Toyota Expands BMW Partnership to Develop Hydrogen Fuel-Cells

Toyota is deepening its partnership with  BMW by agreeing to supply the German automaker with hybrid and hydrogen fuel cell technology. The companies first partnered in December of last year with BMW supplying Toyota with small diesel engines for the European market in exchange for Toyota’s lithium-ion hybrid systems and research. 

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Hydrogen Cars and Who is Making Them

Electric cars may have arrived, but the search for the perfect alternative fuel is still in progress. There are still a few major issues that keep battery powered vehicles from replacing the internal combustion engine.

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What is MPGe: Electric Car Fuel Economy Ratings Explained

Ford recently announced the EPA fuel efficiency rating for its electric Focus model. Since it doesn’t burn any gasoline, the number isn’t in miles per gallon (MPG), but was given as miles per gallon gasoline equivalent, or MPGe. A new term to the automotive lexicon, it’s worth exploring exactly what MPGe means and how an MPGe rating is determined, especially as the number of electric cars and plug-in electric hybrids on the roads continues to increase.

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Kia to Focus on Electric Cars, Hyundai to Develop Hybrids as Part of New Green Car Plan

Only until recently did Kia find its groove and really start to deliver a lineup of attractive cars. However, Hyundai‘s vision for Kia’s future has something different in store. Rumors have suggested that Hyundai-Kia Automotive group may be performing an unprecedented hedge to have Kia carry a solely electric vehicle green model range while Hyundai continues to develop plug-in hybrid and fuel cell cars.

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Mercedes-Benz F 125! a Look Ahead to the Year 2025: Frankfurt Auto Show 2011

Mercedes-Benz revealed its hydrogen-powered gullwing F 125! luxury car concept, offering a glimpse at what the company’s vehicles will look like in the year 2025.

The F 125! – named for Mercedes-Benz’s 125th anniversary – illustrates the company’s styling direction for the next decade and beyond while also highlighting Mercedes-Benz’s commitment to developing hydrogen-powered technology. Mercedes foresees a range of 1,000 km (621 miles) for the F 125! thanks to the combination of the car’s fuel cell drive system and plug-in technology. Helping to increase the range is a new hydrogen storage unit which integrates the hydrogen tank with the floor assembly. In addition to the hydrogen storage unit, the F 125! uses a 10 kWh lithium-sulfur battery stored behind the rear seats. The battery can provide enough power for a range of 50 km (31 miles).

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Hydrogen Fuel Cells Still Not Practical Says GM CEO Dan Akerson

GM’s CEO Dan Akerson believes that the hydrogen fuel cell vehicle won’t be feasible until at least 2020. Let’s hope GM calls the right prediction this time.

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Head Of Honda R&D Pessimistic About Electric Vehicles

Tomohiko Kawanabe, Honda‘s president of research & development, expressed doubts about consumer demand for electric vehicles. “We lack confidence,” Kawanabe said in an interview with Automotive News.“It’s questionable whether consumers will accept the annoyances of limited driving range and having to spend time charging them.”

Rival automakers like Nissan and General Motors are pushing ahead with their own EV programs. Nissan’s Leaf is expected to roll out on a limited basis at the end of 2010, while GM’s Chevrolet Volt has been a media darling, enjoying significant positive press. Honda, a company that has always mandated fuel efficiency as one of its prime directives, will continue to press on with this goal, while still exploring other options. “We are definitely conducting research on electric cars, but I can’t say I can wholeheartedly recommend them,” Kawanabe said.

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Report: BMW Developing Hybrid Hydrogen Technology for MINI, Future Front-Drive BMWs

BMW is developing a complex powertrain that blends fuel cell and hybrid technology, allowing a car be carbon neutral in urban traffic.

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Mercedes-Benz BlueZERO Concept Unveiled

Dr Thomas Weber, the man in charge of corporate research and development at Mercedes-Benz Cars says that, “From 2009, we will be producing the first Mercedes fuel-cell cars on a small scale. Small-scale production of Mercedes-Benz cars with battery-electric drive alone will then commence in 2010.” The extended-range hybrid-electric blueZero is expected after that.

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