Archive for January 14th, 2011

SoloPower Plans $340 Million Thin-Film Solar Plant
01/14/2011 – SoloPower, a California-based manufacturer of thin
film solar cells and modules, announces it will locate a high volume
manufacturing facility in Wilsonville, Oregon…


Visit the original post at: Energy News

Greener de-icing

Greener de-icing
De-icing is a major and recurring task for many people in the Northern Hemisphere. While it’s important that our roads, driveways, footpaths and sidewalks are safe, we need to spare a thought for the environment in regards to de-icing activities.


Visit the original post at: Green living tips

Japanese Big 3 unite on hydrogen fuel cell vehicles

The big 3 Japanese automakers and a host of other Japanese automakers haved united to develop a hydrogen infrastructure in Japan.

The Honda Clarity hydrogen fuel cell vehicle.

Fuel cell hybrid vehicles are inevitable

2015 is shaping up to be the dawn of fuel cell vehicles. Around that time a number of automakers have announced plans to begin commercializing hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.

Consequently, Honda, Nissan and Toyota are joining forces along with 10 other energy related companies to build a hydrogen infrastructure in Japan.

“Japanese automakers are continuing to drastically reduce the cost of manufacturing such systems and are aiming to launch FCVs in the Japanese market — mainly in the country’s four major metropolitan areas — in 2015,” the automakers said in a joint statement.

Thus, the companies plan to build at least 100 filling stations in Tokyo, Nagoya, Osaka and Fukuoka by 2015 according to the AFP.

Recently, one of Toyota’s top R&D engineers claimed that Toyota fuel cell vehicle costs have declined from $1 million per vehicle to less than $100,000 per vehicle and that by 2015 costs should be reduced to $50,000.

Interestingly, Toyota’s hybrid advantage might pay off in fuel cells as well, as the same Hybrid Synergy Drive found in hybrids like the Prius is also found in Toyota’s fuel cell vehicles.


Visit the original post at: Transportation News

The Plural of Prius

The Plural of Prius

Arguably the biggest news to come out of Detroit came from Toyota, who announced a new “family” of vehicles based around the Prius hybrid. So what is the plural of Prius? Glad you asked.

The unveiling of the new family of Prius vehicles was rather to the point, and I can appreciate that. Toyota brought out three models for the photographers to fight for; a plug-in with 13 miles of all-electric range, the larger V with 50% more cargo room, and the “C” concept, a sporty, coupe-like Prius.

The Prius V: Yes, I know its blurry; these photographers are ferocious

I think the strongest vehicle Toyota brought out had to be the Prius V, which answers many of the knocks against the Prius (that is, it’s small and not so useful for a growing family). However, that comes at a significant cost to gas mileage, which drops down to 40 mpg combined (38 city/42 highway). Still, with 34.3 cubic feet of cargo space, seating for five, and actual legroom, Toyota looks like they did good by Prius fans.

The Prius plug-in: 13 miles of electric range, up to 60 mph

Less exciting was the Prius plug-in, mostly because of the Toyota’s limited EV-range. 13 miles is enough for getting around town, or a short commute, but compared to the Volt’s EPA-rated 35 miles it doesn’t look so great. It also makes me question the 60 mph electric range, as the 13 mile electric range will fly by at those speeds. Depending on where Toyota prices it though, it could be a viable plug-in alternative from the $40,000 Volt.

Toyota “C” Concept, a sporty hybrid for the masses?

Then there’s the C concept, which on the outside, I like. Toyota has a strong vision of a sporty Prius, and while I still don’t think I’d drive one, there is a definite appeal towards something with high-mileage and better looks than the egg-ish Prius sedan. But without any hard stats to back it up (it rolled in on a platform) it’s really just vaporware right now.

Which of the new Prius (Prium? Prii?) do you guys prefer?



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Toyota to move beyond rare earths and lithium by 2020?

Toyota is moving beyond rare earths and lithium-ion batteries for its long term hybrid and plug-in vehicle plans.

Rare earth and lithium free hybrids and plug-ins by 2020?

Is Toyota’s hybrid experience set for big payoffs?

While Toyota has assembled a task force to secure new rare earth metals outside of China, the company has a “long term” plan to eventually move beyond rare earths. For instance, Toyota is in the “advanced” stages of developing non-rare earth-containing inductive motors.

Likewise, Toyota isn’t content with lithium-ion technologies and the automaker believes it could replace lithium within 10 years.

