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  1. Toyota is planning a big push with hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. According to Reuters, the Japanese automaker is doubling-down on investments for fuel cell vehicles by making improvements to reduce costs and building different models including commercial trucks. “We’re going to shift from limited production to mass production, reduce the amount of expensive materials like platinum used in FCV components, and make the system more compact and powerful,” said Yoshikazu Tanaka, chief engineer of the Mirai. Currently, Toyota hand builds the Mirai at a plant in Toyota City. Everyday, about 6.5 cars roll out of the plant. This is due to the detailed inspections that partially assembled models go through. The parts comprising the Mirai are quite expensive as well. According to analysis done by Strategic Analysis Inc., it costs Toyota about $11,000 to produce each of the fuel cell stacks. Blame the use of the platinum, titanium, and carbon fiber for the stacks. Toyota has been building up production capacity as it expects sales of FCVs to increase from about 3,000 to over 20,000 after 2020. This will help reduce the cost of each fuel cell stack to $8,000. “It will be difficult for Toyota to lower FCV production costs if it only produces the Mirai,” said a source, That's where an expansion of FCVs come in. Toyota is planning a "phased introduction' of other FCVs, including SUVs and commercial trucks starting around 2025. Toyota declined to talk about future products, but did reveal that it has built prototypes of small delivery vehicles and transport trucks with fuel cell powertrains. “We’re going to use as many parts from existing passenger cars and other models as possible in fuel cell trucks. Otherwise, we won’t see the benefits of mass production,” said Ikuo Ota, manager of new business planning for fuel cell projects at Toyota. Why is Toyota doubling down on fuel cells? Sources say that Toyota believes demand will increase as more countries, including China "warm to fuel cell technology". The company also sees FCVs as a hedge against battery materials such as cobalt becoming scarce. But there is still one issue that Toyota, and other automakers build FCVs still need to solve; infrastructure. There aren't many hydrogen refueling stations around. For example, the majority of hydrogen stations in the U.S. are in California. Not helping is a current shortage of hydrogen at refueling stations in California. Green Car Reports says this issue is due to various problems with supplier Air Products. The company said that it hopes to restore hydrogen supplies sometime in early August. Source: Reuters, Green Car Reports
  2. Lexus offers two powertains for the LS; a twin-turbo V6 producing 415 horsepower and a hybrid system featuring a 3.5L V6 that makes 354 horsepower. But Lexus is considering adding more powertains to their flagship sedan. Toshio Asahi, chief engineer for the LS told Australian outlet GoAuto that all powertrain options including a plug-in hybrid, hydrogen, and electric were “all on the table” for the current model. The most likely reason for this is competitors such as BMW and Mercedes-Benz have plug-in hybrid models of their flagship sedans and are working on new electric models. There is also the elephant in the room known as the Tesla Model S. Hydrogen isn't that much a surprise. Parent company Toyota has been pushing hydrogen for a number of years. But the lack of an extensive hydrogen infrastructure has limited its appeal and caused Toyota to put more focus on electrics. It should be noted that the LF-FC concept shown in 2015 was a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle. On the electric front, Toyota has been working on solid-state batteries that promise more range and quicker charging. Plans are to have batteries go into production beginning in 2022. Asahi also mentioned that engineers are looking into improving the current hybrid powertrain - possibly adding more power. Source: GoAuto
  3. General Motors has brought back a concept idea from their past for the modern era. This is SURUS (Silent Utility Rover Universal Superstructure) which takes the hydrogen skateboard platform from the GM Autonomy and Hy-Wire concepts from the early 2000s and supersizes it. The platform uses GM’s new Hydrotec fuel cell system that is comprised of a gen 2 fuel cell, storage tank that can provide a range of 400 miles, electric drive units, and a lithium-ion battery. This is placed onto a commercial truck chassis that will allow it handle various tasks and terrains such as military transport or a mobile medical unit in an area after a natural disaster. The platform also features autonomous tech. “SURUS redefines fuel cell electric technology for both highway and off-road environments. General Motors is committed to bringing new high-performance, zero-emission systems to solve complex challenges for a variety of customers,” said Charlie Freese, executive director of GM Global Fuel Cell Business. GM will be showing off SURUS fall meeting of the Association of the United States Army (AUSA) from October 9th to 11th. Source: General Motors Press Release is on Page 2 GM Outlines Possibilities for Flexible, Autonomous Fuel Cell Electric Platform Washington, D.C. — General Motors aims to solve some of the toughest transportation challenges created by natural disasters, complex logistics environments and global conflicts. The company will display its Silent Utility Rover Universal Superstructure (SURUS), a flexible fuel cell electric platform with autonomous capabilities, at the fall meeting of the Association of the United States Army (AUSA) from Oct. 9-11, 2017. The commercially designed platform could be adapted for military use. SURUS leverages GM’s newest Hydrotec fuel cell system, autonomous capability and truck chassis components to deliver high-performance, zero-emission propulsion to minimize logistical burdens and reduce human exposure to harm. Benefits include quiet and odor-free operation, off-road mobility, field configuration, instantaneous high torque, exportable power generation, water generation and quick refueling times. Fuel cell technology represents a key piece of General Motors’ zero emission strategy. It offers a solution that can scale to larger vehicles with large payload requirements and operate over longer distances. SURUS