Toyota plans to sell 30,000 fuel cell vehicles a year by 2020, in time for the Summer Olympics in Tokyo, which it hopes to use as a platform to demonstrate the prowess of hydrogen technology. Toyota favours hydrogen over electric cars because of the short range and long recharging time of EVs. Toyota believes car buyers will show increasing demand for vehicles powered by hydrogen fuel cells, which have similar range and refueling times to conventional vehicles.

The city of Riga, Latvia has ordered 10 hydrogen powered trolley buses. The new buses will operate on sections of that city’s public transportation network.

Coop Switzerland has opened that country’s first public hydrogen service station in the city of Hunzenschwil.

A report from Grand View Research says the global fuel cell market is expected to reach almost $25 billion by 2025.  Fuel cells are one of the fastest growing alternate backup power options primarily due to the utilization of hydrogen as fuel. China is expected to be an important fuel cell market as it intends to incorporate fuel cells in various modes of transportation. In general, the Asia-Pacific region is expected to emerge as the largest market in terms of unit shipments. North America is likely to emerge as the largest market for fuel cells in terms of installed capacity.

By the mid 2020s, Chinese consumers could be buying 4o million cars a year, twice the number likely to be bought by Americans.

General Motors has started making its all electric Chevrolet Bolt in the US state of Michigan. The EV can go 238 miles on battery power and, after rebates, will costs less than the average new vehicle in the US. The car will go on sale in the Pacific Coast states of California and Oregon before the end of this year. Market analyst IHS predicts that GM will sell just under 30,000 Bolts in the first year. Last year about 100,000 EVs were sold in the U.S., and IHS predicts 300,000 annual sales by 2020 and 400,000 by 2025. In comparison, last year 17.5 million internal combustion engine vehicles were sold in the US.

The Netherlands city of Rotterdam is experimenting with wireless charging for electric cars. The experiment uses a charging plate, which means that instead of plugging into a pole with a cord, an EV can recharge its battery by parking on the induction plate in a parking lot. The induction plate and coil transmits electricity to a car battery sitting above the plate, and is activated with a smartphone or tablet app. It operates Compare it with an electric toothbrush. You put it down, and it charges up. Wireless charging would add to the city’s already 2000 charging points. The technology could be used initially for taxis and buses but eventually could be built into highways to charge passenger vehicles.

Tesla Motors announced that it will no longer offer lifetime free charging at its Supercharger network for new buyers. Starting in 2017, new Teslas will only come with a limited amount of free charging every year. Up until now, every Tesla sold came with free, unlimited recharging at any Supercharger station in Tesla’s nationwide network. Any cars ordered after January 1st, 2017 will come with just 400 kilowatt-hours of complimentary Supercharging per year, equivalent to roughly 1000 miles worth of range. After that, owners will have to pay to recharge their cars. Earlier this year Telsa announced that its new Model 3 will not include any free Supercharger access.

India has launched its first liquefied natural gas (LNG) fuelled bus as part of the government’s plan to use LNG directly for mass transportation. Being a pilot project, the LNG-driven bus will run on trial basis in the city of Kochi before it can be certified for commercial application.

By 2020 natural gas is expected to account for 9.6% of total Chinese energy demand, up almost 4% over 2015. In contrast, by that time crude oil’s share in the country’s overall energy mix will drop by 0.7% over 2015.  However, oil will still have a 17.4% share in the overall Chinese energy basket in 2020. To promote the use of natural gas, China plans to reform the gas price and regulatory scheme to make it more affordable and accessible to a wider consumer base.

The first offshore wind energy system in the US has begun operation. Located off the coast of Block Island, the wind farm features five turbines that stand 589 feet tall. Located off the Atlantic coast state of Rhode Island, the Block Island Wind Farm is comprised of 5 wind turbines standing 589 feet tall. The system is expected to be in full operation later this month, generating enough electricity to power 17,000 homes, and effectively meeting the energy needs of approximately 4% of households in Rhode Island.

 

 

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