In terms of rare earths, it’s been known for some time that Toyota, as well as the Japanese government, have both been developing alternative supplies of rare earths which are used in motors, cathode materials for lithium-ion batteries and in regenerative braking units for instance. While new deals have recently been struck in Australia, India and the US, for example, the real long term goal is moving beyond rare earths altogether.

In the upcoming RAV4 EV Toyota will use an inductive motor supplied by Tesla that is a separate motor from the inductive motors that Toyota is developing. Toyota is not yet providing a timeline for the release of their new motors and is only saying that the motors are part of a “long term approach” according to the DetroitNews.

And with rare earth supplies dwindling as costs are rising, these new motors can’t come fast enough.

Perhaps even more interesting is the possibility that Toyota could move beyond lithium-ion batteries by 2020. Today, Toyota doesn’t believe that lithium-ion batteries have enough capacity to become a mainstream automotive solution. Thus, Toyota is developing magnesium-sulfur batteries as well as a number of other battery types, including batteries with aluminum and calcium components, as well as lithium-air and metal batteries according to Bloomberg.


Visit the original post at: Transportation News

Toyota to move beyond rare earths and lithium by 2020?

Toyota is moving beyond rare earths and lithium-ion batteries for its long term hybrid and plug-in vehicle plans.

Rare earth and lithium free hybrids and plug-ins by 2020?

Is Toyota’s hybrid experience set for big payoffs?

While Toyota has assembled a task force to secure new rare earth metals outside of China, the company has a “long term” plan to eventually move beyond rare earths. For instance, Toyota is in the “advanced” stages of developing non-rare earth-containing inductive motors.

Likewise, Toyota isn’t content with lithium-ion technologies and the automaker believes it could replace lithium within 10 years.

In terms of rare earths, it’s been known for some time that Toyota, as well as the Japanese government, have both been developing alternative supplies of rare earths which are used in motors, cathode materials for lithium-ion batteries and in regenerative braking units for instance. While new deals have recently been struck in Australia, India and the US, for example, the real long term goal is moving beyond rare earths altogether.

In the upcoming RAV4 EV Toyota will use an inductive motor supplied by Tesla that is a separate motor from the inductive motors that Toyota is developing. Toyota is not yet providing a timeline for the release of their new motors and is only saying that the motors are part of a “long term approach” according to the DetroitNews.

And with rare earth supplies dwindling as costs are rising, these new motors can’t come fast enough.

Perhaps even more interesting is the possibility that Toyota could move beyond lithium-ion batteries by 2020. Today, Toyota doesn’t believe that lithium-ion batteries have enough capacity to become a mainstream automotive solution. Thus, Toyota is developing magnesium-sulfur batteries as well as a number of other battery types, including batteries with aluminum and calcium components, as well as lithium-air and metal batteries according to Bloomberg.


Visit the original post at: Transportation News

Toyota to move beyond rare earths and lithium by 2020?

Toyota is moving beyond rare earths and lithium-ion batteries for its long term hybrid and plug-in vehicle plans.

Rare earth and lithium free hybrids and plug-ins by 2020?

Is Toyota’s hybrid experience set for big payoffs?

While Toyota has assembled a task force to secure new rare earth metals outside of China, the company has a “long term” plan to eventually move beyond rare earths. For instance, Toyota is in the “advanced” stages of developing non-rare earth-containing inductive motors.

Likewise, Toyota isn’t content with lithium-ion technologies and the automaker believes it could replace lithium within 10 years.

In terms of rare earths, it’s been known for some time that Toyota, as well as the Japanese government, have both been developing alternative supplies of rare earths which are used in motors, cathode materials for lithium-ion batteries and in regenerative braking units for instance. While new deals have recently been struck in Australia, India and the US, for example, the real long term goal is moving beyond rare earths altogether.

In the upcoming RAV4 EV Toyota will use an inductive motor supplied by Tesla that is a separate motor from the inductive motors that Toyota is developing. Toyota is not yet providing a timeline for the release of their new motors and is only saying that the motors are part of a “long term approach” according to the DetroitNews.

And with rare earth supplies dwindling as costs are rising, these new motors can’t come fast enough.