was designed to form a foundation for a family of commercial vehicle solutions that leverages a single propulsion system integrated into a common chassis. The SURUS platform is equally well-suited for adaptation to military environments where users can take advantage of flexible energy resources, field configurability and improved logistical characteristics. GM is evaluating multiple applications for SURUS, such as: Utility trucks Mobile and emergency backup power generation Flexible cargo delivery systems Commercial freight Light- and medium-duty trucks, improving upon the Chevrolet Colorado ZH2 that has been evaluated by the U.S. military under guidance of the U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC) and is undergoing testing on bases Future military-specific configurations SURUS will deliver highly mobile autonomous capability and agility in unpredictable terrain. Operating multiple vehicles in a leader-follower configuration could reduce manpower needed. For future potential military uses, the system’s inherent low heat signature and quiet operation offer benefits in environments to reduce detection and risks. TARDEC has been in discussions with GM evaluating the commercial SURUS concept as a next step of the broader collaboration to evaluate fuel cell technology for future military applications. “SURUS redefines fuel cell electric technology for both highway and off-road environments,” said Charlie Freese, executive director of GM Global Fuel Cell Business. “General Motors is committed to bringing new high-performance, zero-emission systems to solve complex challenges for a variety of customers.” The SURUS platform leverages GM’s vast experience in fuel cell technology, high-voltage batteries and electric drive systems, autonomous driving and vehicle manufacturing. The platform boasts: Two advanced electric drive units Four-wheel steering Lithium-ion battery system Gen 2 fuel cell system Hydrogen storage system capable of more than 400 miles of range Advanced propulsion power electronics GM truck chassis components An advanced, industry-leading suspension Hydrotec Technology The SURUS commercial platform draws on GM’s more than 50 years of research and development of fuel cell technology. The scalable and adaptable technology enables land, sea and air applications across commercial and military environments. Since April 2017, the Army has been testing the commercial Chevrolet Colorado ZH2 on its U.S. bases to determine the viability of hydrogen-powered vehicles in military mission tactical environments. The vehicle has been operating in off-road conditions to evaluate its power generation, reduced odor, acoustic and thermal signatures, high wheel torque, extended operating range and the potential to use the byproduct water. Military testing has shown the ZH2 reduced acoustic non-detection distance by 90 percent compared to current military vehicle in operation. This means the ZH2 can get 10 times closer before being detected. Leaders also observed the potential advantages for stationary power generation over diesel generators, including a significant reduction in idle noise and fuel use. Testing will continue through spring 2018. Partnerships remain an important part of GM’s electrification strategy. Last year, the U.S. Navy unveiled a GM fuel cell-powered Unmanned Undersea Vehicle (UUV) for testing purposes that leverages GM fuel cell technology common with the Colorado ZH2.
  4. General Motors is the latest automaker that is preparing for an emissions-free future. Today at GM's technical center in Warren, MI, the company announced plans to introduce 20 electric and hydrogen vehicles by 2023. The first two models of this plan will launch in the next 18 months and will be "based off learnings" from the Chevrolet Bolt. “General Motors believes in an all-electric future. Although that future won't happen overnight, GM is committed to driving increased usage and acceptance of electric vehicles through no-compromise solutions that meet our customers' needs,” said Mark Reuss, General Motors executive vice president of Product Development, Purchasing and Supply Chain in a statement. Those who were at the technical center got a preview of three clay models featuring the next-generation electric powertrain - a Buick crossover (Encore replacement?), Cadillac wagon, and a pod-looking vehicle. GM is also working on building out vehicles using hydrogen powertrains. "General Motors believes in an all-electric future... Our electric solution cannot be 'one size fits all.' We believe you need two different flavors of electrification — battery electric and fuel cell electric." GM showed off SURUS (Silent Utility Rover Universal Superstructure) which takes the idea of the skateboard hydrogen chassis from the Hy-Wire concept and makes it quite larger - about the size of a commercial truck chassis. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required), Green Car Reports , Roadshow, GM Press Release is on Page 2 GM Outlines All-Electric Path to Zero Emissions DETROIT — General Motors announced today how it is executing on a major element of its vision of a world with zero crashes, zero emissions and zero congestion, recently announced by GM Chairman and CEO Mary Barra. “General Motors believes in an all-electric future,” said Mark Reuss, General Motors executive vice president of Product Development, Purchasing and Supply Chain. “Although that future won't happen overnight, GM is committed to driving increased usage and acceptance of electric vehicles through no-compromise solutions that meet our customers' needs.” In the next 18 months, GM will introduce two new all-electric vehicles based off learnings from the Chevrolet Bolt EV. They will be the first of at least 20 new all-electric vehicles that will launch by 2023. Given customers' various needs, getting to a zero emissions future will require more than just battery electric technology. It will require a two-pronged approach to electrification — battery electric and hydrogen fuel cell electric depending on the unique requirements. GM also introduced SURUS — the Silent Utility Rover Universal Superstructure — a fuel cell powered, four-wheel steer concept vehicle on a heavy-duty truck frame that’s driven by two electric motors. With its capability and flexible architecture, SURUS could be used as a delivery vehicle, truck or even an ambulance — all emissions free.
