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Hyundai's Hydrogen-powered Nexo Has Better Mileage than a Tesla

Hyundai’s Hydrogen-powered Nexo Has Better Mileage than a Tesla

Turns out hydrogen has a bright future

Korean carmaker Hyundai has been developing hydrogen fuel cell vehicles since the early 2000s, with the first test model launched in 2005. It was based on the first-generation ix35/Tucson. The crossover was updated in 2012 and went into production in 2013, becoming the first mass-produced SUV with hydrogen power. It’s been five years since then, and Hyundai is replacing the ix35/Tucson FCEV with the Nexo. Unveiled at the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show, the Nexo is the brand’s first fuel cell vehicle built on a dedicated platform and boasts significant performance improvements in every department. And it offers better mileage than a Tesla!

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Hyundai Introduces Its Latest Fuel Cell Vehicle At CES 2018, Calls It The “Nexo”

Hyundai Introduces Its Latest Fuel Cell Vehicle At CES 2018, Calls It The “Nexo”

Advancing H2 tech into the second generation

Hyundai just announced its latest hydrogen-powered electric SUV at the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Dubbed the Nexo, the next-gen FCEV improves on the old Tucson FCEV in just about every way possible, even tossing in some updated autonomous driving tech to boot.

Continue reading for the full story.

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2019 Hyundai Nexo

2019 Hyundai Nexo

New-generation hydrogen SUV has better mileage than Tesla Model X

Hydrogen fuel cell technology has been making headlines in the auto industry for a few decades now, with many claiming it’s the future of the fossil-free automobile. However, unlike the electric car market, the hydrogen segment has evolved rather slow, with most automakers opting to stay away from the big development costs and the expensive carbon-fiber fuel tanks. Until Toyota debuted the Mirai, Hyundai was the only company that actually launched a production model. The ix35 FCEV, also known as the Tuscon FCEV in some markets, was introduced in 2013. After several tests, full-scale production began in 2015 and examples were delivered in more than 20 countries worldwide. Come 2018 and Hyundai wants to take things up a notch with a brand-new model, called the Nexo.

Introduced at the Consumer Electronics Show, the event where automakers launch their high-tech products for a few years now, the Nexo will replace the ix35/Tucson FCEV. And the new hydrogen-powered EV is a significant departure from its predecessor. Not only riding on a new platform, it also features a unique design, a brand-new interior, and bespoke technology. And unlike many vehicles we usually see at the Consumer Electronics Show, the Nexo is ready to go into production and will become available in select markets later in 2018. Let’s find out more about Hyundai’s next-generation FCEV in the review below.

Continue reading to learn more about the Hyundai FCEV.

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GM Developing Autonomous, Fuel Cell, Multi-Use Platform Called SURUS

GM Developing Autonomous, Fuel Cell, Multi-Use Platform Called SURUS

The “Silent Utility Rover Universal Superstructure” provides endless configurations

General Motors has thought outside the box on this one. Meet SURUS, a fully autonomous platform with 4WD and four-wheel steering powered by a fuel cell. Its name stands for “Silent Utility Rover Universal Superstructure,” and it’s GM’s latest joint project with the United States Army. Unlike diesel-powered trucks, the SURUS produces no noise, smell, or by-product besides purified water. It also isn’t confined to any one job. With a completely bare deck, GM can attach anything from a cab-over crew compartment or a shipping container. Thanks to its fully autonomous driving capability, it doesn’t need a driver and therefore doesn’t need a dedicated cab. This frees up the entire platform to accept an endless number of compatible up-fits.

“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.” GM is currently readying the SURUS for testing, both with the U.S. military and in commercial applications. SURUS is GM’s second vehicle study of fuel cell applications for the military in recent months. Back in April, the Army began evaluating a fuel cell-powered Chevrolet Colorado ZH2 concept pickup as a possible addition to its field operations. Fuel Cells have the distinct advantage of silent operation while being able to produce electricity for base camp operations with purified water as the only by-product.

Continue reading for more information.