Perhaps even more interesting is the possibility that Toyota could move beyond lithium-ion batteries by 2020. Today, Toyota doesn’t believe that lithium-ion batteries have enough capacity to become a mainstream automotive solution. Thus, Toyota is developing magnesium-sulfur batteries as well as a number of other battery types, including batteries with aluminum and calcium components, as well as lithium-air and metal batteries according to Bloomberg.


Visit the original post at: Transportation News

Improved measurements of sun to advance understanding of climate change

Scientists have taken a major step toward accurately determining the amount of energy that the sun provides to Earth, and how variations in that energy may contribute to climate change. In a new study of laboratory and satellite data, researchers report a lower value of that energy, known as total solar irradiance (TSI), than previously measured and demonstrate that the satellite instrument that made the measurement—which has a new optical design and was calibrated in a new way—has significantly improved the accuracy and consistency of such measurements.

The most accurate value of total solar irradiance during the 2008 solar minimum period is 1360.8 ± 0.5 W m-2 according to measurements from the Total Irradiance Monitor (TIM) on NASA’s Solar Radiation and Climate Experiment (SORCE) and a series of new radiometric laboratory tests. This value is significantly lower than the canonical value of 1365.4 ± 1.3 W m-2 established in the 1990s, which energy balance calculations and climate models currently use. Scattered light is a primary cause of the higher irradiance values measured by the earlier generation of solar radiometers in which the precision aperture defining the measured solar beam is located behind a larger, view-limiting aperture. In the TIM, the opposite order of these apertures precludes this spurious signal by limiting the light entering the instrument.

—Kopp and Lean

The new findings give confidence, the researchers say, that other, newer satellites expected to launch starting early this year will measure total solar irradiance with adequate repeatability—and with little enough uncertainty—to help resolve the long-standing question of how significant a contributor solar fluctuations are to the rising average global temperature of the planet.

Improved accuracies and stabilities in the long-term total solar irradiance record mean improved estimates of the sun’s influence on Earth’s climate.

—Greg Kopp of the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics (LASP) of the University of Colorado Boulder

Kopp, who led the study, and Judith Lean of the Naval Research Laboratory, in Washington, DC, published their findings in Geophysical Research Letters, a journal of the American Geophysical Union.

The new work will help advance scientists’ ability to understand the contribution of natural versus anthropogenic causes of climate change, the scientists said. The research improves the accuracy of the continuous, 32-year record of total solar irradiance, or TSI.
Energy from the sun is the primary energy input driving Earth’s climate.

The new, lower TSI value was measured by the LASP-built Total Irradiance Monitor (TIM) instrument on the NASA Solar Radiation and Climate Experiment (SORCE) spacecraft. Tests at a new calibration facility at LASP verify the lower TSI value. The ground-based calibration facility enables scientists to validate their instruments under on-orbit conditions against a reference standard calibrated by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).

Before the development of the calibration facility, solar irradiance instruments would frequently return different measurements from each other, depending on their calibration. To maintain a long-term record of the sun’s output through time, scientists had to rely on overlapping measurements that allowed them to intercalibrate among instruments.

We are eager to see how this lower irradiance value affects global climate models, which use various parameters to reproduce current climate: incoming solar radiation is a decisive factor. An improved and extended solar data record will make it easier for us to understand how fluctuations in the sun’s energy output over time affect temperatures, and how Earth’s climate responds to radiative forcing.

—Judith Lean

Lean’s model, which is now adjusted to the new lower absolute TSI values, reproduces with high fidelity the TSI variations that TIM observes and indicates that solar irradiance levels during the recent prolonged solar minimum period were likely comparable to levels in past solar minima. Using this model, Lean estimates that solar variability produces about 0.1 degree Celsius (0.18 degree Fahrenheit) global warming during the 11-year solar cycle, but is likely not the main cause of global warming in the past three decades.

Resources

Greg Kopp and Judith L. Lean (2011) A new, lower value of total solar irradiance: Evidence and climate significance. Geo. Res. Lett. Vol 38, L01706 doi: 10.1029/2010GL045777


Visit the original post at: Transportation News

Ford focused on lightweighting as a major enabling technology for low-emission, fuel-efficient vehicles from ICEs to EVs

Ford is focused on lightweighting as a key enabling technology for lowering fuel consumption in combustion-engined vehicles (ICE) and for extending the range—and the size—of battery electric vehicles (EVs).

