US wireless telecommunications carrier Sprint Corp. is installing rooftop hydrogen fuel cell backup generators we learn from the Kansas City Business Journal. So far the company has deployed approximately 500 hydrogen fuel cells in its US network as back-up power in case of power outages. Currently, these fuel cells cover approximately 25% of its total network. The majority are located on the rooftops of network facilities located near major metropolitan areas. See also Hydrogen Fuel News, Sprint takes on hydrogen fuel cells
Hydrogen Fuel News says France wants to be Europe’s leader in hydrogen fuel. The country’s “New Industrial France” project supports various hydrogen initiatives, including energy storage, hydrogen production, the establishment of a hydrogen fuel infrastructure, and clean transportation. Now the French government has begun to call for new projects that focus on developing a working hydrogen infrastructure for hydrogen fuel vehicles.
gasworld reports Europe’s first hydrogen high pressure tube trailers are in operation, capable of transporting large volumes of hydrogen at high pressure to a network of hydrogen refueling stations. Air Products’ state-of-the-art tube trailer features specialised composite cylinders for hydrogen storage that enable the fuel to be delivered from central production facilities directly to the fueling station. The increased pressure in the cylinders means lower capital investment for the refueling station hardware as well as a reduction in station operating costs.
Hydrogenics Corp., a manufacturer of hydrogen generation and hydrogen-based power modules, will be building 2 hydrogen refueling stations in the UK according to Next-Gen Transportation News. One, in Aberdeen, Scotland, will be used to refuel 10 fuel-cell buses. The other is to be constructed in Swindon, England, for Honda Motor Co.
The Japan News reports the mass production of fuel cell vehicles is about to begin. This summer, Toyota Motor Corp. will be the world’s first automaker to start mass-production of these vehicles, often referred to as “the ultimate form of eco-friendly cars.” Presently, Toyota plans to manufacture one fuel cell vehicle per day. By December it hopes to be manufacturing 1,000 units a year. Other manufacturers are also exploring these vehicles. Honda Motor Co. plans to market one in 2015. To begin production of lower-priced and smaller fuel cells with 2020 as the target year, Honda is conducting joint development with General Motors to compete with Toyota. Nissan Motor Co. is conducting joint development of fuel cells with Daimler AG and Ford Motor Co., but Nissan places more importance on electric vehicles as its next generation of eco-friendly cars. Nissan’s Leaf is the best-selling EV model in the world. The success of the fuel cell vehicle will ultimately depend on their being sufficient hydrogen refueling infrastructure inplace offering competitive prices. For its part, the Japanese government plans to build 100 hydrogen refueling stations across the nation by the end of 2015. Previously Earth’s Energy noted that the US state of California is providing funding to build hydrogen refueling infrastructure in the state.
The Derby Telegraph informs us Toyota’s new hydrogen car will create enough electricity to power your home for week.
The four-door saloon’s electric motor can produce more than 100 kilowatts of energy and Toyota claims that, with a full tank of hydrogen fuel, the car could generate enough energy to power a regular home for a week.
In a statement, Toyota says: “A new hydrogen-powered Toyota could be the answer to keeping the lights on when power cuts strike…Instead of fumbling for the candles when the electricity supply fails, owners of the new Toyota FCV could simply reach for their car keys to keep their homes warm and bright.”
Hyundai’s fuel cell Tucson will have as much as a 300 mile driving range according to AUTOWEEK. The car is expected to show up in California dealer show rooms this spring.
Hyundai claims its Tucson has a driving range of 250-300 miles and is capable of refueling in less than 10 minutes. What the Tucson also offers is instant electric-motor torque — 221 lb-ft of it, to be exact. And the big one, for all of you environmentally conscious readers out there: zero greenhouse gas emissions. This thing only emits water vapor.
See also, AUTO WORLD NEWS, Hyundai’s Hydrogen Car Will Hit California Dealerships This Spring.
Forbes examines the technical downside of hydrogen vehicles. The author thinks that hydrogen vehicles may turn out one of those ideas that is great in the laboratory but not in the real world.
First, making hydrogen is expensive…On top of that, hydrogen storage is far more expensive than that of gasoline…And of course, the fuel cell that would use the hydrogen remains very expensive. They have found only moderate use in stationary applications so far, and remain a niche product…Given all of these challenges, it seems clear that hydrogen fuel cell vehicles remain an “over the horizon” technology, beyond our ability to predict their commerciality with any certainty.
See also, Forbes, Hydrogen Vehicles 3: Electronics Beat Chemistry.
In a related post, The Huffington Post believes that Hawaii’s experience with hydrogen cars doesn’t bode well for the technology. In December 2010 General Motors promised that hydrogen cars would be on Hawaii roads by 2015. Yet a year from that date there is no infrastructure to fuel them.
The hype has subsided, 2015 is approaching, and the hydrogen-vehicle future doesn’t seem to be much closer than it was a few years ago…The fueling stations — which were estimated in 2010 to cost between $1.2 million and $2 million each, but which have turned out to be more expensive — have not been built… Charlie Freese, executive director of GM’s fuel cell program, said that Hawaii remains an attractive market, but that there are still no firm plans for the launch of a network of fueling stations.