Hyundai to Begin Commercial Roll-out of FCEV in December 2012
On September 27, Hyundai announced that series production of its hydrogen ix35 Fuel Cell vehicle for public and private lease would begin by the end of 2012. Production will begin at Hyundai's Ulsan manufacturing facility in Korea, with a target of building 1,000 vehicles by 2015.
Hyundai states that the ix35 Fuel Cell can accelerate from zero to 60 miles per hour in 12.5 seconds, has a top speed of 100 miles per hour, and has a driving range of 365 miles.
Hyundai's press release is available online here.
Honda President and CEO Confirms 2015 Honda Fuel Cell Vehicle Launch; Reveals Residential SOFC Plans
In a press conference on September 21, Honda's President and CEO, Takanobu Ito, restated Honda's commitment to releasing a next-generation fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV) in 2015. Ito situated FCEVs prominently into the company's current and future plans, stating that "Honda considers [FCEVs] to be the ultimate environmentally-responsible vehicle."
In addition, Ito also announced Honda's development of a residential solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) generation unit in collaboration with NGK Spark Plug Co. The system will undergo verification within a demonstration test house featuring Honda Smart Home System (HSHS). HSHS is an individual home energy management system.
A complete transcript of Takanobu Ito's remarks is available online here.
Fuel Cell Today's coverage of the press conference is available online here.
Toyota Reconfirms 2015 Launch for Fuel Cell Electric Sedan, 2016 Launch of Fuel Cell Bus
On September 24, Toyota released an update on the status of environmental technology development and future plans for the automaker, this included an update reconfirming a 2015 launch of a fuel cell electric vehicle sedan.
Toyota also stated that their proprietary fuel cell stack has the world's highest power output density of 3 kW/L, more than twice the density, and half of the size and weight, of the stack used in Toyota's FCHV-adv fuel cell hybrid prototype vehicles.
Also included in the release was the announcement that Toyota is accelerating development of a fuel cell electric bus with a goal of launching the vehicle in 2016.
Toyota's press release is available online here.
Kia Confirms 2015 Production of Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles
On September 5, in a press release discussing the future plans in the development of alternative-fuel power-trains, Kia states that "For the longer term, Kia is putting its faith in the fuel-cell vehicle (FCEV)."
Continuing on, Kia confirms that they will begin making fuel cell electric vehicles in 2015, with the goal of producing 10,000 FCEVs per year by the middle of the decade, and plans to increase to 100,000 per year as quickly as possible. Once Kia has reached the 100,000 per year production of FCEVs, they expect costs to be comparable to gasoline and diesel internal combustion vehicles.
Kia's press release is available online here.
Mercedes-Benz, Honda, Hyundai and Toyota Partner in European Hydrogen Road Tour 2012
On September 13, seven fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) from four automobile manufacturers left Hamburg, Germany, for the European Hydrogen Road Tour 2012-a one-month, nine-city event to promote FCEV technology in Europe. Mercedes-Benz, Honda, Hyundai and Toyota each contributed vehicles to the tour, with two Mercedes-Benz B-Class F-Cells, two Hyundai Tucson ix35s, two Honda FCX Claritys, and one Toyota FCHV-adv hitting the road
The tour is a part of the "H2moves Scandinavia" project, one of many projects funded by the European Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking program launched by the European Commission and industry stakeholders. It aims to educate politicians, industry leaders, the press and the public, and to accelerate the growth of hydrogen infrastructure, and will provide the public an opportunity to experience and test drive FCEVs.
H2moves Scandinavia's press release is available online here.
Mercedes-Benz press release is available online here.
Nissan Unveils TeRRa Fuel Cell Crossover Concept Vehicle
On September 12, Nissan unveiled its new TeRRa Concept, an all-wheel-drive fuel cell crossover utility vehicle, just before the 2012 Paris Motor Show.
The front wheels of the TeRRa will be powered by the same electric propulsion system that is currently featured in the Nissan LEAF, while the rear wheels each have their own in-wheel electric motor. A Nissan-developed fuel cell stack will generate power for the vehicle's batteries.
Nissan also issued the below accompanying video with the announcement of the TeRRA.
Nissan's press release can be found online here.
Air Liquide First Public Hydrogen Refueling Station in Germany
On September 7, Air Liquide opened its first hydrogen refueling station in Germany, in the city of Dusseldorf. This station is the first of 11 to be built by Air Liquide in Germany over the next three years to prepare for the expected roll-out of fuel cell electric vehicles in 2015.
Two other stations have been designed and built recently by Air Liquide; one in Oslo, Norway, the other in Brugg, Switzerland. To date, Air Liquide has designed and installed 60 hydrogen refueling stations worldwide.
Air Liquide's press release is available online here.
ITM Power installs hydrogen station at the University of Nottingham
On September 19, the University of Nottingham announced the installation of a hydrogen refueling station provided by ITM Power to its newly completed 2,500 square meter Energy Technologies Building (ETB), making it one of only a handful of hydrogen stations in the UK. The University plans to make up to five hydrogen fueled vehicles available for leasing and testing to Nottingham drivers for the next year.
The hydrogen for the station is generated on site using an ITM Power PEM electrolyzer which utilizes power generated from solar photovoltaic panels on the roof of the ETB.
The ITM Power press release is available online here.
Air Products Installs Hydrogen Fueling Station at Millbrook Proving Ground
On September 5th, One of Europe's leading test and development facilities for vehicles, components and systems, Millbrook Proving Ground in Bedfordshire, opened an Air Products hydrogen fueling station as it prepares for the coming introduction of fuel cell electric vehicles. The fueling station makes Millbrook the only vehicle testing site in the UK with its own hydrogen station.
