Lexus Hybrid becomes Toyota Hydrogen Prototype – available to buy in 2015

Lexus Hybrid becomes Toyota Hydrogen Prototype – available to buy in 2015

As widely reported in the automotive press this week; Toyota have unveiled their latest working prototype hydrogen car to journalists in Japan. Apparently based on the discontinued Lexus HS 250h, the car has received positive feedback on ride and performance, and Toyota say a production version will be available to buy in 2015.

A similar concept vehicle that will give a better clue as to what the production car might look like, is expected to be unveiled at the upcoming Tokyo Motor show (22 Nov – 1 Dec). Toyota don’t say how much it will cost, but the unveiling of this working prototype comes shortly after Toyota announced they would knock $1m USD from the price of their hydrogen vehicles.

Somewhere between £50,000 and $75,000 USD seems to be the ball-park figure, which if true would be a massive step for fuel cell vehicles: it has been estimated that Honda’s FCX-Clarity (the only current series production fuel cell car) costs more than $120,000 per car just to build.

Much of 2013 has been dominated by EV news and launches, and now it seems the headlines are owned by hydrogen vehicles: the major manufacturers are developing power-trains, often in (more…)

Mitsubishi to unveil three new plug-in hybrids in Tokyo next month
Hybrid cars

Mitsubishi to unveil three new plug-in hybrids in Tokyo next month

Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC) will unveil three world premiere concept vehicles at the 43rd Tokyo Motor Show 2013.

TOKYO, October 8, 2013 – Incorporating a new design identity that symbolises the sense of security and functionality of an SUV, the three models highlight Mitsubishi Motors innovative engineering, MMC’s next-generation advanced technologies that embody the concepts of environmental responsibility, driving pleasure, toughness and safety.

The first of the three concepts, the MITSUBISHI Concept GC-PHEV is a next-generation full-size SUV that uses a high out-put PHEV (plug-in hybrid electric vehicle) system. The MITSUBISHI Concept GC-PHEV offers both the dynamic drivability of an SUV and class-leading environmental performance. MMC’s S-AWC (Super All Wheel Control) integrated vehicle dynamic control system delivers superior handling, stability as well as the all-terrain capability an SUV offers. The MITSUBISHI Concept GC-PHEV is a “connected car” that also offers next-generation preventive safety technology and driver support technology through wireless connectivity.

The MITSUBISHI Concept XR-PHEV is a next-generation compact SUV loaded with a lightweight and highly efficient PHEV system with dramatically enhanced environmental performance. The MITSUBISHIConcept XR-PHEV offers nimble drivability and a body style resembling a sport coupe.

The MITSUBISHI Concept AR is a next-generation compact MPV (multi-purpose vehicle) that offers both the mobility (more…)

Toyota i-Road not just a crazy concept: you can rent one

Toyota i-Road not just a crazy concept: you can rent one

Toyota has announced the introduction of the i-Road personal mobility concept to the “Ha:mo” urban transport system trials in Japan. The concept, which made its début at 2012 Geneva motor show, will be used alongside existing Toyota COMS personal mobility vehicles from early 2014.

In other words: this is more than a crazy concept, it’s actually going to be in use in Japan. Users will be able to rent and return vehicles at 17 new locations from October, an increase from the four currently in operation.

Much like the Nissan Zero Emission concept, this is a vehicle which fills a niche that currently doesn’t really exist: another manufacturer using the electric vehicle revolution to re-invent personal transport?

The overall concept of e-mobility makes a great deal of sense – long-term it’s not enough to replace combustion vehicles with EVs and ULEVs, we should be looking at personal transport from the ground up, and using technology to connect all modes of transport and reduce our overall energy consumption at every stage. But I’m still not convinced that niche, impractical little vehicles like these are where the OEMs need to be focussing their efforts right now.

Trying to engage the public towards EVs as a (more…)

Mazda join the party, with hybrid drivetrain leased from Toyota – The Japan News

Japan-only hybrid from Mazda, based on leased Toyota power-train. Built in Mexico, so maybe headed for the US, but I presume they need to develop their own hybrid technology first.

Full story here:Mazda’s president touts 1st hybrid – The Japan News (more…)

Motorbike generates 200W of power from its own exhaust fumes
Fuel cell vehicles

Motorbike generates 200W of power from its own exhaust fumes

Sept 1, 2013 00:58
Tetsuo Nozawa, Nikkei Electronics

Atsumitec Co Ltd showed a motorbike equipped with the “Synergy Cell,” which is made by combining thermoelectric conversion elements and a fuel cell, and the “Exhaust Gas Power Generation System,” which is made by using the Synergy Cell.

The motorbike was exhibited at Innovation Japan 2013, which took place from Aug 29 to 30, 2013, in Tokyo. It can generate power of up to 200W, improving mileage by 2-3%, Atsumitec said. It was developed with help from a support program of Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST).

The Synergy Cell consists of an SOFC (solid oxide fuel cell) tube and oxide-based thermoelectric conversion elements. Specifically, the high-temperature parts of n- and p-type thermoelectric conversion elements are attached on the SOFC tube. And the motorbike came with about 300 cells.

Both remaining materials, heat used for power generation

Atsumitec combined the SOFC and thermoelectric conversion element, considering that they will produce a synergy effect at the time of using exhaust gas. Specifically, the SOFC generates power by using remaining hydrogen and carbon hydride in exhaust gas. Moreover, the temperature of motorbike’s exhaust gas is as high as 650°C, which is within the operating temperature range of SOFC.

On the other (more…)