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2018 Honda Clarity

2018 Honda Clarity

Expanding the line with a new Hydrogen Hybrid

Honda introduced the Clarity nameplate back in 2008 with the FCX Clarity, a mid-size, five-passenger, four-door sedan equipped with a hydrogen-powered electric motor. Based on the FCX Concept vehicle from 2006, the original Clarity was the first hydrogen fuel cell passenger car ever offered for general public consumption. Production of the original Clarity ended in 2014 with just a handful of units sold, but now it’s back, with Honda reintroducing the nameplate in December of 2016. The basics are the same, including the four-door sedan body style bristling with nerdy cuts and details, while under the hood you’ll find a hydrogen fuel cell powertrain. Joining the H2-powered model now is two other powertrains, including an all-electric and plug-in hybrid variant, both of which were unveiled earlier this year at the New York International Auto Show.

With three options on the table, Honda hopes to bump up U.S. sales to 75,000 units over the course of the next four years, representing a five-fold increase in electric vehicle sales overall. This also coincides with goals of making two out of every three vehicles sold an electrified green alternative by the year 2030. “The Honda Clarity is aimed at accelerating the deployment of advanced electrified powertrain technology and bringing electrified vehicles further into the mainstream,” said Jeff Conrad, senior vice president of American Honda Motor Co., Inc. “The Clarity series also heralds the advancement of our Honda Electrification Initiative, representing our investment in the full spectrum of electric-vehicle technologies.” Can the Clarity deliver?

Update: 06/12/2017: Honda has just announced a new leasing program for the Honda Clarity Electric. Check out the “Prices” section below to learn all about it.

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2017 Hyundai FE Fuel Cell Concept

2017 Hyundai FE Fuel Cell Concept

Production model to arrive in 2018

Hyundai might have gained a lot more attention with the launch of its Genesis luxury brand and the Prius-fighting Ioniq in recent months, but the Korean brand has bigger plans in the hydrogen-powered vehicle market. Having tested the waters with the ix35, Hyundai returned into the spotlight with the FE Fuel Cell concept at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show.

Part of a program that will see "14 or more new environmentally-focused" models introduced by 2020, the FE, which stands for "future eco," previews the company’s next-generation of hydrogen-powered vehicles. A production version is scheduled to arrive in 2018, and even though Hyundai didn’t have much to say about it, the concept provides plenty of hints as to what we will get in dealerships.

Continue reading to learn more about the Hyundai FE Fuel Cell Concept.

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Hyundai's FE Fuel Cell Concept Showcases Future Vision For Zero-Emission Mobility

Hyundai’s FE Fuel Cell Concept Showcases Future Vision For Zero-Emission Mobility

Expect a production model in 2018

Hyundai has been busy with a lot of projects recently, including the launch of its Genesis luxury brand, the Prius-fighting Ioniq, and hydrogen-powered vehicles. The latter returns under the spotlight with FE Fuel Cell concept, which the Korean brand has just unveiled at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show.

Part of a program that will see "14 or more new environmentally-focused" models introduced by 2020, the FE, which stands for "future eco," previews the company’s next-generation of hydrogen-powered vehicles. A somewhat futuristic looking crossover by design, the FE Fuel Cell has a rather minimalist style with flowing design lines inspired by nature and water. There aren’t a whole lot of details to run by, but the concept’s styling is unlike anything else from Hyundai, and it could also preview an upcoming design language.

The cabin is rather simple and clean and centered around three distinct screens. There a wide display in place of the instrument cluster, an equally wide but taller screen atop the dashboard, and a smaller display in the center stack, just above what appears to be a gear selector. Apart from that and the blue ambient lighting, nothing stands out really, but Hyundai did say that the concept has an internal air humidifier. The system recycles water emitted by the car’s clean hydrogen energy circulation to create "a more comfortable cabin environment."

But what about power and range?

Continue reading for the full story.

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Toyota Mirai Gets Super Bowl Commercial To Help Boost Sales

Toyota Mirai Gets Super Bowl Commercial To Help Boost Sales

It’s not the car’s fault, but increased exposure could help create more interest in it

Unlike hybrids and all-electric cars, hydrogen fuel cell vehicles have struggled to gain any meaningful traction in the auto industry. Part of that may be attributed to a lack of awareness of its unique capabilities and another part of that can be pointed in the direction of not having enough of them in the market to begin with. After all, California is the only state in the U.S. where an FCV like the Toyota Mirai is currently being sold. Whatever the case may be, FCVs have yet to turn into popular alternative vehicles for a lot of people and no more is that evident than the lackluster sales of the Mirai.

