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Toyota imports Mirai and refueller to sell hydrogen story to Australia

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Toyota has imported three Mirai hydrogen fuel-cell sedans to demonstrate the technology to Australian officialdom and motorists over the next few years.

The Mirai – which means future in Japanese – is already sold in Japan, the US and parts of Europe (Britain, Germany, Denmark and Belgium), but it will not be available in Australia until refueling infrastructure is built.

In the meantime, Toyota Australia’s engineers and partner suppliers have built a mobile refueller consisting of a generator and compressor in a purpose-built trailer hitched to a Hino prime mover truck. The trailer can also transport one of the Mirai sedans.

A senior executive adviser to the Toyota Australia board, Bernie O’Connor, says it is Australia’s first local high-pressure refueller that can completely fill a fuel-cell vehicle, and will enable the technology to be shown off in all states.

“Our local vision is that, as a first step, governments and businesses running back-to-base fleets will be able to arrange appropriate refuelling,” O’Connor said. “In parallel, we see great merit in the introduction of strategically placed refuellers in our larger cities.”

Toyota has pledged to work with government, industry and other stakeholders to fast track the development of refuelling infrastructure needed to support wider use of fuel cell vehicles.

This will involve Toyota working with one of its great rivals, Korea’s Hyundai, which also has a fuel cell vehicle in Australia and a refuelling station at its headquarters in Sydney.

Hyundai imported a hydrogen-powered car into Australia in 2015, an ix35 fuel cell vehicle. It will supply 20 next-generation fuel cell cars in 2018 to the ACT Government, as a part of a renewable transport fuels test berth in Canberra.

The ACT project will see the developers of the Hornsdale wind farm project, Neoen and Megawatt Capital, invest $55 million in partnership with Siemens and Hyundai to establish a 1.25MW hydrogen electrolyser, which converts electricity to hydrogen. The government argues that hydrogen energy storage from 100% renewable energy is an important complementary technology to its plans for solar energy storage.

One selling point for Toyota’s Mirai is a driving range of about 550 kilometres after filling the two onboard hydrogen tanks at a cost of about $A60, lessening the “range anxiety” which worries some drivers when it comes to electric vehicles.

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Hydrogen is delivered to the portable refueller in bottles, cooled to about minus 20 degrees celsius and pressurised to around 70 megapascals (700 bar).  In the car, the hydrogen is fed into a fuel cell stack where it is combined with oxygen from air-intakes, creating a chemical reaction that produces electricity.

The Mirai’s on-board tanks are filled with about 5 kilograms of hydrogen, a process that takes from three to five minutes at a commercial refuelling station. The only emission is water vapour.

Toyota says the cost of every mid-size hydrogen refueling station is between $A1.2 to $A2.3 million, which is why it is looking to build support for the technology. It’s also why Toyota is looking for the first commercial users of fuel cell vehicles to fleet users, which have vehicles that return to base after being driven.

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In contrast, Japan is expected to have at least 160 hydrogen refuelling stations by 2020, with California having more than 100 by the same time. Japan also offers a rebate of about $A23,000 for buying a Mirai and a buyer in California can get a $US5,000 rebate from the state plus a federal $US8,000 tax credit, while Australia has yet to offer worthwhile incentives for EVs and fuel cell vehicles.

In the past, Australian governments were reluctant to offer incentives for buying cleaner cars which would be competing against locally-made vehicles that tended to be large cars like the Holden Commodore and the Ford Falcon, whose makers received taxpayer support for local production (and job creation).

However, Ford ceased local car making last month, while Holden and Toyota will end local production by the end of next year, which removes at least one impediment (or excuse) to government incentives to encourage the purchase of clean vehicles.

While some energy and car industry types argue that electric vehicles are the way of the future, and fuel cells something of a cul-de-sac, the Mirai is a perfectly acceptable car to take for a drive. It has a low centre of gravity, with the hydrogen tanks sitting under the floor, which helps with the handling and avoids any hint of the “golf buggy” feel of old-style EVs.