Ford made a splash at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit with the introduction of 10 C-segment cars, including a new hybrid and plug-in hybrid based on the C-MAX (earlier post)—this following on the roll-out the prior week of the Ford Focus Electric (earlier post). The company is also running its largest display ever at NAIAS, featuring feature a broad spectrum of new products including the all-new Ford Focus, Ford Explorer, Mustang Boss 302, Ford C-MAX multi-activity vehicle and Ford F-150 with four all-new powertrains. A fundamental theme is fuel efficiency for everyone; key to delivering on that is lightweighting.

At a media dinner with other Ford executives, including Ford Executive Chairman Bill Ford Jr.; Sue Cischke, Group Vice President, Sustainability, Environment and Safety Engineering; and Sharif Marakby, Director of Electrification Programs and Engineering, Barb Samardzich, Ford’s Vice President, Global Product Programs, said that “the real enabler [for lower fuel consumption] you are going to see coming in the future is weight reduction.”

The more weight we can take out of our vehicles though use of alternative materials, and other lightweighting strategies that we have, that enables us to further downsize the engine—which is the biggest lever you can pull in the vehicle. Taking the displacement down gets you on a percentage basis the best fuel economy value versus other technologies. We’re talking a lot of weight reduction—500-700 lbs [227-318 kg] out of the vehicle, but still enabling the customer to have the package they are accustomed to in the particular vehicle that they purchased. Once you take the weight out, you take the engine down and get substantial deltas in fuel economy.

As new materials and new opportunities arise to take the weight further and further down, the engine team is ready to keep dropping the displacement. Then, there is no trade-off for the customer because they are still getting great performance…We’re certainly not close to the limits on that. I think we have just started as an industry down that serious weight reduction path, and I think that is the next big change that we will see and that will enable the engines to come down also.

—Barb Samardzich

As one current example, the 2011 Ford Explorer (3.5-liter Ti-VCT V6 engine standard)—which won the North American Truck of the Year award at NAIAS—uses more lightweight materials including an aluminum hood, engine and wheels to achieve 20% better fuel economy over the previous model, earning an estimated EPA rating of 17 mpg in the city and 25 mpg on the highway. Explorer will soon be available with an advanced 2.0-liter EcoBoost I-4, expected to deliver 30% better fuel economy than the 2010 model.

Samardzich said that in its exploration of different material approaches to lightweighting, Ford models different scenarios in a Monte Carlo type simulation to optimize different combinations—such as an aluminum-intensive vehicle, or carbon fiber, or a combination of those along with high-strength steels that can be made much thinner than some of the current steels—to balance the cost and the performance aspects. As an example, increased weight because of the use of high-strength steel will push the engine up in displacement, while going all the way to carbon fiber or all-aluminum—i.e., higher cost, but lighter weight body materials—allows the engine size to drop, saving money on that side of the business.

[Light weighting] is definitely not going to cost the same as vehicles today. There is going to be some cost added, but there are ways to do it to optimize the net cost we add in given all the different alternatives we look at.

—Barb Samardzich

Marakby noted that you can offset some of the cost of taking weight out even on the electrification side, saying that taking 500-700 pounds out of car can result in a much smaller and lower weight battery pack (i.e., lower cost), or a longer range for the same size (but not weight) vehicle, or support for a larger vehicle size. Although Ford’s currently announced plug-in passenger vehicles are built on the C platform, the company does not see a size limit to battery electric vehicles as some of its competition has expressed.

We’re not capped at the C segment. What affects how you do the electrification powertrain is the weight of the vehicle. The improvement in energy density, which means you can put smaller batteries in spaces, makes it more and more viable for larger vehicles. I think we can head in that direction. I don’t see a limit in the vehicles. Weight is the biggest enemy of electrification. It’s not the size [of the vehicle], it’s the weight.

—Sharif Marakby

Given the potential pragmatic aspects of electrification (e.g., the re-fueling infrastructure—the grid—although requiring an upgrade, is basically in place) and the enabling potential of improving batteries and lightweighting, Ford is somewhat less inclined to view hydrogen fuel cell vehicles as a critical component, although the company is continuing to invest in and develop the technology and staunchly maintains the “no silver bullet” (no one technology solution will meet all needs) stance.

We have a team that continues to work on hydrogen fuel cells, building prototypes, and we have our collaboration with Daimler up in Vancouver, but I think when we compare that to electrification and batteries, they are clearly much faster and more practical solutions that we are seeing on electrification. The investment by companies and governments in electrification has just been amazing…three years ago I never would have thought that things would be where they are today. Hydrogen is farther out.