  5. Hyundai had a put a lot of confidence into hydrogen being the future power source for vehicles. But much like Toyota, the Korean automaker is realizing that electrics are the way of the future and they might want to jump on the bandwagon soon. Today at a press conference in Seoul, Hyundai announced that it would be placing electric vehicles front and center with plans to launch several long-range EVs in the coming years. This includes an electric version of the Kona early next year and an electric sedan for Genesis in 2021 that is expected to have a range of 310 miles. Hyundai also confirmed a report by Reuters saying the company is working on a dedicated EV platform. "We're strengthening our eco-friendly car strategy, centering on electric vehicles," said Hyundai Executive Vice President Lee Kwang-guk. Hyundai isn't fully giving up on hydrogen. The automaker showed a concept version of its new fuel cell SUV that will replace the Tucson Hydrogen. Hyundai says the model can go 360 miles on one tank of hydrogen. It will launch in Korea next year, with the U.S. and Europe following sometime after. Source: Reuters
  6. General Motors and Honda have been working together on hydrogen fuel cells since 2013. The result of this work has led to new, more economical fuel cell stack that the two companies will build together via a joint venture in 2020. Today, the two automakers revealed the new joint venture - Fuel Cell System Manufacturing, LLC. Based at GM's battery facility in Brownstown Township, MI, the venture will bring 100 new jobs and cost $85 million between the two companies. The fuel cell stack shown today is similar to the one currently in the Honda Clarity FCV. The difference is the stack shown uses fewer materials and is simpler to produce. “Over the past three years, engineers from Honda and GM have been working as one team with each company providing know-how from its unique expertise to create a compact and low-cost next-gen fuel cell system. This foundation of outstanding teamwork will now take us to the stage of joint mass production of a fuel cell system that will help each company create new value for our customers in fuel cell vehicles of the future,” said Toshiaki Mikoshiba, chief operating officer of the North American Region for Honda Motor Co., Ltd. and president of Honda North America, Inc. “With the next-generation fuel cell system, GM and Honda are making a dramatic step toward lower cost, higher-volume fuel cell systems. Precious metals have been reduced dramatically and a fully cross-functional team is developing advanced manufacturing processes simultaneously with advances in the design. The result is a lower-cost system that is a fraction of the size and mass,” said Charlie Freese, GM executive director of Global Fuel Cell Business. But there is still the elephant in the room when it comes to hydrogen vehicles - the lack of infrastructure. GM and Honda reiterated plans to work with Governments and other to fix this issue. Source: General Motors, Honda Press Release is on Page 2 GM and Honda to Establish Industry-First Joint Fuel Cell System Manufacturing Operation in Michigan Advanced fuel cell technology will be applied to each company’s future products DETROIT — General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) and Honda (NYSE: HMC) today announced establishment of the auto industry’s first manufacturing joint venture to mass produce an advanced hydrogen fuel cell system that will be used in future products from each company. Fuel Cell System Manufacturing, LLC will operate within GM’s existing battery pack manufacturing facility site in Brownstown, Michigan, south of Detroit. Mass production of fuel cell systems is expected to begin around 2020 and create nearly 100 new jobs. The companies are making equal investments totaling $85 million in the joint venture. Honda and GM have been working together through a master collaboration agreement announced in July 2013. It established the co-development arrangement for a next-generation fuel cell system and hydrogen storage technologies. The companies integrated their development teams and shared hydrogen fuel cell intellectual property to create a more affordable commercial solution for fuel cell and hydrogen storage systems. “Over the past three years, engineers from Honda and GM have been working as one team with each company providing know-how from its unique expertise to create a compact and low-cost next-gen fuel cell system,” said Toshiaki Mikoshiba, chief operating officer of the North American Region for Honda Motor Co., Ltd. and president of Honda North America, Inc. “This foundation of outstanding teamwork will now take us to the stage of joint mass production of a fuel cell system that will help each company create new value for our customers in fuel cell vehicles of the future.” The Fuel Cell System Manufacturing (FCSM) joint venture will be operated by a board of directors consisting of three executives from each company that will include a rotating chairperson. In addition, a president will be appointed to rotate between each company. GM and Honda are acknowledged leaders in fuel cell technology with more than 2,220 patents between them, according to the Clean Energy Patent Growth Index. GM and Honda rank No. 1 and No. 3, respectively, in total fuel cell patents filed in 2002 through 2015. “The combination of two leaders in fuel cell innovation is an exciting development in bringing fuel cells closer to the mainstream of propulsion applications,” said Mark Reuss, GM executive vice president, Global Product Development, Purchasing and Supply Chain. “The eventual deployment of this technology in passenger vehicles will create more differentiated and environmentally friendly transportation options for consumers.” Fuel cell technology addresses many of the major challenges facing automobiles today: petroleum dependency, emissions, efficiency, range and refueling times. Fuel cell vehicles can operate on hydrogen made from renewable sources such as wind and biomass. Water vapor is the only emission from fuel cell vehicles. In addition to advancing the performance of the fuel cell system, GM and Honda are working together to reduce the cost of development and manufacturing through economies of scale and common sourcing. The two companies also continue to work with governments and other stakeholders to further advance the refueling infrastructure that is critical for the long-term viability and consumer acceptance of fuel cell vehicles. GM is currently demonstrating the capability of fuel cells across a range of land, sea and air applications. The company has accumulated millions of miles of real-world driving in fuel cell vehicles. “With the next-generation fuel cell system, GM and Honda are making a dramatic step toward lower cost, higher-volume fuel cell systems. Precious metals have been reduced dramatically and a fully cross-functional team is developing advanced manufacturing processes simultaneously with advances in the design,” said Charlie Freese, GM executive director of Global Fuel Cell Business. “The result is a lower-cost system that is a fraction of the size and mass.” Honda began delivery of its all-new Clarity Fuel Cell vehicle to U.S. customers in December 2016 following a spring 2016 launch in Japan. The Clarity Fuel Cell received the best driving range rating from the EPA of any electric vehicle without a combustion engine with a range rating of 366 miles and fuel economy rating of 68 miles per gallon of gasoline-equivalent combined. “The expertise Honda has established that led to creation of the first-generation Clarity fuel cell system is valuable experience that we are leveraging in the joint development of the next-generation fuel cell system with GM,” said Takashi Sekiguchi, managing officer and director and chief operating officer of Automotive Operations, Honda Motor Co., Ltd. “Our collaboration is an opportunity to further utilize the strengths of each company to popularize fuel cell vehicles at the earliest possible time.” GM and Honda collaborated in a powertrain cross-supply arrangement in 1999 under which Honda manufactured 50,000 V-6 engines for the Saturn VUE and Honda received diesel engines from GM’s Isuzu affiliate for use in Europe.