Toyota says the Mirai has a top speed of 180kmh and the car accelerates well, producing about the same torque as a V6 engine. But it will be a while before many fuel cell vehicles hit the streets in Australia, and they probably won’t attract petrol-heads.

   

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  • DJR96

    Yeah, I just don’t see the long term viability here.
    The added complexity and potential dangers involved. Nevermind the inevitable inefficiencies of converting energy to different forms multiple times.
    Just skip it and concentrate R&D on battery EV’s.

    • Charles

      Exactly. The only people who want hydrogen are the ones who have a vested interest in selling it. We can produce our own electricity anywhere or use any power point in the country. Hydrogen? Too bad, if they haven’t built a $1m+ hydrogen refuelling station near where you want to go, your car is a paperweight.

  • Alex

    I’m sure some of the more willfully ignorant politicians infesting parliament will think this a great idea. They certainly seem to dislike BEVs.

    • Coley

      Hydrogen from plentiful coal seam gas! What’s not to like-;)
      No doubt Turnbull and his cronies have already been approached by “Hazer group”

  • Peter Campbell

    Sceptical too. Inefficient energy conversion and hydrogen is difficult stuff to handle. It leaks more readily than anything else, being the smallest molecule there is.
    Of course the car itself is probably a perfectly good car, seeing as it has an electric motor and, I would guess, even a small battery to smooth demand on the fuel cell.
    What about an EV with a modest sized battery, enough for 100km or so, then a fuel cell range extender that only tops up the battery, just like a current plug-in hybrid only not using petrol? That lets you charge at home and do nearly all driving on more efficient electricity used directly. Only for the less common trip out of town would you use hydrogen on-board to keep the battery topped up. Frankly, once it is common to have several 100km range and fast chargers available every 100km or so, I can’t see much use for H2. Once you have driven most of your 2-300km range, you should stop for a coffee or lunch break while getting a fast charge.

  • Robin_Harrison

    Given that over 95% of the hydrogen we use is sourced from fossil fuels, Toyota are spending a lot of money defending that industry. The only reason there are any anywhere is due to massive subsidies from govts owned by them.
    What’s the betting our fossil fools give subsidies to this technology even though subsidies for EVs remain unlikely.

    • MickyJ

      Done right hydrogen will be cheaper than petrol and without the emissions, surely a win win for consumers

      • Charles

        Battery electric is already cheaper than petrol (at least a third of the cost, even less if you have cheap off-peak or solar) and without the emissions. Create hydrogen uses electricity – about four times the amount than what a standard electric car would use. It’s incredibly wasteful.

        • MickyJ

          Hydrogen can be produced for about 1/3 of the petrol cost also and with a 5 minute fill and range of 550km there are clear benefits when compared to electric.

          • Charles

            The cost of the electricity alone would be the same as petrol. That doesn’t account for the fact that the existing petrol infrastructure (generation, transport, customer delivery) would need to be 100% replicated for hydrogen at a cost of billions.

            The “5 minute fill” is the only advantage, and that is barely an advantage. It takes me 10 seconds to connect my EV at night, and after that it could take 5 minutes or 5 hours and I wouldn’t notice. Charging takes place at the time when the car is normally stopped and can be done using the existing ubiquitous electricity grid. I never have to go to a filling station at all.
            95% of usage is already covered by standard household charging. The faster chargers are only needed for the 5% of the time that people travel long distances, and the fastest ones available (135kW Tesla superchargers) are fast enough to align with typical long distance driving habits – and of course they are getting faster each year, the latest Chademo standard is 150kW.
            The highest end electric vehicles already have a range of 500km. Yes, these are Teslas and they are expensive – but so is the Mirai, and fuelling the Mirai isn’t any cheaper than petrol.

            The above is only for the benefit of anyone else reading this thread – warning fellow readers, watch out for the snake-oil salesmen!

          • MickyJ

            As per other reply, the energy you are putting into your ev is likely produced from burning coal and will be costing between 15-25c/kWh, this is roughly 2.5-4 times more than hydrogen for the same energy.

            Both technologies are improvements of the status quo but electric cars are at present not the cheapest nor greenest way of getting around.

