windmills and solar panels that people think modern economies can run on are 0.7 and 0.1 in your link.... and the link does not list how much artificial subsidies flow into those.

So if cut through the wishful thinking, we still see:

Electric car and fuel cell car = coal and oil car

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

zichi:

Some countries like Iceland have power 100% from renewables. Canada is about 80% renewable.

Add Norway to that list, and you are about done. That is the small list of countries with low population density and an enormous amount of hydro or geothermal ressources (in case of Iceland, both).

To claim those exceptions are a model for every country is absurd.

Again: electric car = coal car.

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Finally, as mentioned above, it does take energy to separate the hydrogen to use for fuel, and yes, that will probably come from a power plant (whose generation method will vary according to region). Unfortunately, the energy to charge the battery of an EV probably also comes from that power plant. Even if someone manages to build a home that is completely off the power grid and still produces enough energy to charge the car, is it really feasible that they would never need to charge it anywhere else? Those charging stations out in the world are still connected to the local power supply.

In short: electric cars and hydrogen-fueled fuel cell cars = coal cars.

Am I wrong in suspecting that a large number of the people who clamor for electric and FC cars are also clamoring against coal-fired power plants? Gotta love the irony!

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Too much reading, too late, but here are my replies to some of the above posts:

The reason hydrogen produces only water vapor emissions is because the reaction is between H2 (hydrogen) and O2 (oxygen), which creates H2O. Unlike carbon-based fuels, there are no other chemical elements involved, so no way to create CO2 (carbon dioxide) - no carbon.

Next, the explosion thing... If the reaction between hydrogen and oxygen didn't produce energy, it couldn't be used to power a car. The Hindenburg always seems to come up in these threads, but that was a much larger quantity of hydrogen being used for a much different purpose, with a much different storage device. In modern 10kg fuel tanks, designed and tested for liquid hydrogen, even if something did go wrong it would certainly not rival the Hindenburg. Besides, has it occurred to anyone that gasoline and diesel are also explosive? Given that knowledge, why does the Pinto not come up every time someone talks about a new gasoline powered car? Even Tesla had problems with batteries catching fire, but that doesn't seem to have turned everyone off of vehicles with batteries.

Finally, as mentioned above, it does take energy to separate the hydrogen to use for fuel, and yes, that will probably come from a power plant (whose generation method will vary according to region). Unfortunately, the energy to charge the battery of an EV probably also comes from that power plant. Even if someone manages to build a home that is completely off the power grid and still produces enough energy to charge the car, is it really feasible that they would never need to charge it anywhere else? Those charging stations out in the world are still connected to the local power supply.

I'm not trying to say that everything else is bad and that HFC is the only way to go, but I want a Mirai. I have for years. They weren't made available where I live, or I would have one - even if they're ugly. My research said they are safe, practical, and set to last into the future. Hopefully this US release will finally give me a chance to own one, and hopefully other drivers out there will respect my choice and will ask questions about my car before trying to tell me why it was a stupid choice. A little tolerance goes a long way, even when we're talking about our cars.

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Strangerland:

It's not. The byproduct of the burning of hydrogen is water. You don't get water from burning oil.

Actually, yes you do. Both CO2 and H2O are produced when burning hydrocarbons. And you can burn hydrogen in a combustion engine. I suggest reading before commenting...

So my question remains: why claim that fuel cells have less emissions than combustion engines?

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

That was the question. If the result is the same for combustion engine and fuel cell

It's not. The byproduct of the burning of hydrogen is water. You don't get water from burning oil.

why claim that fuel cells have less emissions than combustion engines?

Because they do. See my above comment.

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albaleo:

Not sure if I understand your question, but if the fuel is hydrogen, then only water is emitted, whether by combustion or chemical reaction in a fuel cell.

That was the question. If the result is the same for combustion engine and fuel cell, why claim that fuel cells have less emissions than combustion engines? I have not seen an explanation yet.

(Par for the course for the typical climate activist claims though...)

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Does it matter if the fuel is oxidized by combustion in a motor or in a fuel cel

Not sure if I understand your question, but if the fuel is hydrogen, then only water is emitted, whether by combustion or chemical reaction in a fuel cell. A tank to store the hydrogen would be needed in both cases. I'm not sure whether anyone is developing hydrogen combustion engines any more. I've read that they are not very efficient.

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Steve Huisenfeldt

are essentially electric cars with batteries fuel cells use as a range extender reducing the weight of the vehicle using carbon fiber tanks reducing the size of the battery pack and be able to refuel it in 5 to 10 minutes

....so if you carry tanks and burn fuel, how are the resulting emissions different from a combustion engine? Does it matter if the fuel is oxidized by combustion in a motor or in a fuel cell? The result should be the same. Honest question.