  7. Previous Page Next Page Madness! That was our first thought when we saw the Chevrolet Colorado ZH2 - the result of a joint venture of General Motors and the U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC). Even though it might be called a Colorado, it is unlike anyone you'll find at your nearest Chevrolet dealership. The model is 6.5-feet tall and over 7-feet wide. To accodimate for the larger size, Chevrolet used a lengthened and reinforced version of the Colorado's chassis. A set of 37-inch tires and specially modified suspension help the ZH2 go though any terrain that the Army will throw its way. That's because the ZH2 will be undergoing a number of field tests to determine the viability of hydrogen-powered vehicles on military missions. Yep, the Colorado ZH2 is a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle. General Motors doesn't provide many details on the fuel cell's powertrain except that it will feature a Exportable Power Take-Off (EPTO) unit. The truck can generate electrcity for the unit which then can be taken away to provide power for various devices. “The Colorado ZH2 is a terrific example of GM’s engineering and design skill in creating an off-road vehicle relevant to a range of potential users. Over the next year, we expect to learn from the Army the limits of what a fuel cell propulsion system can do when really put to the test,” said Charlie Freese, executive director of GM Global Fuel Cell Activities. Source: General Motors Press Release is on Page 2 Mission-Ready Chevrolet Colorado ZH2 Fuel Cell Vehicle Breaks Cover at U.S. Army Show Modified midsize pickup goes into extreme military field testing in 2017 WASHINGTON, D.C. — The physically imposing Chevrolet Colorado ZH2, the most extreme off-road-capable fuel-cell-powered electric vehicle ever from General Motors, was revealed today at the fall meeting of the Association of the United States Army (AUSA). Standing more than 6½ feet tall and more than seven feet wide, the Colorado ZH2 was built on a stretched midsize pickup chassis. Reinforced inside and out, the ZH2 rides on 37-inch tires and a specially modified suspension that helps the vehicle climb over and descend all manner of terrain. The U.S. Army will test the Colorado ZH2 in extreme field conditions next year to determine the viability of hydrogen-powered vehicles on military missions. The Colorado ZH2 features an Exportable Power Take-Off unit (EPTO) that allows the fuel cell to power activity away from the vehicle, such as remote locations where electric power may otherwise be unavailable. GM and the U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC) collaborated to develop the Colorado ZH2 from contract to concept in less than a year. GM is leveraging a range of advanced technologies for multiple applications, including military. “The speed with which innovative ideas can be demonstrated and assessed is why relationships with industry are so important to the Army,” said Paul Rogers, director of TARDEC. “Fuel cells have the potential to expand the capabilities of Army vehicles significantly through quiet operation, exportable power and solid torque performance, all advances that drove us to investigate this technology further.” The Army will evaluate the ZH2 fuel cell for: Near-silent operation enabling silent watch capability Reduced acoustic and thermal signatures High wheel torque at all speeds via electric drive Low fuel consumption across operating range Water by-product for field uses GM and TARDEC have fuel cell development laboratories located 20 miles apart in southeast Michigan. Most of the Colorado ZH2 was assembled in GM’s Advanced Vehicle Integration facility in Warren. Calibration testing at GM’s Milford Proving Ground will continue into early 2017, when the vehicle will be turned over to the Army for a year of field testing. “The Colorado ZH2 is a terrific example of GM’s engineering and design skill in creating an off-road vehicle relevant to a range of potential users,” said Charlie Freese, executive director of GM Global Fuel Cell Activities. “Over the next year, we expect to learn from the Army the limits of what a fuel cell propulsion system can do when really put to the test.” The Colorado ZH2 contract is GM’s second vehicle development with a U.S military branch announced this year. In June, the U.S. Navy unveiled a GM fuel cell-powered Unmanned Undersea Vehicle (UUV) that is currently in pool testing before eventual deployment. The UUV leverages GM fuel cell technology common with the Colorado ZH2, demonstrating the flexibility to power a range of mobile and stationary devices. GM has accumulated 3.1 million miles of hydrogen fuel cell testing via Project Driveway, a 119-vehicle fleet driven by more than 5,000 people in a multi-year fuel cell experience program. Previous Page Next Page
  8. Lexus offers two powertains for the LS; a twin-turbo V6 producing 415 horsepower and a hybrid system featuring a 3.5L V6 that makes 354 horsepower. But Lexus is considering adding more powertains to their flagship sedan. Toshio Asahi, chief engineer for the LS told Australian outlet GoAuto that all powertrain options including a plug-in hybrid, hydrogen, and electric were “all on the table” for the current model. The most likely reason for this is competitors such as BMW and Mercedes-Benz have plug-in hybrid models of their flagship sedans and are working on new electric models. There is also the elephant in the room known as the Tesla Model S. Hydrogen isn't that much a surprise. Parent company Toyota has been pushing hydrogen for a number of years. But the lack of an extensive hydrogen infrastructure has limited its appeal and caused Toyota to put more focus on electrics. It should be noted that the LF-FC concept shown in 2015 was a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle. On the electric front, Toyota has been working on solid-state batteries that promise more range and quicker charging. Plans are to have batteries go into production beginning in 2022. Asahi also mentioned that engineers are looking into improving the current hybrid powertrain - possibly adding more power. Source: GoAuto View full article
  9. Toyota is planning a big push with hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. According to Reuters, the Japanese automaker is doubling-down on investments for fuel cell vehicles by making improvements to reduce costs and building different models including commercial trucks. “We’re going to shift from limited production to mass production, reduce the amount of expensive materials like platinum used in FCV components, and make the system more compact and powerful,” said Yoshikazu Tanaka, chief engineer of the Mirai. Currently, Toyota hand builds the Mirai at a plant in Toyota City. Everyday, about 6.5 cars roll out of the plant. This is due to the detailed inspections that partially assembled models go through. The parts comprising the Mirai are quite expensive as well. According to analysis done by Strategic Analysis Inc., it costs Toyota about $11,000 to produce each of the fuel cell stacks. Blame the use of the platinum, titanium, and carbon fiber for the stacks. Toyota has been building up production capacity as it expects sales of FCVs to increase from about 3,000 to over 20,000 after 2020. This will help reduce the cost of each fuel cell stack to $8,000. “It will be difficult for Toyota to lower FCV production costs if it only produces the Mirai,” said a source, That's where an expansion of FCVs come in. Toyota is planning a "phased introduction' of other FCVs, including SUVs and commercial trucks starting around 2025. Toyota declined to talk about future products, but did reveal that it has built prototypes of small delivery vehicles and transport trucks with fuel cell powertrains. “We’re going to use as many parts from existing passenger cars and other models as possible in fuel cell trucks. Otherwise, we won’t see the benefits of mass production,” said Ikuo Ota, manager of new business planning for fuel cell projects at Toyota. Why is Toyota doubling down on fuel cells? Sources say that Toyota believes demand will increase as more countries, including China "warm to fuel cell technology". The company also sees FCVs as a hedge against battery materials such as cobalt becoming scarce. But there is still one issue that Toyota, and other automakers build FCVs still need to solve; infrastructure. There aren't many hydrogen refueling stations around. For example, the majority of hydrogen stations in the U.S. are in California. Not helping is a current shortage of hydrogen at refueling stations in California. Green Car Reports says this issue is due to various problems with supplier Air Products. The company said that it hopes to restore hydrogen supplies sometime in early August. Source: Reuters, Green Car Reports View full article