          • nakedChimp

            How likely?
            Tasmania?
            South Australia?
            A farm in the bush with just PV and a lil’ windturbine as power source?

          • Robin_Harrison

            Running EVs from burning coal?
            Have you noticed the massive rise in solar panel use along with the rise in EV use? Since both technologies appeal to the same customers, how much of a cross over do you think there is? In addition, an EV running on the dirtiest coal power is cleaner than an ICE. Maybe not by a lot but I’m willing to bet most EV owners either charge off their roof or soon will.
            I don’t know if you are aware of this but your arguments come straight from the fossil duel industry who produce over 95% of the hydrogen we use. They have been identified as nonsense for some time now.

          • MickyJ

            Firstly do you realise that a hydrogen vehicle is an Electric vehicle ? The hydrogen is not burnt, merely stored then converted through a fuel cell. So basically think of the hydrogen tank as the battery. It stores energy and converts to electricity on demand.

            I agree both battery electric and hydrogen electric are vastly superior efficiency wise to ICE, 10-15 years and ICE will be a thing of the past. To openly discuss what takes its place we need to understand generation costs and as I have outlined in another post the rooftop solar angle is getting better all the time but without government subsidies would not get the same rate of adoption. At the end of the day the Australian energy commission states that the full cycle costs of rooftop solar is around 15c/kWh. It’s good and it’s getting better but it’s still expensive when compared to 1kg of hydrogen for $1 that contains 33.3 kWh. Take a look for example at Japan where they are roll Ng out in house reformers to produce hydrogen to power their homes from a fuel cell.

          • Robin_Harrison

            Of course an HFC vehicle is an EV. What we are discussing is the energy source.
            $1 per kg is a lot cheaper than I thought and 33.3kWh doesn’t account for the huge amount of energy needed to produce it, particularly since over 95% of the hydrogen we use comes from fossil fuels.
            Whilst we can certainly produce hydrogen from solar or wind power it’s an incredibly inefficient process to use electricity to produce hydrogen, at a loss, to then produce electricity, at a loss, even at 15c/kWh. And all of this before we get on to storage and distribution.

            I realise their claims of the only emissions being water is true and attractive to those of us who are environmentally concerned, but they do seem to be ignoring the emissions production from fossil fuels creates and the emissions from the power needed to run their refinery not to mention storage and distribution.

            HFC technology is nowhere near competitive with the rather more simple, generate the power, store it then use it and, given the rate of power storage improvement and cost reduction, it never will. If, like us, your solar system has well and truly paid for itself, and that’s going to be increasingly the case, this tech isn’t in the hunt.

            HFC vehicles are so massively inefficient the only conclusion I can come to is, this is a last ditch effort by the fossil fuel industry to remain relevant for transport. I doubt it will help them.

          • MickyJ

            $1 per kg is a lot cheaper than basically everyone thinks as this is a breakthrough technology, the energy needed to produce hydrogen in the Hazer process comes from a portion of the hydrogen produced and the $1/kg accounts for that already, the company have actually indicated that they may be able to improve even on that $1 figure

            Agreed that producing clean power to produce hydrogen to produce power is inefficient and unlikely to gain traction, this was a point famously made by Elon Musk and remains the case. The only possible application for this is to use excess electricity production that would otherwise be lost to produce hydrogen for use at a later stage.

            As for storage and distribution yes it does add a cost but in theory the distribution is unnecessary as we already have distributed natural gas which would be converted at the point of use (filling station) with storage minimized to facilitate peak usage.

            The Hazer process is powered by the clean hydrogen produced therefore the only emissions generated would be water. The upstream gas producers will still consume some energy of course but there is perhaps also grounds to generate their energy from the same process as an industrial fuel cell is capable of producing up to 90% efficiency. Truth be told the bulk of current and future BEV owners charge their vehicles overnight anyways so they are in fact charging from the grid, the grid is getting better but still consists of over 70% fossil fuel generated electricity. The entire fossil fueled portion of grid could actually be more efficient and produce lower emissions if it were to generate from FC’s running on hydrogen at 90% efficiency as opposed to the burning of the same fossil fuels which gives power generators a maximum efficiency of around 65%.