—Sharif Marakby

We continue to invest in hydrogen and we had not only the fuel cell car, but we had internal combustion hydrogen as well. But it seems to me a hydrogen fuel cell would be a great thing to power a power station to create the electricity to power our vehicles. I do think [battery] electrification makes a lot of sense for us. Hydrogen is tough to store, to transport, and yeah you can get it from renewables in a lab, but most hydrogen today is petrochemically derived, and if that is the case, why? Why would you do that? But a stationary fuel cell to power a power plant, sure. Then you start to have an interesting equation.

—Bill Ford Jr.

Driving Green Technologies. Achieving substantive reductions in greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector will require combined action in technology, policy and consumer behavior according to a number of studies, one of the more recent being the just-released Pew study. (Earlier post.)

Accordingly, Ford has been upping its activity within the policy arena, as well as trying a broader consumer outreach via newer technologies such as social media. As one example of the latter, Ford hosted a “Driving Green Technologies” event at NAIAS at which it hosted a number of US and international bloggers and online journalists to explore different technology and policy aspects of sustainability. (GCC attended the Driving Green Technologies event as a guest of Ford. We’ll report on that and Executive Chairman Bill Ford Jr.’s current thinking on sustainability, technology, consumers and policy in a subsequent post.)


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New passenger car registrations in Europe in 2010 down 5.5% from 2009

The EU market for new passenger cars declined by 5.5% in 2010, with a total of 13,360,599 new units registered throughout the year, according to figures from the European Automobile Manufacturers’s Association (ACEA). The 2010 results were marked by the ending of government fleet renewal schemes in many EU countries. Registrations in December amounted to 1,009,638 units, down 3.2% year-on-year.

In December (-3.2%), demand for new cars declined significantly in Spain (-23.9%), Italy (-21.7%) and the UK (-18.0%). The French market remained stable (-0.7%) while the German expanded by 6.9%.

From January to December, the situation varied across the major markets, leading to an overall 5.5% downturn over 2010. Where Spain and the UK saw new car registrations increase by 3.1% and 1.8% respectively, Germany recorded a 23.4% decline. The Italian (-9.2%) and the French (-2.2%) markets also contracted. The biggest
increase was observed in Ireland where the market grew by 54.7% after the sharp 62.1% drop in 2009. Bulgaria recorded the steepest downturn (-28.9%).


Visit the original post at: Transportation News

Association of Monterey Bay Area Governments issues RFP for public networked EV charging stations

The Association of Monterey Bay Area Governments (AMBAG) in California has issued a request for proposals (RFP) for Public Electric Vehicle (EV) Charging Infrastructure and installation for local jurisdictions within the Monterey Bay Area. Transportation in the
Monterey Bay Area is dominated by use of the personal automobile, AMBAG said, noting that a large mode shift to biking or transit, is not
expected to occur even as gas prices increase.

Therefore, in order to both improve the region’s air quality and reduce the cost of personal mobility, EVs will be an important part of the transportation needs in the Monterey Bay Area. 

—RFP

AMBAG obtained grant funding in 2010 for an EV infrastructure study and pilot project for the Monterey Bay Area from
the Monterey Bay Unified Air Pollution Control District (MBUAPCD).  AMBAG staff completed an analysis to identify
the best areas to place public charging stations and from this, the best locations for infrastructure for each city in
the region were identified and scored.

The second phase of the project is to install public charging stations in some of these priority areas. Installation will take
place in at least three cities within the region, with the highest-ranked areas taking priority for initial EV charging station
deployment. The number of charging stations the bidding company will submit will be at a minimum of three stations—one per each city; the maximum number of stations is to be determined by the per unit cost as submitted by
the bidding company. 

 

Ideally, these demonstration areas, already carefully selected to coincide with where people already engage in 1-4 hour
activities, will be excellent showcases for the latest Electrical Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE).  The EVSE charging
infrastructure will be considered a new infrastructure system, attached to both the existing electrical infrastructure and
existing transportation infrastructure. As such, AMBAG said, the system of public charging stations should function together in a
networked capacity. The proposed networked system should allow both AMBAG and the unit owner to retrieve charging
data, set appropriate prices, and the customer charging to pay via multiple methods.  

Closing date for receipt of proposals is 14 February 2010.


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The i-MiEV goes on sale in 15 European countries; near-term plan to boost that to 19

Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC) announced that sale of the European-spec i-MiEVelectric vehicle is to commence in 15 European countries: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.