That’s also a big reason why Toyota is spending big money in advertising the vehicle as it now has its own commercial spot for the Super Bowl. Titled “Daisy,” the commercial goes straight to the point in highlighting the Mirai’s ability to emit water instead of gas. The ad starts with a full-bloomed daisy sitting somewhat meekly in the middle of a concrete road. A car then stops just beside the flower before coughing out a plume of smoke out of its exhaust. Convenient, right? As the car moves along, the poor daisy (with a spotlight on it no less) keels over the same way a dehydrated person would if he’s spent days on end without water.

And just as everything appeared to go south on the flower, the Mirai heroically comes along, stops at the exact same spot as the previous vehicle, and discharges whatever water it has emitted straight into the daisy. Just like that, the daisy springs back to life and a voice-over comes in to proudly say that the hydrogen-fuelled Mirai’s only emission is water.

As far as a commercial goes, this one leaves the comedy behind and cuts straight to the point to showcase why the Mirai is such an important car in today’s world. Whether the ad succeeds in generating more interest for the car is a question that will only be answered over time. But for now, the commercial comes as a worthwhile gamble on Toyota’s part considering that it only sold 1,034 models of the car in 2016 and just 83 units in the first month of 2017.

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Honda Clarity Fuel Cell Has a Better Range Than Tesla's Range-Topping Model S

Honda Clarity Fuel Cell Has a Better Range Than Tesla’s Range-Topping Model S

It’s a huge selling point when the car launches later this year

Zero-emissions vehicles are more than just about the amount of horsepower they produce. The truth is, power often takes a backseat to range, or how far a zero-emissions vehicle can go on a single charge. To this day, the threshold seems to be 300 miles on a single charge, something that only a few cars are capable of achieving. One of these cars is the range-topping Tesla Model S P100D, which has a range of 315 miles. Another model that’s expected to break that mark is Honda’s Clarity fuel-cell vehicle, and according to the Japanese automaker, the Clarity FCV will have an EPA rating of 366 miles on a single tank, or the equivalent of 68 mpg combined (city and highway), making it the new standard-bearer for the highest range among zero-emission vehicles.

Do the math and the Clarity FCV can push 51 miles longer than the Model S P100D. More importantly, the Clarity FCV has 54 miles on its direct competitor, the Toyota Mirai FCV, which has a reported range of 312 miles. And let’s not even compare the equally new Chevrolet Bolt, which carries a range of 238 miles, 128 miles less than the Clarity FCV.

Having the highest range among zero-emission vehicles is an important selling point for Honda. It’s the performance car equivalent of horsepower, in large part because customers are most likely to gravitate towards cars that can last longer and farther on the road than their competitors. Considering that refuelling times for these cars are dropping with the advent of new technologies, range is quickly become one of the de facto numbers that prospective buyers will be looking for when they’re in the market for a zero-emissions vehicle.

The good news for Honda is that the Clarity FCV also comes with a number of interesting features, including Honda Sensing technology, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto. Pricing for the car has yet to be revealed, but the most common figure being thrown around is about $60,000, a tad more expensive than the Mirai FCV.

The biggest downfall of the Clarity FCV is its limited availability. Honda is only selling it in California, matching the locations of its network of hydrogen refueling stations. Only six dealerships in Southern California, five in the Bay Area, and one in Sacramento are selling the Clarity.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

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Kia to Launch 14 New Alternative-Fuel Vehicles by the Turn of the Decade

Kia to Launch 14 New Alternative-Fuel Vehicles by the Turn of the Decade

The South Korean brand looks to spark new hybrids, EV’s, and a FCV by 2020

The standard internal combustion engine is seeing competition from all sorts of possible substitutions, and now, it looks like Kia will add to the mix through the release of over a dozen new models. For the moment, there are little to no specifics, but the plan does include 14 new models equipped with alternative powertrains, including all-electrics and hybrids, as well as a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle. The new high-tech offerings will supposedly see a release over the course of the next four years, with the fuel cell vehicle arriving towards the end of that schedule in 2020.