  10. General Motors is the latest automaker that is preparing for an emissions-free future. Today at GM's technical center in Warren, MI, the company announced plans to introduce 20 electric and hydrogen vehicles by 2023. The first two models of this plan will launch in the next 18 months and will be "based off learnings" from the Chevrolet Bolt. “General Motors believes in an all-electric future. Although that future won't happen overnight, GM is committed to driving increased usage and acceptance of electric vehicles through no-compromise solutions that meet our customers' needs,” said Mark Reuss, General Motors executive vice president of Product Development, Purchasing and Supply Chain in a statement. Those who were at the technical center got a preview of three clay models featuring the next-generation electric powertrain - a Buick crossover (Encore replacement?), Cadillac wagon, and a pod-looking vehicle. GM is also working on building out vehicles using hydrogen powertrains. "General Motors believes in an all-electric future... Our electric solution cannot be 'one size fits all.' We believe you need two different flavors of electrification — battery electric and fuel cell electric." GM showed off SURUS (Silent Utility Rover Universal Superstructure) which takes the idea of the skateboard hydrogen chassis from the Hy-Wire concept and makes it quite larger - about the size of a commercial truck chassis. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required), Green Car Reports , Roadshow, GM Press Release is on Page 2 GM Outlines All-Electric Path to Zero Emissions DETROIT — General Motors announced today how it is executing on a major element of its vision of a world with zero crashes, zero emissions and zero congestion, recently announced by GM Chairman and CEO Mary Barra. “General Motors believes in an all-electric future,” said Mark Reuss, General Motors executive vice president of Product Development, Purchasing and Supply Chain. “Although that future won't happen overnight, GM is committed to driving increased usage and acceptance of electric vehicles through no-compromise solutions that meet our customers' needs.” In the next 18 months, GM will introduce two new all-electric vehicles based off learnings from the Chevrolet Bolt EV. They will be the first of at least 20 new all-electric vehicles that will launch by 2023. Given customers' various needs, getting to a zero emissions future will require more than just battery electric technology. It will require a two-pronged approach to electrification — battery electric and hydrogen fuel cell electric depending on the unique requirements. GM also introduced SURUS — the Silent Utility Rover Universal Superstructure — a fuel cell powered, four-wheel steer concept vehicle on a heavy-duty truck frame that’s driven by two electric motors. With its capability and flexible architecture, SURUS could be used as a delivery vehicle, truck or even an ambulance — all emissions free. View full article
  11. General Motors has brought back a concept idea from their past for the modern era. This is SURUS (Silent Utility Rover Universal Superstructure) which takes the hydrogen skateboard platform from the GM Autonomy and Hy-Wire concepts from the early 2000s and supersizes it. The platform uses GM’s new Hydrotec fuel cell system that is comprised of a gen 2 fuel cell, storage tank that can provide a range of 400 miles, electric drive units, and a lithium-ion battery. This is placed onto a commercial truck chassis that will allow it handle various tasks and terrains such as military transport or a mobile medical unit in an area after a natural disaster. The platform also features autonomous tech. “SURUS redefines fuel cell electric technology for both highway and off-road environments. General Motors is committed to bringing new high-performance, zero-emission systems to solve complex challenges for a variety of customers,” said Charlie Freese, executive director of GM Global Fuel Cell Business. GM will be showing off SURUS fall meeting of the Association of the United States Army (AUSA) from October 9th to 11th. Source: General Motors Press Release is on Page 2 GM Outlines Possibilities for Flexible, Autonomous Fuel Cell Electric Platform Washington, D.C. — General Motors aims to solve some of the toughest transportation challenges created by natural disasters, complex logistics environments and global conflicts. The company will display its Silent Utility Rover Universal Superstructure (SURUS), a flexible fuel cell electric platform with autonomous capabilities, at the fall meeting of the Association of the United States Army (AUSA) from Oct. 9-11, 2017. The commercially designed platform could be adapted for military use. SURUS leverages GM’s newest Hydrotec fuel cell system, autonomous capability and truck chassis components to deliver high-performance, zero-emission propulsion to minimize logistical burdens and reduce human exposure to harm. Benefits include quiet and odor-free operation, off-road mobility, field configuration, instantaneous high torque, exportable power generation, water generation and quick refueling times. Fuel cell technology represents a key piece of General Motors’ zero emission strategy. It offers a solution that can scale to larger vehicles with large payload requirements and operate over longer distances. SURUS was designed to form a foundation for a family of commercial vehicle solutions that leverages a single propulsion system integrated into a common chassis. The SURUS platform is equally well-suited for adaptation to military environments where users can take advantage of flexible energy resources, field configurability and improved logistical characteristics. GM is evaluating multiple applications for SURUS, such as: Utility trucks Mobile and emergency backup power generation Flexible cargo delivery systems Commercial freight Light- and medium-duty trucks, improving upon the Chevrolet Colorado ZH2 that has been evaluated by the U.S. military under guidance of the U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC) and is undergoing testing on bases Future military-specific configurations SURUS will deliver highly mobile autonomous capability and agility in unpredictable terrain. Operating multiple vehicles in a leader-follower configuration could reduce manpower needed. For future potential military uses, the system’s inherent low heat signature and quiet operation offer benefits in environments to reduce detection and risks. TARDEC has been in discussions with GM evaluating the commercial SURUS concept as a next step of the broader collaboration to evaluate fuel cell technology for future military applications. “SURUS redefines fuel cell electric technology for both highway and off-road environments,” said