Thursday, December 4, 2014

Automaker's Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicles

Many automakers have a hydrogen powered concept car, some even have production vehicles and almost all are engaged in some form of related research and development.

There has been a flurry of hydrogen fuel cell vehicle activity as evidenced by the number of vehicles at the 2014 LA Auto Show

Last year General Motors partnered with Honda to develop fuel-cell vehicles and infrastructure. GM and Honda rank first and second on the Clean Energy Patent Growth Index, in total fuel cell patents filed between 2002 and 2012. These two companies have more than 1,200 fuel cell patents between them.

GM leads the auto industry in terms of real world driving experience. In 2007 GM launched its Project Driveway program, since that time it has accumulated more than three million miles of real-world driving with its fleet of 119 hydrogen-powered vehicles.

Honda began leasing of the Honda FCX in 2002 and has deployed 85 units in the US and Japan, including its successor, the FCX Clarity which was named the 2009 World Green Car. Honda plans to launch the successor of FCX Clarity in Japan and the US in 2015, and then in Europe.

Toyota has garnered a lot of attention for its new hydrogen vehicle known as the Mirai, at the LA Auto Show. Toyota has said that it will begin selling its fuel-cell sedan in the US in 2015, while Hyundai and Kia have said they will also offer a fuel cell vehicle next year.

BMW and Toyota have signed agreements aimed at long-term collaboration for the joint development of a fuel cell system.

Ford, Nissan and Daimler signed an agreement in 2014 to develop affordable fuel cell electric vehicles which is expected to be available to the public in 2017.

Honda, GM, Toyota, Nissan and Hyundai are all members of the Energy Department’s hydrogen infrastructure partnership, H2USA, launched in May, 2014.

Volkswagen debuted a new hydrogen powered vehicle at the LA Auto Show known as the Golf SportWagen HyMotion. While the HyMotion Golf concept, is unlikely to be made available to the public, Volkswagen says it will integrate the concept into into a usable, attractively priced vehicle.

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