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Transportation Japan Power

Toyota's Fuel Cell Car To Launch In Japan Next March 216

puddingebola writes with news that Toyota will be bringing its first fuel-cell car to market in Japan next March. It's expected to cost about $68,700, and Toyota plans to bring it to the U.S. and European markets later that summer. With two of Japan’s three biggest automakers going all in on fuel cells, the country’s long-term future as an automotive powerhouse could now hinge largely on the success of what they hope will be an important technology in the next few decades. ... Japan’s governing party is pushing for ample subsidies and tax breaks for consumers to bring the cost of a fuel-cell car down to about $20,000 by 2025. The government is also aiming to create 100 hydrogen fuel stations by the end of March 2016 in urban areas where the vehicles will be sold initially. ... Hydrogen vehicles can run five times longer than battery-operated electric cars, and their tanks can be filled in just a few minutes, compared with recharging times from 30 minutes up to several hours for electric cars.
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Toyota's Fuel Cell Car To Launch In Japan Next March

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 25, 2014 @03:06PM (#47317621)

    Fuel Cells run on hydrogen. Hydrogen can be obtained by refining oil, but that is more expensive than making gasoline and the only reduction in CO2 comes from the centralization of production (easier to cleanse a refinery's emissions than a vehicle's). Hydrogen can as be obtained without oil, but it is always more difficult than electricity to create and store. Hydrogen is also more difficult to transport than electricity. And now we find out that an established, mass market auto company can't even create an inexpensive Fuel Cell car. Their effort ended up with a car that is just as expensive as a very high quality, fully electric car which was created years ago by an almost brand new car company. Electric cars are superior to Fuel Cells in every possible way. They are the present and future of transportation.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 25, 2014 @03:15PM (#47317719)

    Nice to see fuel-cell cars, but they're addressing the wrong problem. Shrinking net energy availability is the problem, fuel-cell cars don't address that. I think smaller cars and (motor)bikes would be more useful. Why does a 100 pound woman buying 10 pounds of groceries need to take a 3000 pound vehicle along with her when a 20 pound bicycle and a back pack would suffice?

  • Re:Nice to see. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by DigiShaman ( 671371 ) on Wednesday June 25, 2014 @04:13PM (#47318295) Homepage

    Shorter version:

    Modern human civilization is predicated on the cost per BTU of energy. The cheaper the energy, the less manual work a human needs to perform AND the more plentiful food can be made/grown. Raise the baseline cost of energy, and the entire world suffers in some form or fashion. Really, if you think about it, value isn't in money, or precious metals. Real value is pegged to the cost of BTU; which is why cheap nuclear energy is so critical. But until we transport, pack, and use energy to drive kW engines in the double-digits, the hydrocarbon will be the source of fuel for the majority of people. Nuclear is the only thing close to salvation, but we know that's not going to happen.

    I love how my previous comment got modded into 0 TROLL. I'm proud to prove how fucking clueless the mods are. So yeah, fuck fuel cell technology. I'm better off investing in a bug-out bag considering how the absolutely clueless will drive civilization to ruin. Have fun with that, I'll be prepared.

  • by 0123456 ( 636235 ) on Wednesday June 25, 2014 @04:14PM (#47318299)

    So long as you're allowed to leave out everything that's actually going up in price, yes. Like houses, or food, or gas, or... well, pretty much everything you actually need. But if all you buy is Android tablets, wow, inflation is low.

  • Re:Nice to see. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by hackertourist ( 2202674 ) on Thursday June 26, 2014 @04:13AM (#47322503)

    Agreed, current sources of hydrogen suck. But if we use solar and wind power to drive the electrolysis plant, we could solve two problems at once:
    - variability of wind and solar vs. grid demand: hydrogen is storable enough that you could produce it when the grid has an excess of available power.
    - transportation that doesn't depend on fossil fuels.

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