The news comes courtesy of the U.K. publication AutoCar, which quotes Kia’s European head, Michael Cole. Cole told the outlet about Kia’s plans to release the new lineup globally by the end of the decade as the automaker attempts to broaden its sales numbers and its customer base.

Kia recently released its new Niro Hybrid Utility Vehicle, and is expected to add a plug-in EV variant of the same model sometime soon. The extra EV compact crossover should help bolster Kia’s current alternative powertrain lineup, with older offerings including the Optima hybrid and Soul EV.

Additional future models include a forthcoming Optima hybrid wagon. As for models with more conventional powertrains, Kia is expected to release a small Nissan Juke fighter sometime soon, as well as a sportier halo car that’ll be a production version of the 2011 GT concept.

Continue reading for the full story.

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2016 Chevrolet Colorado ZH2

2016 Chevrolet Colorado ZH2

Chevy goes all-out for Military Fuel-Cell test vehicle

Nearly a month ago, we told you about General Motors’ partnership with the U.S. Military’s Army Tank Automotive Research, Development, and Engineering Center to build and test a fuel cell vehicle for use in military operations. Well, GM has debuted its hydrogen-powered pickup and it’s called the Colorado ZH2.

As you can imagine, the truck is based on the Chevrolet Colorado. The ZH2 nomenclature is a play off the Colorado’s (or more historically, the S-10’s) off-road package, the ZR2. With its R swapped for an H, this hydrogen-powered truck is designed to test the capabilities and limits of a fuel-cell vehicle in off-road, wartime-style environments.

“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,” 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 speed Rogers is referring to is the time TARDEC gave GM to come up with this truck. From contract to concept, the project has happened in less than a year. That’s nearly light speed when it comes to government operations. From this point, the Colorado ZH2 will undergo a year’s worth of evaluation and demanding rigors to determine if hydrogen fuel cell vehicles have a future on the battlefield.

So what’s the big deal about fuel cell technology, you might ask? This propulsion system is nearly silent in operation, it offers a reduced thermal signature, has high torque thanks to its electric drive, offers low fuel consumption, and even creates water, which can be utilized in the field by soldiers.

There’s plenty to talk about here, so keep reading for the full run-down.

Continue reading for the full review.

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Chevrolet Colorado-Based Fuel Cell Vehicle Will Be Revealed In October

Chevrolet Colorado-Based Fuel Cell Vehicle Will Be Revealed In October

Will the U.S. Military adopt Hydrogen fuel cell technology?

General Motors is partnering with the U.S. Military’s Army Tank Automotive Research, Development, and Engineering Center to build and test a fuel cell-powered pickup for use in a military application. The pickup of choice, the Chevrolet Colorado, is currently under development and will be revealed sometime in October of 2016.

“Hydrogen fuel cells as a power source have the potential to bring to the force incredibly valuable capabilities,” said TARDEC Director Paul Rogers. “We expect the vehicle to be quiet in operation and ready to provide electricity generation for needs away from the vehicle. With fuel cell technology advancing, it’s an ideal time to investigate its viability in extreme military-use conditions.”

The joint project is designed to leverage innovation and next-generation technologies in the commercial sector at the request of the Department of Defense. Not only does the project help the military, it gives GM an investor to help fund its R&D on hydrogen fuel cell technology, which could eventually be used in passenger vehicles.

As for the military, a hydrogen fuel cell powertrain offers a number of benefits. For one, a fuel cell is far more efficient than gasoline and diesel internal combustion engines. Fuel cells are also inherently quite in operation, allowing for covert operations without noisy exhaust rumbles.

“This project is another example of how fuel cell propulsion can play a role in non-traditional applications,” said Charlie Freese, executive director of GM’s Global Fuel Cell Activities. “We need to continue pursuing these opportunities along with our plans for production of a commercial fuel cell system in the 2020 time frame.”

We’ll bring you all the detailed information once GM debuts this Colorado Fuel Cell prototype in October.

Continue reading for the full story.

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2017 Nissan Solid-Oxide Fuel Cell NV200 Van

2017 Nissan Solid-Oxide Fuel Cell NV200 Van

Pioneering a new form of bio-fuels

Bio-fuels have been around a while, just like the concept of hydrogen fuel cell-powered vehicle. Nissan is taking these two concepts and combining them into its Solid-Oxide Fuel Cell powertrain. But this is no theoretical lab experiment. No, Nissan has built a working model with its mid-size NV cargo van.