            FCEV’s that can operate on hydrogen that is produced from methane without emissions is 100% competitive with BEV’s, in fact the economics are vastly superior, on the technology curve Toyota are very much at the same place they started with the BEV, in its infancy they must educate the public about the true economic potential

            In summary the technology which prevented the economics of hydrogen powered EV’s stacking up has been superseded and in the next few years there will be a choice given to motorists and energy users in general.

            12c/kWh to fill the tank with hydrogen or 25c/kWh to fill the battery with electricity, you decide?

          • Robin_Harrison

            Your very broad accusation of people with solar power enjoying subsidised power is a bit of an exaggeration, perhaps for effect. Yes there are subsidies but, as I said, very little compared to many other 1st world countries and our FITs are a disgrace, pure robbery. There are zero subsidies for EVs.
            The subsidies for solar weren’t huge and they are way less needed now. As I pointed out, we have one of the largest uptakes of solar+storage around.
            BTW Natural gas’ is a fossil fuel and as for the economics, the power off my roof is FREE. Once the infrastructure is in place, as it is here, you have power and transport for FREE. 25c/kwh is a worst case scenario EV drivers rarely encounter.
            Nothing the fossil fuel industry can do comes close to that and it’s the fossil fuel industry that benefits from HFC tech.
            12c/kWh to fill the tank with hydrogen is, by far, the best case scenario and leaves another question.
            WHERE?

          • MickyJ

            The power from rooftop solar plus storage is not free, there is an upfront investment that must be made and a limited lifetime for the asset, the Australian energy commission website shows that the levelised cost of rooftop solar is currently about 15c/kWh, now keep in mind this is without storage. Storage increases the cost near two fold due to the efficiency loss of conversion and the added upfront investment required.

            12/kWh for hydrogen is actually not the best case scenario, 1kg of hydrogen that is produced for $1 actually represents 3c/kWh

            WHERE is the piece of the puzzle that requires solving but with clearly superior economics available I think that the likes of Toyota will replicate the past and use a “build it and they will” come approach

          • Robin_Harrison

            Once past payback it’s free as it is here. When it comes to the system’s limited lifetime. As someone with, it would seem, rather more experience of this technology than you, I’m not exactly shaking with fear. It will probably outlive me.
            I wonder if you realise that the ‘limited lifetime’ comment is a misrepresentation the fossil fuel industry push?
            The economics are simple. The costs of RE and BEVs are reducing and the technology is improving exponentially. We are rapidly becoming more able to have power and transport for free. Granted it’s not free till payback but that’s getting shorter very quickly too.
            By comparison the economics of hydrogen are rubbish. Can’t do free, dependant on huge subsidies and no serious effort at a distribution network, if they expect to be remotely competitive with BEVs they need to get a move on.
            The current rate of battery technology improvement and cost reduction predicts BEV cost and convenience parity with ICEVs by 2025. Given the massive difference in maintenance and running costs, none but the most devoted petrol head will want an ICEV.
            Not remotely likely HFCVs can compete with that.

          • MickyJ

            Modern solar panels can last 40 years so yes they are a long term investment and I’m not saying that I think they are a poor investment at all but all the same they have a cost that needs to be attributed across the life of the asset, that cost increases and the life cycle decreases if you add storage. The technology is improving at a pretty good rate yes, not sure if you follow Tony Seba but he has some great presentations on it.

            So while I agree that RE is great and is a large improvement on ICEV, I disagree that hydrogen has no place as the breakthrough in generation costs firmly cements it as a contender. Granted the infrastructure needs to be built which is what is currently happening across the world. If the Hazer process is commercialized then the cost of producing clean hydrogen drops considerably putting it on the podium as the cheapest transportation energy. This in effect will drive adoption and the infrastructure build required.

            The other thing worth considering from an environmental perspective is that any technology which gets people away from ICE is complimentary to the overall objective of anyone truly focused on preservation of our environment. The best solution may actually be in the form of a BEV FCEV hybrid that is able to take advantage of the best bits of each technology.

