Hyundai fuel cell ix35 – on the farm

Hyundai fuel cell ix35 – on the farm

Hyundai are one of a number of manufacturers who have chosen to favour the fuel cell route to low emissions motoring, and their Hydrogen powered ix35 is being trialled in Europe by the EU Commission backed ‘Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking’ group, who use the vehicle to demonstrate the benefits of hydrogen fuel cell technology to EU policy makers, by driving them around Brussels.

Hyundai claim that the ix35 is “the world’s first production model Hydrogen Fuel Cell vehicle”, Honda’s FCX-Clarity was actually there first, but none the less; the ix35 is an impressive vehicle and like Toyota and Mercedes, they plan to launch a full scale production model in 2015.

Leading up to that launch Hyundai are busily promoting the benefits of Hydrogen to consumers as well as the Policy makers of Brussels – with battery EVs already available to the public, charge networks growing, and the fact that Hydrogen Vehicles will only be useful if drivers can buy Hydrogen: there is a great deal of work to be done to lobby and encourage the infrastructure investment to happen for fuel cell vehciles as well as Battery EVs: the role out of hydrogen filling stations is now (more…)

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…)

Toyota knock $1m USD from the price of their Hydrogen vehicles
Fuel cell vehicles

Toyota knock $1m USD from the price of their Hydrogen vehicles

(Reuters) – Toyota Motor Corp said it has slashed the cost of the fuel cell system in its next hydrogen-powered car by almost $1 million, putting it on course to launch a mid-sized sedan in 2015 with a price ticket below $100,000.

The world’s best-selling auto manufacturer and maker of the Prius gas-electric hybrid car says the fuel cell system will cost about 5 million yen ($51,000) compared with prototype costs of over $1 million.

The company is betting on fuel cell electric cars ahead of battery EVs, with Hybrids bridging the gap as fuel cell vehicle costs come down and the hydrogen fuelling infrastructure is rolled out.

“We aim to sell tens of thousands of fuel cell vehicles a year by sometime in the 2020s,” Managing Officer Satoshi Ogiso told reporters earlier this week in Tokyo where Toyota showed off its advanced technologies.

Toyota engineer Hitoshi Nomasa said the company had cut its use of platinum, which sells on world markets around $1,380 an ounce (28 grams), from around 100 grams in the fuel cell of its current hydrogen-powered SUV model to around 30 grams.

The figure would come down more with improvements in platinum coating technology, Nomasa told Reuters.

Diesel catalytic converters currently use (more…)

Toyota cuts US prices for Prius Plug-in hybrid | Reuters

Toyota Motor Corp said Wednesday it is slashing by about $2,000 the price of its Prius Plug-in hybrid, continuing a trend of automakers cutting prices for electric vehicles.

The 2014 Prius Plug-in will be sold for $30,785, including a destination charge of $795, Toyota’s U.S. sales division said.

Sales of the 2014 version of the Prius Plug-in will begin in November in 15 states including California, New York and New Jersey.

Earlier this year, General Motors Co said it was increasing incentives on its Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid and Nissan Motor Co Ltd slashed prices on its electric car, the Leaf. (more…)

Volkswagen UK partners with Ecotricity to offer green energy package to customers
Electric cars

Volkswagen UK partners with Ecotricity to offer green energy package to customers

For a car manufacturer that only last year were considered by some to be behind their major competitors with electric vehicle development, Volkswagen seem to have caught up very fast, and will be entering many markets ahead of their competitors, with a compelling product.

The first Volkswagen Group electric car to go on sale in the UK will be the Volkswagen e-up! city car. Order books will open in November, with the first deliveries in January 2014. Following this and on sale mid-2014 will be the e-Golf, followed at the end of the year by the Audi A3 Sportback e-tron plug-in hybrid. Key to the success of these cars will be their ‘normality’: avoiding the compromises which are frequently required when purchasing an alternatively-powered vehicle, these are conventional and existing popular hatchbacks – powered by electricity.

Volkswagen Group (UK) Limited has signed a partnership deal with green energy supplier, Ecotricity, to provide a 100 per cent green energy offer to all customers purchasing an electric-powered vehicle from one of the Group brands.

The announcement comes shortly after the Volkswagen Group’s Chairman, Prof. Dr. Martin Winterkorn, announced on the eve of the Frankfurt Motor Show that the (more…)

All-electric Kia Soul confirmed for UK
Electric cars

All-electric Kia Soul confirmed for UK

Following the news last week that Kia will launch an all-electric car for the US market in 2014, the all-electric version of the new Kia Soul is definitely coming to the UK, but the company is still debating whether the batteries will be part of the sales package or supplied on a monthly lease basis, and they aren’t exactly ambitious about sales volumes.

“We want the car,” says Yaser Shabsogh, the company’s UK commercial director. “We have the technology so we want it so we can demonstrate it. It gives us a real branding opportunity.”

The Soul EV is likely to arrive in the UK in just over 12 months’ time – eight months or so after the combustion-engined models.

“We are still working on our strategy for the EV,” says Shabsogh. “We haven’t decided yet whether we are going to sell the battery or lease it.”

If the car is sold as a complete package Shabsogh anticipates a price of at least £20,000 before the government’s low emission vehicle grant of up to £5,000.

“It is not going to be priced to try to stimulate demand,” Shabsogh says. “We won’t be selling hundreds of them – maybe a couple of hundred, mostly in (more…)