Charlie Freese, executive director of GM Global Fuel Cell Business. “General Motors is committed to bringing new high-performance, zero-emission systems to solve complex challenges for a variety of customers.” The SURUS platform leverages GM’s vast experience in fuel cell technology, high-voltage batteries and electric drive systems, autonomous driving and vehicle manufacturing. The platform boasts: Two advanced electric drive units Four-wheel steering Lithium-ion battery system Gen 2 fuel cell system Hydrogen storage system capable of more than 400 miles of range Advanced propulsion power electronics GM truck chassis components An advanced, industry-leading suspension Hydrotec Technology The SURUS commercial platform draws on GM’s more than 50 years of research and development of fuel cell technology. The scalable and adaptable technology enables land, sea and air applications across commercial and military environments. Since April 2017, the Army has been testing the commercial Chevrolet Colorado ZH2 on its U.S. bases to determine the viability of hydrogen-powered vehicles in military mission tactical environments. The vehicle has been operating in off-road conditions to evaluate its power generation, reduced odor, acoustic and thermal signatures, high wheel torque, extended operating range and the potential to use the byproduct water. Military testing has shown the ZH2 reduced acoustic non-detection distance by 90 percent compared to current military vehicle in operation. This means the ZH2 can get 10 times closer before being detected. Leaders also observed the potential advantages for stationary power generation over diesel generators, including a significant reduction in idle noise and fuel use. Testing will continue through spring 2018. Partnerships remain an important part of GM’s electrification strategy. Last year, the U.S. Navy unveiled a GM fuel cell-powered Unmanned Undersea Vehicle (UUV) for testing purposes that leverages GM fuel cell technology common with the Colorado ZH2. View full article
  12. Previous Page Next Page Madness! That was our first thought when we saw the Chevrolet Colorado ZH2 - the result of a joint venture of General Motors and the U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC). Even though it might be called a Colorado, it is unlike anyone you'll find at your nearest Chevrolet dealership. The model is 6.5-feet tall and over 7-feet wide. To accodimate for the larger size, Chevrolet used a lengthened and reinforced version of the Colorado's chassis. A set of 37-inch tires and specially modified suspension help the ZH2 go though any terrain that the Army will throw its way. That's because the ZH2 will be undergoing a number of field tests to determine the viability of hydrogen-powered vehicles on military missions. Yep, the Colorado ZH2 is a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle. General Motors doesn't provide many details on the fuel cell's powertrain except that it will feature a Exportable Power Take-Off (EPTO) unit. The truck can generate electrcity for the unit which then can be taken away to provide power for various devices. “The Colorado ZH2 is a terrific example of GM’s engineering and design skill in creating an off-road vehicle relevant to a range of potential users. Over the next year, we expect to learn from the Army the limits of what a fuel cell propulsion system can do when really put to the test,” said Charlie Freese, executive director of GM Global Fuel Cell Activities. Source: General Motors Press Release is on Page 2 Mission-Ready Chevrolet Colorado ZH2 Fuel Cell Vehicle Breaks Cover at U.S. Army Show Modified midsize pickup goes into extreme military field testing in 2017 WASHINGTON, D.C. — The physically imposing Chevrolet Colorado ZH2, the most extreme off-road-capable fuel-cell-powered electric vehicle ever from General Motors, was revealed today at the fall meeting of the Association of the United States Army (AUSA). Standing more than 6½ feet tall and more than seven feet wide, the Colorado ZH2 was built on a stretched midsize pickup chassis. Reinforced inside and out, the ZH2 rides on 37-inch tires and a specially modified suspension that helps the vehicle climb over and descend all manner of terrain. The U.S. Army will test the Colorado ZH2 in extreme field conditions next year to determine the viability of hydrogen-powered vehicles on military missions. The Colorado ZH2 features an Exportable Power Take-Off unit (EPTO) that allows the fuel cell to power activity away from the vehicle, such as remote locations where electric power may otherwise be unavailable. GM and the U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC) collaborated to develop the Colorado ZH2 from contract to concept in less than a year. GM is leveraging a range of advanced technologies for multiple applications, including military. “The speed with which innovative ideas can be demonstrated and assessed is why relationships with industry are so important to the Army,” said Paul Rogers, director of TARDEC. “Fuel cells have the potential to expand the capabilities of Army vehicles significantly through quiet operation, exportable power and solid torque performance, all advances that drove us to investigate this technology further.” The Army will evaluate the ZH2 fuel cell for: Near-silent operation enabling silent watch capability Reduced acoustic and thermal signatures High wheel torque at all speeds via electric drive Low fuel consumption across operating range Water by-product for field uses GM and TARDEC have fuel cell development laboratories located 20 miles apart in southeast Michigan. Most of the Colorado ZH2 was assembled in GM’s Advanced Vehicle Integration facility in Warren. Calibration testing at GM’s Milford Proving Ground will continue into early 2017, when the vehicle will be turned over to the Army for a year of field testing. “The Colorado ZH2 is a terrific example of GM’s engineering and design skill in creating an off-road vehicle relevant to a range of potential users,” said Charlie Freese, executive director of GM Global Fuel Cell Activities. “Over the next year, we expect to learn from the Army the limits of what a fuel cell propulsion system can do when really put to the test.” The Colorado ZH2 contract is GM’s second vehicle development with a U.S military branch announced this year. In June, the U.S. Navy unveiled a GM fuel cell-powered Unmanned Undersea Vehicle (UUV) that is currently in pool testing before eventual deployment. The UUV leverages GM fuel cell technology common with the Colorado ZH2, demonstrating the flexibility to power a range of mobile and stationary devices. GM has accumulated 3.1 million miles of hydrogen fuel cell testing via Project Driveway, a 119-vehicle fleet driven by more than 5,000 people in a multi-year fuel cell experience program. Previous Page Next Page View full article
  13. G. David Felt Staff Writer Alternative Energy - www.CheersandGears.com Germany's First Hydrogen Train Yesterday Germany introduced to the world the first long distant Hydrogen train, the Coradia iLint can travel 497 miles per tank load of Hydrogen fuel, carry 300 people per train. This new train is slated to start service Dec 2017 in Germany. The plan is to replace all 4,000 diesel trains that Germany says is contributing to their Acid Rain problem with clean emission free Hydrogen trains. According to the various news reports, this new breakthrough train was developed in only 2 years. The company that did the development work is Alstom of France and they are hoping to get the whole European Union to convert their rail network to this new generation of clean emission-free trains. Interior is very spacious and designed to put travelers at ease with clear vision of the outside while allowing plenty of room for packages, bags, etc.