It’s called the e-Bio Fuel-Cell and it offers the benefits of a hydrogen fuel-cell without the need for compressed hydrogen gas and the complicated infrastructure required to handle it. Rather, the e-Bio Fuel-Cell runs on bio-ethanol harvested from corn or sugarcane and can be dispensed in liquid form the same way traditional gasoline and diesel fuels have been for the last century – at a filling station.

"The e-Bio Fuel-Cell offers eco-friendly transportation and creates opportunities for regional energy production… all the while supporting the existing infrastructure," says Nissan president and CEO, Carlos Ghosn. "In the future, the e-Bio Fuel-Cell will become even more user-friendly. Ethanol-blended water is easier and safer to handle than most other fuels. Without the need to create new infrastructure, it has great potential to drive market growth."

Nissan says this NV e-Bio Fuel-Cell concept van runs on 100 percent ethanol to charge a 24 kWh battery, which affords more than 373 miles of driving range via an electric drivetrain. And of course, it does this with a very small global impact. The little CO2 emissions generated by the e-Bio Fuel-Cell is offset by the growing process of the corn and sugarcane, effectively canceling out the vehicle emissions for an overall zero-emissions impact.

Continue reading for the full run-down and informative video.

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Honda To Expand Clarity Lineup With Plug-In And Battery-Powered Models

Honda To Expand Clarity Lineup With Plug-In And Battery-Powered Models

Fuel Cell to hit the market in 2016; Plug-In and Battery-Powered to follow in 2017

The Honda Clarity Fuel Cell made its debut at the 2015 Tokyo Motor Show, and while it’s set to become the first mass market fuel cell car to be introduced by the Japanese automaker, it won’t be the only one. Two more models will join the Clarity Fuel Cell and form a three-car lineup that will spearhead Honda’s dive into the world of electrification.

Once the Clarity Fuel Cell hits the market in California later in 2016 as a 2017 model, it will soon be joined by a battery-electric variant a plug-in hybrid version. Both models will also carry the “Clarity” name and as such will be called the Clarity Electric and Clarity Plug-in Hybrid. Specifics details are scant at this point, particularly with the EV and PHEV versions. Honda did say that the Clarity Electric will first go on sale in California whereas the Clarity PHEV will be sold across the U.S. at the same time, thus making it the volume leader among the three Clarity models.

Moreover, all three models will be packaged as premium mid-sized models, creating a distinct separation from Hyundai’s own three-car Ioniq lineup, which will be packaged as compact vehicles. Honda also said that the Clarity PHEV will have more than 40 miles of electric-only range, far better than what today’s PHEVs are capable of achieving.

The launch of the three Clarity models is the clearest and most emphatic sign of Honda’s goal to electrify all of its core models over the next decade and beyond. While it’s true that three models will be tagged as new models, their launches will be preempted by the release of the2017 Accord Hybrid, which is scheduled to go on sale in the spring of 2016.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

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2016 Honda FCV

2016 Honda FCV

Honda’s first mass market fuel cell car has taken a lot of different forms as it evolves into something that you can buy at a dealership. The first prototypes were shown all of the way back in 1999, then there were a number of test vehicles build from there. Another concept showed up in 2006, followed by the FCX Clarity in 2008, which was produced and leased in very limited numbers for research purposes. Then Honda showed off a concept of an actual production model at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show, and the name of the project changed from FCX to FCV.

This represents a change from “Fuel Cell eXperimental” to “Fuel Cell Vehicle”, signaling that Honda is finally serious about putting the car into production, even if it does have a tremendously uncreative name. Now Honda is announcing that a production-ready version of the car will debut at the Tokyo Motor Show, along with a real name, and a few teaser photos have come out as well. The car has been toned down from the concept, obviously, but the evolution of the model is still evident in the new design. And although Toyota might has beaten Honda to market with its own fuel cell car, this is still a very important vehicle.

Updated 10/29/2015: Honda dropped the official details on the next generation Clarity Fuel Cell Vehicle during its official debut at the 2015 Tokyo Motor Show. Sales in Japan will begin in early 2016, with Europe to follow later in the year.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2016 Honda FCV.