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David Varnes:

So in other words, Toyota's whole gamble hinges on multiple governments forking over money to pay for an alternative to EV, which requires far less investment into existing infrastructure in order to make a reality?

Yep, looks like it. Of course, when the taxation and redistribution by governments is not counted, the promoters can present this new technology as economically viable.

Maybe in Japan, where Toyota can depend on the J-gov to nurse them along. But most countries in the rest of the world? No.

Alas, European countries are also on the PC bandwagon. And all bets are off if the nutcase party wins and starts their "new green deal" in the US.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Transitioning to hydrogen vehicles is the future, since hydrogen fuel cell vehicles are essentially electric cars with batteries fuel cells use as a range extender reducing the weight of the vehicle using carbon fiber tanks reducing the size of the battery pack and be able to refuel it in 5 to 10 minutes and get 400 miles makes a lot of sense building a Nationwide infrastructure building thousands hydrogen refueling stations along with fast charging electric Chargers this also could work in the commercial Trucking industry the yachting industry also the Aeronautics industry. And the only byproduct is water vapor versus carbon monoxide and Sulfur.

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Hydrogen delivery infrastructure:

Governments are and will subsidise its rollout. This is inevitable especially in Europe.

So in other words, Toyota's whole gamble hinges on multiple governments forking over money to pay for an alternative to EV, which requires far less investment into existing infrastructure in order to make a reality?

Maybe in Japan, where Toyota can depend on the J-gov to nurse them along. But most countries in the rest of the world? No.

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WilliBToday 07:30 pm JST

Try sticking a nail in a lithium Ion battery?

You should try it, it's quite "Illuminating" really!!

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Seeing that this thing will need a compressed hydrogen tank, can we call it the Toyota Hindenburg?

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sf2k

"Why does it always take the makers 2 or even 3 generations to make good looking alternative fuel vehicles?"

Think low medium and high fidelity prototypes. It takes making something to learn about it. The lessons learned survive into the next iteration. That's how design works

I was referring to aesthetics, not technology. Hideous appearance is a deliberate choice by the makers. It is totally unnecessary, and completely avoidable.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

160 hydrogen stations may not seem like much, but there is probably one near you. I've checked out mine!

http://fccj.jp/hystation/#list

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Japanese Companies need to stop test releasing products to Japan only. I've been here long enough to have encountered many such issues particularly with Computers, where you buy a new item, and find a few months (or even a year later) that it's been discontinued and Support for it becomes non-existent pretty quickly.

If Toyota is going to release a product, it should have the balls to do so globally, anything else is typical whishy/washy fumbling around looking for an answer.

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The 1981 DeLorean looks way better.

With or without a flux capacitor?

But on a serious note, FCV's have a huge hump to get over that they may never be able to conquer... infrastructure.

EV's can operate on the current electrical grid, or even independent of the current grid through solar panels, etc. As 'green energy' systems grow in usage, they'll be able to become even more independent.

Meanwhile, FCVs are dependent on hydrogen, and compressing it. Set aside the explosive nature of hydrogen, this means that FCV's are still 'gas station' dependent. Current gas stations will have to install FCV compliant storage tanks, pumping machinery, hoses, etc. Basically, systems capable of handling liquid hydrogen (not the easiest thing to deal with).

While some stations currently deal with propane, hydrogen is even more difficult to deal with. Can FCV tech be able to grow fast enough to make it economical or advantageous over EVs faster than EV battery tech can improve?

Currently, I doubt it.

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Hydrogen has the benefit that you do not need to rely on the Lithium cartel also mining lithium like any other type of mining would damage the environment. At least hydrogen, you can just use rain water, etc - no need to do any mining.

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As Hillclimber explained, burning hydrogen gives only water, and therefore zero emissions. Hydrogen is abundant and cheap, but it has the big issuethat it is extremely explosive.

Hydrogen has to be created (e.g. by electrolysis) first, and that takes energy. And that energy in our modern economies comes typically from.... drum roll.... coal. So "hydrogen cars", like "electric cars", are fundamentally coal cars.

I am always amazed by the short-sightedness about these environmental claims. Afaic, they are just feel-good claims. Of course, industry will bend towards whatever the Zeitgeist wants.

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sf2kT:

As the world goes green hydrogen will be left behind...

No so fast. With 70% of our universe made of hydrogen, human being will not easily give up their effort to find an efficient way to retrieve engergy from it. Plants and microorganisms create hydrogen seemingly effortlessly through the process called photosynthesis, of which we still do not know fully its mechnism. Hence, advancements in nano technologies and genetic engineering are considered crucial for the break through, and the scientists in the world are in a fierce competition today. You'd better not ignore these efforts in basic science. Toyota is only waiting for the coming opportunity by keeping Mirai technology alive.