  14. Hyundai had a put a lot of confidence into hydrogen being the future power source for vehicles. But much like Toyota, the Korean automaker is realizing that electrics are the way of the future and they might want to jump on the bandwagon soon. Today at a press conference in Seoul, Hyundai announced that it would be placing electric vehicles front and center with plans to launch several long-range EVs in the coming years. This includes an electric version of the Kona early next year and an electric sedan for Genesis in 2021 that is expected to have a range of 310 miles. Hyundai also confirmed a report by Reuters saying the company is working on a dedicated EV platform. "We're strengthening our eco-friendly car strategy, centering on electric vehicles," said Hyundai Executive Vice President Lee Kwang-guk. Hyundai isn't fully giving up on hydrogen. The automaker showed a concept version of its new fuel cell SUV that will replace the Tucson Hydrogen. Hyundai says the model can go 360 miles on one tank of hydrogen. It will launch in Korea next year, with the U.S. and Europe following sometime after. Source: Reuters View full article
  15. G. David Felt - Staff Writer Alternative Energy - www.cheersandgears.com Daimler Scales back Hydrogen, Focuses on EV! According to the story from Autoblog, Daimler has chosen to scale back R&D into Hydrogen auto's and focus on EV auto's. This will not stop them from rolling out a Hydrogen GLC in select markets around the world where Hydrogen fueling facilities are available according to Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche. According to Daimler, pushing out 10 EV models by 2022 will help with reducing the emission pressure on their ICE product line allowing them to minimize the pressure and costs of transitioning from an ICE product producer to one of alternative energy, be it EV or Hydrogen, only the future will tell. Yet, this is telling in more ways than one might expect. Yes GM and Honda have teamed up to bring in their next generation of Hydrogen auto to a global market, but you have Daimler, Toyota, VW, Ford and even Hyundai which sells their Tucson Fuel Cell move R&D dollars to the EV world as seen by the Ioniq Trio. Does this indicate vindication for Nissan Leaf and Tesla S / X? Daimler has decided to change the Smart label to a pure EV label. So just how far will the MB product road map change after 2022? Could by 2025-2030 ICE truly reduce to 50% or less of worldwide sales versus EV?
  16. G. David Felt - Staff Writer Alternative Energy - www.cheersandgears.com Honda Clarity Kicks Advertising into High Gear! While on YouTube I discovered a whole new crop of videos to help sell the Honda Clarity Hydrogen auto. Interesting that they went again to PES a video man that has a reputation for stop motion commercials. This time they went with kids singing and the heads one has to figure represent the hydrogen molecules in the tank. Honda YouTube Additional commercials also made by PES for Honda's big push of the Clarity Hydrogen auto: As one follows the links from YouTube for the Honda Clarity it is amazing to see all the other videos too such as the one below on how a fuel cell works. As I learned from the RoadShow video, the Clarity is in essence an EV with a Hydrogen Generator to give you a 366 mile range. What I was surprised by is that both the Toyota Mirai and this clarity are lease only auto's with a stated value of $60,000 more or less and free hydrogen for the first 3 years. Makes one wonder WHY, WHY would you want such an UGLY auto with such a high monthly lease cost when there are far better options out there. I love my alternative auto's and EV's are rocking it more and more, so for an energy upside down auto, do we really need these? One Positive is that this is the first time I actually like the dash and the tablet interface for the auto with proper sized buttons to control everything else. Want to know more about Hydrogen Auto's, this is a great video that covers what some think is the future for the auto industry.
  17. General Motors and Honda have been working together on hydrogen fuel cells since 2013. The result of this work has led to new, more economical fuel cell stack that the two companies will build together via a joint venture in 2020. Today, the two automakers revealed the new joint venture - Fuel Cell System Manufacturing, LLC. Based at GM's battery facility in Brownstown Township, MI, the venture will bring 100 new jobs and cost $85 million between the two companies. The fuel cell stack shown today is similar to the one currently in the Honda Clarity FCV. The difference is the stack shown uses fewer materials and is simpler to produce. “Over the past three years, engineers from Honda and GM have been working as one team with each company providing know-how from its unique expertise to create a compact and low-cost next-gen fuel cell system. This foundation of outstanding teamwork will now take us to the stage of joint mass production of a fuel cell system that will help each company create new value for our customers in fuel cell vehicles of the future,” said Toshiaki Mikoshiba, chief operating officer of the North American Region for Honda Motor Co., Ltd. and president of Honda North America, Inc. “With the next-generation fuel cell system, GM and Honda are making a dramatic step toward lower cost, higher-volume fuel cell systems. Precious metals have been reduced dramatically and a fully cross-functional team is developing advanced manufacturing processes simultaneously with advances in the design. The result is a lower-cost system that is a fraction of the size and mass,” said Charlie Freese, GM executive director of Global Fuel Cell Business. But there is still the elephant in the room when it comes to hydrogen vehicles - the lack of infrastructure. GM and Honda reiterated plans to work with Governments and other to fix this issue. Source: General Motors, Honda Press Release is on Page 2 GM and Honda to Establish Industry-First Joint Fuel Cell System Manufacturing Operation in Michigan Advanced fuel cell technology will be applied to each company’s future products DETROIT — General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) and Honda (NYSE: HMC) today announced establishment of the auto industry’s first manufacturing joint venture to mass produce an advanced hydrogen fuel cell system that will be used in future products from each company. Fuel Cell System Manufacturing, LLC will operate within GM’s existing battery pack manufacturing facility site in Brownstown, Michigan, south of Detroit. Mass production of fuel cell systems is expected to begin around 2020 and create nearly 100 new jobs. The companies are making equal investments totaling $85 million in the joint venture. Honda and GM have been working together through a master collaboration agreement announced in July 2013. It established the co-development arrangement for a next-generation fuel cell system and hydrogen storage technologies. The companies