There are 15 hydrogen powered autorickshaws in Delhi, India says hydrogenfuelnews. See photo above.

Hyundai will be the first automaker with a commercial hydrogen vehicle we learn from the Sydney Morning Herald. At the Paris Auto Show the Korean company stated: “Hyundai will begin series production of its hydrogen … fuel cell vehicle for public and private lease by the end of 2012, becoming the first global automaker to begin commercial rollout of a zero-emissions vehicle.” Hyundai says it will start production of the hydrogen-powered ix35 SUV in December 2012 ahead of deliveries in early 2013. It plans to have 1000 fuel cell vehicles on the road by 2015, increasing 10,000 by 2016. It has already signed contracts with municipal fleets in Denmark and Sweden to lease the ix35 hydrogen car. A fuel cell converts hydrogen into electricity, which charges the battery pack, which in turn powers the electric motor. The only by-product generated is heat, and water vapor from the tail-pipe. Hyundai says refuelling with hydrogen takes about the same time as refueling a petrol car, and that its model can accelerate from rest to 100 km/hour (62 mpg) in 12.5 seconds. Maximum driving range is 588 km (360 miles).

For more on Hyundai’s hydrogen SUV see autobloggreen Hyundai fuel cell chief says EV makers jumped the gun and The Green Car Hyundai to produce fuel cell vehicle this year.

The Green Car Congress tells us fuel-cell vehicles could capture 30% of the mid-size car market by 2030. This prediction comes from a new report by the UK’s Carbon Trust called The future’s bright for fuel cells. Fuel cell cost reductions will likely accelerate consumer demand for these vehicles, leading to double the number of fuel cell cars on the road globally by 2050 versus current expectations.To be competitive with internal combustion engine vehicles, automotive fuel cells must decline from their current cost of $49/kW to $36/kW. This 25% cost saving can be achieved by reducing material costs (notably platinum use), increasing power density, reducing system complexity and improving durability. Reducing the cost below $36/kW would lead to a significant market expansion with 200 million more fuel cell vehicles on the road by 2050 taking the total to some 690 million fuel cell vehicles.

The same source informs us that the Organization of Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) analyzes the policies and programs to foster market growth of green cars. The use of targeted government policy intervention to promote green vehicles raises a number of challenges related to the timing and level of support; the choice of appropriate policies and fuels/technologies that should be supported, and the inevitable risks of doing so. “Market Development for Green Cars” reviews government policies in a number of OECD countries as well as a selection of non-OECD economies. (You can download the study here.) The OECD attributes the main barriers to the growth of green vehicles to inertia; inadequate infrastructure; government failures; and market failures. The post discusses each of these barriers as well as highlighting government policies that play an important role in increasing demand for alternative fuels and green automobile technologies.  The latter include public sector procurement policies, regulations and standards, tax and subsidy policies, public support for new infrastructure, public information programs, and facilitating networks and partnerships.

Consumer Energy Report says high costs are preventing EVs from taking off. Looking at the situation with Tesla, Fisker and the Chevy Volt, the post concludes “pure electric cars are not yet ready for the consumer market. They are both too expensive, and they don’t meet the needs of consumers for range and performance.” In a related post, Green Car Report finds Less Than Half Of Shoppers Will Pay More For Green Cars.

Green Car Report also examines why some American households are overpaying for EV charging. Meanwhile, Wired announces a new app that will enable Chevy Volt owners to calculate their charging costs.

Torque News lists the top 10 plug-in electric car makers. Renault comes in at number 1 followed by Ford and Nissan.

The BBC says electric cars may pollute much more than petrol or diesel-powered cars. A new study from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology found greenhouse gas emissions rose dramatically if coal was used to produce the electricity. Electric car factories also emitted more toxic waste than conventional car factories. The study uses a life-cycle model to assess how the production, the use and the end-of-life dismantling of a car affects the environment.

The Huffington Post explains why electric cars will be our future.

Automotive News informs us the internal combustion engine is not going away without a fight as GM and Ford work together to develop 9 and 10 speed transmissions to cut costs and enhance mileage performance. ars technica also looks at new efforts to increase the efficiency of the internal combustion engine and care2 believes diesel cars are a fun high mileage alternative to hybrids.

London will have Europe’s largest hybrid bus fleet notes TheGreenCar. Transport for London has ordered 600 new buses to be operating on the UK city’s roads over the next four years. When the final vehicles from this order are delivered in 2016, London will boast more than 1,000 hybrid buses: the largest fleet in all of Europe. The buses, manufactured in Northern Ireland by Wrightbus, are about one-third more energy efficient than diesel vehicles.

Convenience Store News thinks there will be a bright future for alternative fuels in the US. Its 2012 Motor Fuels Study found that by 2017 22% of convenience store operators expect to offer natural gas and 12% expect to offer refueling for electric vehicles. Conversely, the number of diesel and ethanol pumps are expected to drop. 63% retailers offer some form of alternative fuel at this time and 69% expect to offer a fuel alternative in five years.

A new report from Global Information Inc. examines the electric motor market over the next decade. Here we find too many companies are making the wrong kind of motors and are focused on the past: Their motors are too small in general or, if larger, underpowered for the new larger EVs to come. “…this is an industry structured for the past that is going to have a very nasty surprise when the future comes.” Moreover, motor manufacturers are not talking to the EV automakers and 90% of the later will go bankrupt.  “In China alone, there are over 100 manufacturers of electric cars and none are successful.” The study predicts that by 2022 today’s predominant small motors will account for only 1/4 of the value of the global EV motor market. At that time the world will be demanding large motors for larger hybrids, buses and military vehicles with much higher power and torque.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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