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Thus making battery powered vehicles even more attractive and easier to make.

its attractive now, electric manufacturers give the option of leasing your battery instead of buying it, battery being the most expensive part of a EV. So if you ever run into any problems with those batteries theyll replace them free of charge. Ive never purchased a new vehicle in my life even though Ive owned over 30 different cars, If the day comes when I decide to purchase a new car itll be an EV

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I doubt FCV will become mainstream, FCV still require more maintenance costs than a electric vehicle, and there isnt nearly enough filling stations for them. As batteries become more advanced the range will get longer and charging times shorter. You can always charge your vehicle at home while you sleep

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If homes become the powerplants of the future with net zero buildings then recharging at home increases in practicality. Hydrogen not so much. You'd need large systems to make it for both practical sale issues and for any safety. As the world goes green hydrogen will be left behind and not be involved in the designs and implementations of the green transitional economy.

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Why does it always take the makers 2 or even 3 generations to make good looking alternative fuel vehicles?

Think low medium and high fidelity prototypes. It takes making something to learn about it. The lessons learned survive into the next iteration. That's how design works

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If you have grid connected vehicles and make the highway the battery you don't use your onboard electricity and would be able to deliver freight without oil at huge transportation cost savings in a $700Billion market.

hydrogen is a desperate technology from existing oil and gas companies who don't benefit from home recharging of electric cars nor the thousands of car chargers out there. The future is electric not hydrogen. Too many negatives including safety from an odourless colourless flammable gas

No matter the tank coating, hydrogen will break it down eventually, making the longevity of any vehicle in doubt.

Also the recent Nobel Prize was for the lithium-ion when the team of Goodenough just made another solid state battery that will come on market in the next few years. Thus making battery powered vehicles even more attractive and easier to make.

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It's certainly better looking than the current generation, which is hideous.

This one's hideous too. The 1981 DeLorean looks way better.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Price notwithstanding, compare the absolute very best mileage you can get in a Tesla, and then compare it to the average milage Mirai FCV.

Are referring to "range"? Because "mileage" is a measure of efficiency, such as L/km.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

It's certainly better looking than the current generation, which is hideous.

Why does it always take the makers 2 or even 3 generations to make good looking alternative fuel vehicles?

The 1st gen Leaf was hideous. The 1st gen Prius. The 1st gen Insight. All hideous. The Mirai was not much better.

It's as if they think they need to make it "high tech" looking because it incorporates new technology.

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I had the chance to test drive a Tesla. The only thing I can it’s an amazing car and to be honest not the quality you’d expect in an Americans sports care with the exception of a Corvette, but I would be interested in trying out this car. Would like a closer look at the interior.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Comparing the 2 is of slight interest only.

One is a fuel (hydrogen) cell electric vehicle and the other is a plug in Li-Ion battery electric vehicle.

Both have merits and demerits, like diesel vs gasoline.

According to Japanese Nobel recipient Yoshino, he expects li-ion batteries technology to go thru the roof in the foreseable future, making EVs far more attractive.

The infrastructure required for FCVs including hydrogen processing, storage, distribution, and at the pump is beyond huge. Not un-doable, but a big task over a long time frame.

Both systems could proliferate, but I'm hedging bets on the EVs, esp over the next few decades, just because of simplicity of energy-to-vehicle delivery - ie a power outlet.

Beyond that who knows.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Toyota unveils revamped hydrogen sedan to take on Tesla

That's a big compliment to Tesla, saying that the second largest car maker in the world is "taking on" Tesla! True, Tesla is the top ranked plug-in passenger car, but still.

I'm all for healthy competition!

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As Hillclimber explained, burning hydrogen gives only water, and therefore zero emissions. Hydrogen is abundant and cheap, but it has the big issuethat it is extremely explosive. Toyota just compresses it in cylinders and they claim it is safe, but I would not want to get in a big accident with basically bombs in the car. The future are fuel cell based on electrolysis, basically split water into hydrogen and oxygen, then react them to power the engine. The problem is that the cycle is overall negative in energy at the moment, but there is some serious progress being made in catalysts, so I believe there will be a breakthrough soon

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loving Ganbare Japan’s blanket statements.

No chance this is taking off. Just some halo effect to boost sales.

FCVs are too expensive

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Toyota has been on a roll with these designs. Stunning. As @Ganbare Japan! said, this is that Made in Japan quality.

-4 ( +6 / -10 )

Looks sensational and sporty! I want one. I would like to see the performance figures. Its has "Japan Quality", so its much better than TESLA.

-6 ( +9 / -15 )

Yes please. The estate version if possible.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

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