After the second-quarter figures from Ballard Power Systems came in at the end of June, there were several good news that underline which huge potential the Canadian fuel cell manufacturer can tap in China and Japan. The share price jumped more than 60 percent. The most recent business Ballard won over as a partner was Chinese Broad-Ocean. The corporation boasts an annual production of more than 50 million motors worldwide and supplies several top-notch carmakers
During my research for the article on the second generation of Honda‘s fuel cell vehicle, the Clarity Fuel Cell (see Honda Hands Over Keys for First Clarity Fuel Cell), I suddenly remembered days long past. More specifically, I recalled news pieces that I had written or read many years ago. I did a bit of a search and found the following lines, which I would like to share with you:
“One must recognize the distinct accomplishment of the second-biggest Japanese carmaker, Honda, which – like archrival Toyota – succeeded before all automotive manufacturers in the Western world to supply customers with fuel cell cars.
Life’s hard on Honda: The Japanese carmaker has always been overshadowed by its biggest rival Toyota. Whereas Toyota is expanding its lead thanks to VW‘s diesel emissions scandal, Honda’s efforts to shine in the spotlight, at least by promoting forward-looking technologies, have been met with only a lukewarm press reception. The latest example of that was the corporation’s unveiling of its second generation of Clarity fuel cell cars in the fall of 2015. The presentation attracted much less attention than when Toyota showcased the first generation of its Mirai.
What furthered my interest in hydrogen was a presentation in 1989 by Joachim Gretz, the head of the EU’s Joint Research Center in Ispra, Italy, about the then running Quebec project. I had already been interested in the technology many years prior to that event: I can still remember clearly how the board chair of German Shell, Johannes Welbergen, told me during a conversation that H2 was the future for which we still had to wait
Japan’s federal R,D&D budget for the 2016 fiscal year, which starts April 1, 2016, is 37.1 billion yen (285 million Euro), according to a recent report from Technova, a Japanese advanced technology consultancy. The total includes continuing support for the successful Ene-Farm residential fuel cell program, which will support an estimated 50,000 residential installations this year.
Connectivity and digitalization – these were the main topics of the International Automobile Exhibition (IAA), which took place in Frankfurt a. M., Germany, from September 17 to 27, 2015. Both the media uplink to the entire globe and digital premium offers appeared much more important than clean engine technologies. The announcements did include much on electric cars
Seldom before was it evident just how big the gap between theory and practice can get than it was at the 66th International Motor Show (IAA). Indeed, in the run up to the IAA 2015, the show organizers, the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA) had said clearly and repeatedly that electric mobility would be a key topic again at this year’s event. In reality, things were very different, however: neither fuel cells nor battery powered vehicles proved to be a major topic at any of the auto manufacturers. Of those present, only Toyota made a clear focus on hybrid vehicles, presenting the new Mirai
Looking at the share prices for fuel cell companies that are being traded on the stock exchange right now, one could be forgiven for thinking that a crash had just taken place. It is as if the technical breakthroughs in the further development of the fuel cells had never taken place, and as though the production, storage and use of hydrogen had zero chance of achieving any success. Yet in fact, the opposite is the case. Right now we are at the start of a new mega trend, and in 2015,
For several months, speculation has been rife concerning the continuation of the National Innovation Program for Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology (NIP), or a possible NIP 2.0. To ensure that the ideas on the configuration of the revised program aren’t rejected before it has even got off the ground, it is worth taking a brief look back: what, exactly, were the contents and goals of the NIP 1.0?
Eight companies that won a public competition for funds to build hydrogen fueling stations in California are scrambling this summer to meet an October 31, 2015, target date for opening their stations, with at least $4.5 million at stake. The California Energy Commission (CEC) awarded $46.6 million in 2014 for 28 stations and a mobile refueler. A start-up, FirstElement Fuel, won financing for 19, but there were seven other winners. CEC funding will pay 85% of station costs, but only if stations come on line before November 1, 2015. The subsidy goes to 75% November 2015 through February 2016, and to 70% thereafter.