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Toyota Mirai Drops Science on "Back to the Future" Anniversary

Toyota Mirai Drops Science on "Back to the Future" Anniversary

You may have noticed an unusual number of “Back to the Future” references in your social media; that’s because 10/21/2015 is the date shown on Doc Brown’s DeLorean time machine in “Back to the Future 2.” In the plot of the movie, this is the day that Marty McFly arrives in the future to try and fix the things that have gone wrong in the timeline.

Though the DeLorean is the automotive star of the franchise, there’s a Toyota connection as well. Marty’s dream car is a black 1985 Toyota Xtracab 4x4 pickup, and Toyota’s taken the opportunity to play it up a little bit. (DeLorean probably would too, if it was still in business.) In addition to creating a “Back to the Future” edition of the all-new 2016 Tacoma, complete with 1980s-style KC light bar and nerf bumpers, the brand has brought its Mirai fuel-cell vehicle into the loop with a short video called “Fueled by the Future.” The video features the aforementioned Tacoma concept along with Christopher Lloyd, Michael J. Fox and other familiar faces.

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Toyota Is Now Taking Orders For The 2016 Mirai

Toyota Is Now Taking Orders For The 2016 Mirai

Following a couple of announcements that it plans to increase production of the upcoming 2016 Toyota Mirai due to unexpected demand, Toyota has finally begun taking orders for the hydrogen-fueled family car. Starting today, California drivers who want to switch to alternative fuel can request a Mirai using Toyota’s dedicated Web page here.

However, the process is a bit different than placing an order for conventional cars, as production of the Mirai is limited. Specifically, vehicles will be placed with "select, eligible customers" which will be contacted directly by a Toyota representative to discuss ownership.

The first examples of the Mirai are set to arrive in October 2015, when selected customers will take delivery from one of the eight authorized Toyota dealers across California. Each Mirai will cost $57,500 plus an $835 destination fee.

A group of lucky customers will also benefit from the Mirai Trailblazer support program, which includes three choices: APR Support of 0% for 60 months + $7,500, Purchase Support of $7,500, or Lease of $499 per month for 36 months and $3,649 due at signing.

As a brief reminder, all Mirais come with three years’ of complimentary fuel, Safety Connect and Entune with hydrogen station finder app, and 24/7 customer call support. Other benefits include no-cost scheduled maintenance for three years or 35,000 miles, no-cost enhanced roadside assistance for three years, regardless of mileage, and eight-year/100,000-mile warranty on key fuel cell vehicle components.

Continue reading for the full story.

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Forze VI Breaks Nurburgring Lap Record For Fuel-Cell Powered Cars: Video

Forze VI Breaks Nurburgring Lap Record For Fuel-Cell Powered Cars: Video

The world of high-performance hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles has been fairly quiet since the GreenGT H2 quietly missed its Le Mans debut in 2013. The electric-performance innovators have still been at work behind the scenes though, and students at the Delft University of Technology have just set a new track record for fuel-cell-powered vehicles at Germany’s famed Nürburgring. Dubbed the Forze IV, Delft’s fuel-cell EV racer has been evolving since 2007.

Like the GreenGT H2, the Forze project is underway with the intent of eventually competing with conventionally powered vehicles at Le Mans. The current iteration, Forze IV, is the sixth generation. Forze has been developing the car for two and a half years, and all of that work paid off on May 7 when the car lapped the Nürburgring in under 11 minutes, with ex-Formula One driver Jan Lammers at the wheel. The time was not officially recorded, as the run was made on a public day with other vehicles on the course. However, dash-camera timing showing a sub-11-minute run, plus team leader Menno Dalmijn’s assertion that the Forze IV was only running at half-power suggest that a serious record run around the 21-kilometer (13-mile) track will be forthcoming. Check out the video of the Forze IV’s Nürburgring run.

Continue reading for the full story.

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Porsche Plans Electric Competitor For BMW 5 Series

Porsche Plans Electric Competitor For BMW 5 Series

Porsche is currently working on a new four-door that will offer both hybrid and hydrogen fuel cell drivetrain options. The car will incorporate a revised structure based on the future eMSB architecture, which will also be used for upcoming Bentley models and the new Panamera. It’s known internally as the Pajun, or “Panamera Junior,” and is slated to compete with the BMW 5 Series at the upper end of the mid-size sedan market. Speculation places its arrival sometime between late 2017 and early 2018.

