9 Hydrogen Car Milestones Made in 2015
1. Toyota Mirai
In Japanese, “mirai” means “future,” and the Mirai is the future of motoring: It runs solely on hydrogen and its only emissions are water. The Mirai initially will be sold or leased just in California, where the infrastructure for hydrogen fueling exists. Range is around 300 miles, refueling will take about five minutes, and fuel is included for the first three years of ownership. The powertrain has an eight-year/100,000-mile warranty to allay early-adopter concerns.
2. Nissan committed to build a Fuel Cell Vehicle
Nissan now plans to have its FCV available to customers in “like four to five years,” according to Ghosn. A portion of the FCV will be developed in collaboration with Daimler AG.
Nissan Motor Co. CEO Carlos Ghosn has been a strong proponent of battery electric vehicles (BEVs) for some time, but the company has kept its options open. In January 2013 it co-announced a collaborative agreement with Ford and Daimler to develop shared FCV tech, having its own R&D work ongoing besides, and it looks like those plans are underway.
3. Mercedes-Benz 2017 GLC F-Cell In The Works
A production Mercedes-Benz hydrogen-powered car will reportedly be unveiled at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show, before going on sale in select markets around the globe.
The hydrogen-powered vehicle is expected to be based on the GLC, and not on the previous B-Class fuel cell prototypes. Weber supports the decision by stating that the high cost of the fuel cell stack makes a production model viable only in higher classes.
The Mercedes-Benz GLC F-Cell, as it will may be called, will rival fuel cell cars such as the Toyota Mirai and the Honda FCV Clarity. The company plans to offer it on a monthly lease or through its purchase program, for an estimated £50,000 ($76,490.50 at current exchange rates).
The German brand is no stranger to testing hydrogen-powered cars and, besides the above mentioned prototypes of the compact MPV, it also created the F 015 Luxury in Motion and the Vision Tokyo concepts, both of them equipped with autonomous technology, and let’s not forget the F 125 from 2011.
4. Honda FCV Concept 2015 Detroit Auto Show Debut
Honda’s futuristic fuel-cell car is coming into focus at the 2015 Detroit auto show, with the North American debut of the FCV show car, a further-developed version of the FCEV concept that the automaker first rolled out 14 months ago. According to Honda, this is the last such concept car we’ll see until the production version of the car arrives—likely within a year—before going on sale later in 2016.
The FCV concept contains Honda’s latest fuel-cell powertrain, the stack for which has shrunk by a third compared with that of the FCX Clarity, the ovoid fuel-cell sedan offered to customers on a lease-only basis starting in 2009, while boasting 60-percent greater power density. The new powertrain is compact enough to fit completely in the front of the car, which in turn frees up passenger and cargo space such that five humans can fit inside (compared with just four for the Mirai), along with a good bit of chattel. This newfound packaging efficiency also makes it easier for Honda to adapt the fuel-cell components to additional models and/or additional body styles. Even better news: Honda claims it will have a range of 300 miles, with a fill-up time of just three minutes when hooked up to a 10,000-psi hydrogen nozzle.
5. BMW I8 Hydrogen Prototype
As part of BMW’s continued push towards hydrogen fuel cell-powered production models, the German manufacturer has revealed this striking-looking BMW i8 fuel-cell prototype test vehicle at a technical preview event.
The Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle (FCEV) system converts hydrogen, stored below 150 degrees C in a cryogenic tank centrally mounted in the car, into electric power and water vapour. A high-voltage battery then stores the resultant electrical energy. In the case of the i8 test mule, it’s fed to a solitary rear-mounted electric motor which BMW claims to offer an instantaneous power delivery.
Whilst no official specifications have been released, BMW claims that filling up the hydrogen tank will take ‘approximately’ the same time as refuelling a petrol/diesel engine and customers will be able to expect a range of 300 miles or greater.