integrated their development teams and shared hydrogen fuel cell intellectual property to create a more affordable commercial solution for fuel cell and hydrogen storage systems. “Over the past three years, engineers from Honda and GM have been working as one team with each company providing know-how from its unique expertise to create a compact and low-cost next-gen fuel cell system,” said Toshiaki Mikoshiba, chief operating officer of the North American Region for Honda Motor Co., Ltd. and president of Honda North America, Inc. “This foundation of outstanding teamwork will now take us to the stage of joint mass production of a fuel cell system that will help each company create new value for our customers in fuel cell vehicles of the future.” The Fuel Cell System Manufacturing (FCSM) joint venture will be operated by a board of directors consisting of three executives from each company that will include a rotating chairperson. In addition, a president will be appointed to rotate between each company. GM and Honda are acknowledged leaders in fuel cell technology with more than 2,220 patents between them, according to the Clean Energy Patent Growth Index. GM and Honda rank No. 1 and No. 3, respectively, in total fuel cell patents filed in 2002 through 2015. “The combination of two leaders in fuel cell innovation is an exciting development in bringing fuel cells closer to the mainstream of propulsion applications,” said Mark Reuss, GM executive vice president, Global Product Development, Purchasing and Supply Chain. “The eventual deployment of this technology in passenger vehicles will create more differentiated and environmentally friendly transportation options for consumers.” Fuel cell technology addresses many of the major challenges facing automobiles today: petroleum dependency, emissions, efficiency, range and refueling times. Fuel cell vehicles can operate on hydrogen made from renewable sources such as wind and biomass. Water vapor is the only emission from fuel cell vehicles. In addition to advancing the performance of the fuel cell system, GM and Honda are working together to reduce the cost of development and manufacturing through economies of scale and common sourcing. The two companies also continue to work with governments and other stakeholders to further advance the refueling infrastructure that is critical for the long-term viability and consumer acceptance of fuel cell vehicles. GM is currently demonstrating the capability of fuel cells across a range of land, sea and air applications. The company has accumulated millions of miles of real-world driving in fuel cell vehicles. “With the next-generation fuel cell system, GM and Honda are making a dramatic step toward lower cost, higher-volume fuel cell systems. Precious metals have been reduced dramatically and a fully cross-functional team is developing advanced manufacturing processes simultaneously with advances in the design,” said Charlie Freese, GM executive director of Global Fuel Cell Business. “The result is a lower-cost system that is a fraction of the size and mass.” Honda began delivery of its all-new Clarity Fuel Cell vehicle to U.S. customers in December 2016 following a spring 2016 launch in Japan. The Clarity Fuel Cell received the best driving range rating from the EPA of any electric vehicle without a combustion engine with a range rating of 366 miles and fuel economy rating of 68 miles per gallon of gasoline-equivalent combined. “The expertise Honda has established that led to creation of the first-generation Clarity fuel cell system is valuable experience that we are leveraging in the joint development of the next-generation fuel cell system with GM,” said Takashi Sekiguchi, managing officer and director and chief operating officer of Automotive Operations, Honda Motor Co., Ltd. “Our collaboration is an opportunity to further utilize the strengths of each company to popularize fuel cell vehicles at the earliest possible time.” GM and Honda collaborated in a powertrain cross-supply arrangement in 1999 under which Honda manufactured 50,000 V-6 engines for the Saturn VUE and Honda received diesel engines from GM’s Isuzu affiliate for use in Europe. View full article
  18. G. David Felt Staff Writer Alternative Energy - www.CheersandGears.com Alternative Fuels & Propulsion in the News So the news has had some interesting stories this past few weeks in regards to GM and Honda getting closer as they co-develop Hydrogen auto's and self driving: http://www.hydrogenfuelnews.com/honda-and-gm-seek-to-expand-partnership-on-hydrogen-fuel-cells-and-driverless-vehicles/8525101/?utm_source=WW+Clean+Cities+News+Digest+--+October+20%2C+2015&utm_campaign=WW+Clean+Cities+News+Digest+--+October+20%2C+2015+&utm_medium=email According to the story, 2020 is the year that both GM and Honda will release for public purchase Hydrogen auto's and 2017 both plan to start selling driverless auto's. The future is near for those that cannot put down facebook or twitter to interact with the world and the planet they live on. The next story is from the green car report that shows that people who have EV's love em but would not buy them. Leasing is the way to go as the response is that auto companies will be making drastic updates on the EV's each year. The only exception to this is Tesla with their software updated system so people who bought one years ago can have the same software updates and features of the new ones. Currently the story states there are 7 EV's that lease for less than $200 a month for 36 months. The cheapest lease being the Fiat 500e which leases for $82.75 per month for 36 months. http://www.greencarreports.com/news/1100513_electric-car-drivers-love-em-but-dont-buy-em-why-leasing-rules?utm_source=WW+Clean+Cities+News+Digest+--+October+20%2C+2015&utm_campaign=WW+Clean+Cities+News+Digest+--+October+20%2C+2015+&utm_medium=email The final story is a very interesting one developing in Europe headed by Norway, where the governments push to have 50,000 EV's on the road by 2017 was reached in April of 2015 and as of September 2015 had reached 66,000. With the VW Diesel scandal it would seem Norwegians are taking advantage of the large government subsidy to buy EV's, especially Tesla's. They are also loving the government's free use of toll roads, free parking, free bridges and tunnels and free ferry tickets if you are an EV. With the average cost of charging an EV being only $1 and Petro at over $6 per liter, clearly with the high price of an auto in Norway, this kind of savings is having a big impact on getting people to go EV. Here is the current subsidies in Europe. Full story can be found here: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/17/business/international/norway-is-global-model-for-encouraging-sales-of-electric-cars.html?_r=1&utm_source=WW+Clean+Cities+News+Digest+--+October+20%2C+2015&utm_campaign=WW+Clean+Cities+News+Digest+--+October+20%2C+2015+&utm_medium=email

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