Air Products press release is available online
Ballard Power Announces Supply Agreement with African Distributor - Ships Initial 100 Systems to Southeast Asia and South Africa
On September 10, Ballard Power Systems announced the signing of an equipment supply agreement with Inala Technologies, its new African distributor.
The agreement is effective through October 2013 and provides for up to 192 methanol-fueled fuel cell power systems to be delivered over its term. An initial purchase order for 32 systems has been received. The systems for this initial order will be deployed in the network of a major African mobile telecom operator to provide backup power during grid outages.
Following this announcement, Ballard announced that the first 100 fuel cell units were shipped to Cascadian Inc. and Inala Technologies, for deployment with Southeast Asia and South Africa's wireless telecommunications networks. An equipment supply agreement was signed between Ballard and Southeast Asia distributor, Cascadiant Inc. on August 16.
Ballard Power's press release Announcing the partnership with Inala is available online here.
The press release on the partnership with Cascadiant is available online here.
The press release on the initial product shipment is available online here.
UC Santa Barbara Completes Installation of 200 kW Bloom Energy Fuel Cell System
On September 19, UC Santa Barbara announced that a 200 kW Bloom Energy fuel cell system has been installed on their campus. The Bloom Energy Server is directly connected to the Southern California Edison's electric distribution system and will generate power 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
In a press release, David McHale (pictured above next to the installation), the Associate Director of Utility and Energy Services in Facilities Management at UC Santa Barbara, stated the following, "UC Santa Barbara is a leader in advanced energy efficiency research. Developing next-generation materials and technologies that will power our future is a point of pride for UCSB, and the partnership with Southern California Edison and Bloom Energy to install a 200-kilowatt fuel cell on campus provides an opportunity to evaluate an emerging power generation technology."
The UC Santa Barbara press release is available online here.
Lilliputian Closes $40 Million Investment to Finance Product Launch of Portable Fuel Cell Charger
On September 14, Lilliputian announced that they closed $40 million of a planned $60 million equity financing round, led by Russian investment fund RUSNANO.
The funding will enable Lilliputian to scale manufacturing operations and launch their portable fuel cell charger. The solid oxide fuel cell charger is fueled by butane and is capable of charging any USB device.
This funding announcement follows an announcement made in May that Lilliputian has signed a strategic partnership agreement with Brookstone, Inc to launch the initial product.
The Lilliputian press release on the funding announcement is available here.
The press release on the partnership with Brookstone is available here.
Boeing Publishes Video Update on ecoDemonstrator Partnership with American Airlines - Outfitting 737-800 with Regenerative Fuel Cell
On September 17th, Boeing published a video update on the ecoDemonstrator project, announcing that through a partnership with American Airlines they are currently outfitting a 737-800 with a variety of advanced experimental equipment, including a regenerative fuel cell, in an effort to develop a more environmentally friendly plane.
In the video Joe Breit, Boeing Commercial Airplanes Fuel Cell Investigator and member of FCHEA's Board of Directors, discusses the project stating, "right now all the electrical power comes from the engines and burning carbon-based fuels. With [the regenerative fuel cell] system, we can make electricity for the airplane and use only potentially clean hydrogen and oxygen."
Joe Breit continues saying, "It really helps us understand what we need to do to bring this technology forward in the future and make it work in an airplane."
The Boeing article and video are available online here.
Larson, Blumenthal Introduce Complementary Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Energy Tax Incentive Bills in House and Senate
On September 12, Congressman John Larson (D-CT) and Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) introduced identical bills in the House and Senate, "The Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Infrastructure for America Act of 2012," H.R. 6384 and S.3531. The bills support fuel cell and hydrogen energy technologies and infrastructure with federal incentives.
In a press release issued by Senator Blumenthal's office, the Senator stated, "This exciting measure can make Connecticut the fuel cell capital of America - creating jobs, clean energy, and freedom from foreign oil. Fuel cell manufacturing puts people to work and opens a new energy future for Connecticut and the nation. I'm proud to join Congressman Larson in this battle."
Congressman Larson is also quoted in the press release stating, "American ingenuity and hard work has put us on the cutting edge of fuel cell and hydrogen energy technology and we should be doing everything possible to keep us there because it will help our economy, create good jobs, and reduce our dependence on foreign oil. That's what this legislation is intended to do. By increasing incentives for the development and use of fuel cells we'll ensure the technology continues to grow. I applaud Senator Blumenthal for introducing this bill in the Senate, and I look forward to seeing this industry strengthened for the future."
Congressman Larson and Senator Blumenthal are the Democratic Co-Chairs of the respective House and Senate Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Caucuses.
A bill summary is available online here.
Senator Blumenthal's press release is available online here.
Fuel Cell Today Publishes Fuel Cell Industry Review 2012
On September 5, 2012, Fuel Cell Today published the Fuel Cell Industry Review 2012 . The report provides a global summary of the fuel cell industry to date, as well as a forecast for the future. The report also includes three special features, an analysis of government funding on fuel cell adoption, a discussion of fuel cells and data centers, and an assessment on the current outlook of the U.S. government to fuel cell and hydrogen energy technologies.
In the Current State of the Industry section, the report discusses the progress of the industry in 2011 and projections for 2012. In 2011, Fuel Cell Today reports that annual fuel cell system shipments grew 39% from 2010 to 2011 to 24,600 units. The report projects that fuel cell shipments will continue to grow in 2012, more than tripling to surpass 78,000 units.
Overall, the report has a positive outlook for the future, predicting strong growth in 2012 in the stationary, portable, and transportation market sectors.
The full report is available online here.