MMC began production of the i-MiEVs for Europe from October of last year. Three months after starting shipment, about 2,500 units—including Peugeot iOn and Citroën C-ZERO units—were shipped.

In addition to the first 15 countries the car is to be sold in, there have been requests to introduce the i-MiEV from Finland, Serbia, Turkey, and Slovenia. In response to these requests, MMC plans to ship units to these countries in the near future, making the European countries the i-MiEV will be sold in to 19. Later on, the i-MiEV shall be sequentially introduced further within Mitsubishi Motors Europe’s territory.


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13 Japanese automakers and energy companies join forces to support rollout of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles in 2015

Japanfcv
Planned hydrogen infrastructure, with four major metro areas linked. Click to enlarge.

A coalition of 13 major Japanese automakers and energy companies—including Toyota, Honda and Nissan—are joining together to expand the introduction of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles (FCVs) in 2015 and develop the hydrogen supply network throughout Japan. The two groups are looking to the government to join them in forming various strategies to support their joint efforts and to gain greater public acceptance of the technology.

As a specific initiative in the immediate future, the companies plan to approach local governments and other concerned parties to discuss strategies for creating initial consumer demand for FCVs and for the optimal placement of hydrogen fueling stations, targeting Japan’s four major metropolitan areas (Tokyo, Nagoya, Osaka and Fukuoka).

Companies in the coalition include: Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC); Nissan Motor Company, Ltd.; Honda Motor Company, Ltd.; JX Nippon Oil & Energy Corporation; Idemitsu Kosan Company, Ltd.; Iwatani Corporation; Osaka Gas Company, Ltd.; Cosmo Oil Company, Ltd.; Saibu Gas Company, Ltd.; Showa Shell Sekiyu K.K.; Taiyo Nippon Sanso Corporation; Tokyo Gas Company, Ltd.; and Toho Gas, Company, Ltd.

As development of fuel-cell systems progresses, Japanese automakers are continuing drastically to reduce the cost of manufacturing such systems and are aiming to launch FCVs in the Japanese market—mainly in the country’s four largest cities—in 2015. The automobile industry hopes to popularize the use of FCVs after their initial introduction as a way of tackling energy and environmental issues.

Hydrogen fuel suppliers are aiming to construct approximately 100 hydrogen fueling stations by 2015, based on the number of FCVs expected to initially enter the market, to ensure a smooth launch and to create initial market.


Visit the original post at: Transportation News

13 Japanese automakers and energy companies join forces to support rollout of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles in 2015

Japanfcv
Planned hydrogen infrastructure, with four major metro areas linked. Click to enlarge.

A coalition of 13 major Japanese automakers and energy companies—including Toyota, Honda and Nissan—are joining together to expand the introduction of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles (FCVs) in 2015 and develop the hydrogen supply network throughout Japan. The two groups are looking to the government to join them in forming various strategies to support their joint efforts and to gain greater public acceptance of the technology.

As a specific initiative in the immediate future, the companies plan to approach local governments and other concerned parties to discuss strategies for creating initial consumer demand for FCVs and for the optimal placement of hydrogen fueling stations, targeting Japan’s four major metropolitan areas (Tokyo, Nagoya, Osaka and Fukuoka).

Companies in the coalition include: Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC); Nissan Motor Company, Ltd.; Honda Motor Company, Ltd.; JX Nippon Oil & Energy Corporation; Idemitsu Kosan Company, Ltd.; Iwatani Corporation; Osaka Gas Company, Ltd.; Cosmo Oil Company, Ltd.; Saibu Gas Company, Ltd.; Showa Shell Sekiyu K.K.; Taiyo Nippon Sanso Corporation; Tokyo Gas Company, Ltd.; and Toho Gas, Company, Ltd.

As development of fuel-cell systems progresses, Japanese automakers are continuing drastically to reduce the cost of manufacturing such systems and are aiming to launch FCVs in the Japanese market—mainly in the country’s four largest cities—in 2015. The automobile industry hopes to popularize the use of FCVs after their initial introduction as a way of tackling energy and environmental issues.

Hydrogen fuel suppliers are aiming to construct approximately 100 hydrogen fueling stations by 2015, based on the number of FCVs expected to initially enter the market, to ensure a smooth launch and to create initial market.


Visit the original post at: Transportation News

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