Toyota has unveiled a new hydrogen fuel cell vehicle that has a range of 300 miles (482 kilometres), takes less than five minutes to refuel, and produces water vapour as its only exhaust.
The Mirai (“future” in Japanese) will be available in Japan next month, and in the United States next year.
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“Although they make little sense anywhere else now but California, home of the nation’s few hydrogen refuelling stations,” the Post reports, “Toyota and its home country of Japan are investing heavily into ushering in what Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has called the world’s ‘hydrogen era.’”
But “hydrogen fuel cells carry their own challenge” in the U.S., Harwell writes. Refuelling is a problem outside California, and “though its emissions are greener, hydrogen is now mostly sourced from natural gas, which carries its own environmental impacts.”
The Post and AltEnergyStocks report on an escalating war of words between Toyota and Tesla Motors founder Elon Musk, who told an audience in Detroit that “if you’re going to pick an energy source mechanism, hydrogen is an incredibly dumb one to pick.”
On AltEnergyStocks, Energy and Capital Editor Jeff Siegel reports on the California Energy Commission’s “small but meaningful step” to build 50 new hydrogen fuelling stations at a cost of $20 million, commenting that “no one really cares now that Elon Musk has shown the world a much better mousetrap.”
Siegel cites Musk’s more detailed observation in Detroit that “hydrogen is an energy storage mechanism. It is not a source of energy.” Compared to running a battery from a solar cell, hydrogen produced through electrolysis “is about half the efficiency. It’s terrible. Why would you do that? It makes no sense.”