6. Hydrogen BMW 5 Series GT
At BMW’s Innovation Days 2015, the German luxury brand is showing off its latest piece of hydrogen-fuel-cell technology. Based in a 5 Series Gran Turismo, the system – co-developed with Toyota – promises to deliver on the promise of zero-emissions motoring, without the lengthy recharge times associated with plug-in electric vehicles.
At the heart of BMW’s latest FCV prototype is a new electric motor derived from the i sub-brand. It produces the equivalent of 245 horsepower, making it roughly comparable in output to the brand’s latest 2.0-liter, turbocharged, four-cylinder gas engines. It draws its fuel from a hydrogen fuel tank that sits between the axles. The BMW-patented storage system can hold enough compressed hydrogen to take the hunchbacked 5 Series 300 miles before refueling.
7. Toyota FCV Plus Prototype Unveiled
A hydrogen fuel-cell electric powertrain powers the LF-FC concept, with one motor driving the rear wheels and electricity being sent to two in-wheel electric motors at the front. Lexus says the concept’s drive system allows it to precisely distribute torque to all four wheels, resulting in ‘exceptional dynamic handling and superior road stability’.
The car’s hybrid powertrain operates in one of two driving modes depending on conditions. In ‘cruising’ mode, the fuel cell stack draws on hydrogen and creates electricity to drive the motor and recharge the battery, while in ‘acceleration’ mode both the battery and the fuel cell stack are used to power the car’s main electric motor and its in-wheel electric motors for maximum power.
Speaking at the launch, Lexus president Tokuo Fukuichi said: “Lexus wants to surprise and evoke emotion with its distinctive design and forward-thinking technology. For us, it is more than just a car, and we should exceed conventional imagination. The LF-FC expresses our progressive luxury and high-tech vision of a not so distant future.”
“The reason we are showing this car is because we are getting ready for a hydrogen-powered society.”
9. NanoFlowcell QUANTiNO Concept
The Quantino has grabbed industry attention because it is powered by flow cell technology, which enables it to travel farther than (a claimed) 600 miles on one fill. It is driven by four electric motors - one on each wheel - and uses two fuel tanks of electrolytic fluids, one positively charged and one negatively charged.
The concept was claimed to be good for as much as 621 miles on one fill. Even with a hefty reduction, that’s still better than a large percentage of more conventionally powered vehicles. The lithium ion battery-powered Nissan Leaf, for example, can cover only about 124 miles, while a 1.0-litre petrol-engined Skoda Citigo can manage about 500 miles to a tank.
List Of Hydrogen Powered Cars (Concepts & Prototypes)
Audi A7 H-Tron Quattro
Aston Martin Rapide S Hydrogen Hybrid
BMW Hydrogen 7
BMW i8 Hydrogen
BMW Series 5 GT Hydrogen
Chevy Volt Hydrogen
Daihatsu Tanto FCHV
Fiat Panda Hydrogen Concept
Ford Airstream Concept
Ford Explorer FCV
Ford Flexible Series Edge
Ford Focus FCV
Ford Model U
Ford Super Chief Truck
GM H2H Hummer
Honda FCX Clarity
Hyundai Tucson FCEV
Hyundai Tucson FCEV 2000
Kia Borrego FCEV
Kia Sportage FCEV
Mazda 5 Premacy
Mazda RX-8 RE
Mercedes Benz BlueZero F-Cell
Mercedes Benz F015 Fuel Cell
Mercedes Benz F600 Hygenius
Mercedes-Benz B-Class F-Cell
Mercedes-Benz Vision G-Code
Mitsubishi Nessie SUV
Nissan X-Trail FCV
Peugeot 207 Epure
Renault Scenic ZEV H2
Suzuki Ionis Mini
Th!nk Nordic Hydrogen
Toyota FCV Concept
Toyota FCV-R Concept
Toyota Fine-T (Fine-X)
VW Golf HyMotion
VW Passat Lingyu FCV
VW Space Up Blue
VW Tiguan HyMotion
VW Touran HyMotion