fuel-cell

Toyota looks beyond bigger batteries for EV range boost

Toyota looks beyond bigger batteries for EV range boost

Electric and hybrid cars may be waiting on improved battery technology to squash driver range anxiety, but Toyota believes it may have a wildcard in the meantime. The company is rolling out two new prototypes for real-world testing in Japan, each switching in new silicon carbide (SiC) power semiconductors that could take a big bite out of the 20-percent of electrical power loss traditional components are responsible for. The technology in the two vehicles - a Toyota Camry and a fuel cell bus - could end up in production cars sooner rather than later, Toyota promises.

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Toyota’s hydrogen car blasts 2015 goal in first month

Toyota’s hydrogen car blasts 2015 goal in first month

Toyota is already calling the 2016 Mirai fuel-cell car a success, announcing unexpectedly high preorders in Japan, and warning that as a result some drivers may have to wait longer for delivery. 1,500 orders have been placed in the country in the first month alone, far exceeding Toyota's initial goal to sell around 400 cars before the end of the year. The impressive milestone comes while Mirai sales are still limited to a single country, as the hydrogen-powered sedan isn't expected to arrive in the US and select European countries until later in 2015, and pre-orders are not yet being accepted.

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Toyota shares fuel-cell patent portfolio to drive hydrogen

Toyota shares fuel-cell patent portfolio to drive hydrogen

Toyota has thrown open its fuel-cell patent portfolio, offering royalty-free access to almost 6,000 patents used its Mirai car, in the hope of driving adoption of the technology. "At Toyota, we believe that when good ideas are shared, great things can happen," SVP of automotive operations Bob Carter said of the CES 2015 announcement, which will cover not only other car companies looking to add fuel-cell vehicles to their fleets, but to infrastructure and parts specialists, and even firms looking to leverage hydrogen power for busses and industrial equipment.

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Is Lexus next on the fuel-cell bandwagon?

Is Lexus next on the fuel-cell bandwagon?

Lexus is reportedly eyeing Toyota's fuel-cell powertrain, planning a new flagship version of its LS luxury sedan that would run on hydrogen not gasoline. Currently, the Lexus four-door range is topped by the LS 600h L, a long-wheelbase hybrid pairing a 6.0-liter gas engine and an electric drive system, which conveniently makes for a quieter limo and a good example of how parent company's hybrid strategy makes sense for more than just the Prius. However, according to new leaks, it's the propulsion system inside the Toyota Mirai which has now caught Lexus' eye.

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BMW has 670HP plans for ubiquitous plug-in hybrids

BMW has 670HP plans for ubiquitous plug-in hybrids

BMW will distill the electric hybrid drive offered in its i8 eco-supercar and unusual i3 city car for its mainstream models, with the German company revealing plans to offer plug-in hybrid versions of every car. Kicking off with a 3 Series plug-in hybrid prototype set to be shown off in Miramas, France, and then spreading across the rest of the marque's line-up over the long term, the technology will see a battery-powered electric drivetrain paired with a frugal gas engine, the latter used as a range extender. However, BMW is also promising less time with that extender active.

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Audi A7 h-tron flirts with performance fuel-cells

Audi A7 h-tron flirts with performance fuel-cells

The LA Auto Show 2014 is shaping up to be the car show where fuel-cells come to the fore, with the new Audi A7 Sportback h-tron quattro joining Toyota’s Mirai and Honda’s FCV in turning to hydrogen for its power. Officially a plug-in hybrid + fuel-cell electric car, as Audi would have it, the A7 Sportback h-tron quattro concept delivers 230 HP and 400 lb-ft of torque from its combined powerplants, as well as delivering what the Germany company says should be around 342 miles of driving range.

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2016 Toyota Mirai First-Drive – Fuel-Cells Dawning

2016 Toyota Mirai First-Drive – Fuel-Cells Dawning

You can’t accuse Toyota of rushing the 2016 Toyota Mirai to market. The hydrogen powered sedan may look like a vision of the future circa Buck Rogers, but its fuel-cell powertrain is decidedly cutting-edge, not to mention determinedly optimistic around issues of infrastructure and regulatory commitment to zero-emission vehicles. At $57,500 pre-subsidies, it seems the future carries a significant cost of entry, too. So, after some time behind the wheel of the Mirai, the question remains: is the age of hydrogen finally upon us?

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2016 Toyota Mirai priced up for 2015 US fuel-cell debut

2016 Toyota Mirai priced up for 2015 US fuel-cell debut

Toyota has announced US pricing for the 2016 Mirai, its first commercially-available fuel-cell car, along with a package of extras it hopes will coax drivers away from gasoline engines. Set to hit US forecourts in 2015, albeit initially only in California and even then at a select handful of dealerships, the Mirai will have a sticker price of $57,500, Toyota said today, though various subsidies and initiatives are expected to bring that down to around $45,000. There's also the lure of free fuel - for some, at least - to sweeten the deal.

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Breaking the Toyota Mirai down by the numbers

Breaking the Toyota Mirai down by the numbers

Are fuel-cells finally ready for the mass market? Toyota believes so, and it says it has the numbers to back that up. With the 2016 Mirai set to bring the hydrogen-sipping, water-spitting technology to the road next year - the culmination of twenty years of Toyota’s development - it won’t necessarily be a fast journey to market success; as Takeshi Uchiyamada, chairman of Toyota’s board and “father of the Prius” pointed out, it took around a decade before the company’s hybrid sales hit one million globally, punctuated with no small amount of criticism from other industry players along the way. Read on as we break down the Mirai by the sometimes surprising numbers, and even explain that controversial Battlestar Gallactica-esque front.

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