The news was revealed by a series of patents filed in Germany, China, and the U.S., as analyzed by the UK-based publication Autocar. Ulrich Hackenberg, who’s responsible for technical development at Volkswagen Group, also dropped tantalizing hints at a press conference prior to Volkswagen’s annual conference in March. 

Exact specifications are sparse, but it’s believed the new electric Porsche will bring with it at least 420 horsepower and a 265-mile range, making it a direct competitor to Tesla. It’s also speculated that the battery-powered version will be called the 718, while the fuel-cell model will be designated the 818.

Autocar says an examination of the patents reveal that Porsche has re-engineered the MSB platform to incorporate the new drivetrain into the rear of the structure itself, improving rigidity and rear-impact crash-worthiness. It’s similar to the design used in the 2016 Audi R8 e-tron, and would retain an independent rear suspension and utilize a single electric motor for each rear drive wheel, offering torque vectoring for improved cornering abilities. The package will be mounted low, which also means the car should have some space for storage in the back. 

Continue reading to learn more about Porsche’s future electric sedan.

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2016 Toyota Mirai Becomes The First Hydrogen-Fueled Car To Pace NASCAR

2016 Toyota Mirai Becomes The First Hydrogen-Fueled Car To Pace NASCAR

With a fuel cell stack that offers an impressive 3.1 kW/L of hydrogen, an electric motor that produces 153 horsepower, and fueling that takes only five minutes, the Toyota Mirai is arguably the most innovative hydrogen-powered vehicle built as of 2015. Add the fact that Toyota will fill up the Mirai’s tank for free for the first three years of ownership and we may have a game-changer on our hands. Needless to say, the news that Toyota plans to triple Mirai production due to high demand isn’t surprising if you ask me. But now that the futuristic four-door is already a hit, Toyota is focusing on raising even more awareness, this time among NASCAR fans.

Relax, NASCAR won’t replace today’s V-8 cars with a fleet of Mirais, but it did accept a Mirai to pace the Toyota Owners 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Richmond International Raceway. The race took place Saturday, April 25th, 2015, making the Toyota Mirai the first hydrogen-powered car to pace a NASCAR race.

The governing body accepted the Mirai as a pace car after the mid-size sedan met NASCAR’s performance requirements for the 400-mile race. And for the first time in NASCAR history, a vehicle lapped an oval track using no gasoline and emitting nothing but water vapor. This is the second time Toyota brought alternative fuel technology to NASCAR, after the Camry Hybrid paced a full race back in May 2009.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2016 Toyota Mirai Pace Car.

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Toyota Mirai Gets Fueled by Haters Calling Bullsh*t

Toyota Mirai Gets Fueled by Haters Calling Bullsh*t

The world might not know it yet, but the Mirai is Toyota’s next big thing. It’s the hydrogen-powered car that takes the next step past the Prius. Despite all the advancements in the area of fuel cell technology, some analysts – Toyota says – are calling bullsh*t.

Interestingly enough, Toyota agrees with them – not that hydrogen cars are a bad idea, but that bullsh*t is a great source for creating hydrogen fuel. To demonstrate, Toyota is producing a video series called “Fueled by Everything,” in which the automaker explains the process of creating hydrogen while showing off its latest product.

Without spoiling the video’s plot or diving into science that’s way beyond my degree in journalism, manure can be turned into hydrogen using a digester that breaks down the cow pies, releasing biogas in the process. The gas is then collected and purified before being sent to a steam-methane reformer. From that reforming process comes pure hydrogen, which can then be used for fuel.

From that point, the news is all about the Mirai and how it produces power from hydrogen. For that run-down, check out our full 2016 Mirai review. The Readers’ Digest version is this: the hydrogen combines with oxygen inside the fuel cell and produces DC electrical current. It’s that electrical energy that’s used to power the Mirai’s electric motors.

So yes, Toyota can in fact, power the Mirai on bullsh*t.

Continue reading to learn more about Toyota’s latest "Fueled by Everything" Series.

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