            Imagine for instance that you have your solar roof panels and when you are home during the day and producing excess electricity that you are able to charge your car but then when you have not had the opportunity to charge on cheap electricity you have the option to run on clean hydrogen at a lower cost than filling up from the dirty grid, perhaps even connecting your FCV into your home electrical network so that your entire home need not take energy from the grid overnight?

          • Robin_Harrison

            So the ‘limited lifetime’ is not so limited. I have a personal knowledge of solar panels that are doing quite well and are over 40yrs old. Granted they now share roofs with newer additions but, with payback times getting shorter and shorter, your solar+storage will pay for itself several times over its lifetime. Ours has.
            Hydrogen distribution is limited to California and Japan, now that’s what I call limited. ‘Currently happening across the world’ applies to EV chargers, certainly not hydrogen distribution.
            I’m not suggesting hydrogen will have no role in our future energy mix but, if Tony Seba’s data and observations are anything to go by, it won’t be in cars unless they seriously pull their finger out. HFCVs are not showing any sign of being remotely competitive.
            I am not focused on preservation of our environment. It’s currently in deep shit so improvement of our environment is the vital need. Whilst I welcome anything that contributes to this I am mightily suspicious our current HFC tech is being pushed by by the fossil fuel industry in an attempt to remain relevant.
            Why do I think that? Over 95% of the hydrogen we use comes from fossil fuels, but the big giveaway is the proponents being repeatedly dishonest about the competition. Your ‘limited lifetime’ and ’12c vs 25c’ comments fall into that category, along with ‘clean hydrogen vs dirty grid’. These are straight from the FF industry.
            As I pointed out and you chose to ignore, the people most likely to have solar are EV owners and vice versa. Feel free to check the data but it actually comes under the heading of ‘the bleeding obvious’. If our fossil fools in Canberra shoot themselves in the foot again and give subsidies to this tech where none exist for EVs, I will not be surprised.
            If you are serious about your environmental concerns you might like to examine where your information is coming from.

          • MickyJ

            My information is verifiable. Hydrogen at $1/kg = 120MJ/kg = 33.3kWh = 3c/kWh. That is a fact. 12c/kWh to get that energy to the wheels of a car is my assumption which allows for quite a lot of additional cost on the way.

            Hydrogen distribution is certainly not limited to Cali and Japan, a quick google search can fill this knowledge gap, there are hundreds in operation across the world with this expected to move into the thousands over the next few years

            Not questioning your honesty but it appears that if you have solar panels that have lasted 40 years then you are ahead of the odds. Even those selling panels quote 25% lower lifetimes which is yes ‘limited’

            “A solar panel typically lasts approximately 30 years. During that time, most systems require little to no maintenance beyond removing leaves or snow and hosing off debris. In general, the life of solar panels depends on the quality of the solar panel technology used, including the photovoltaics (PV), and the quality of the overall installation.
            Annually, solar panels lose close to half a percent in overall performance. After 25 years of operation, high-quality solar panels will still be operating at almost 90 percent efficiency. The modules we install on homes and businesses are efficient, lightweight and aesthetically pleasing. More importantly, they’re cost effective and extremely efficient. With wiring, mounted panels are flushed to the roof.”

            Batteries have a more limited life-span with Tesla’s Powerwall coming with a 10 year warranty (fact), having experience with battery systems I would think that they are likely to last a little longer than this however the capacity will over time diminish and it is unlikely that they would last beyond 15 years.

            So to provide an unbiased view a solar panel needs to be calculated over a 30 year period and a battery pack over 15 years, assume zero maintenance if you like

            “Prices used are $0.2377 per kWh, and $0.7596 a day surcharge for peak. Off Peak numbers are $0.0674 a kWh and $0.0517 a day supply charge. Solar feed in tariff is $0.051 per kWh.

            We have used an average daily production of 3.9 kWh per 1kW of solar, for a Sydney location, based on figures from Solar Choice.
            The 4kWp Three Phase $13,990 The 4kWp Single Phase $15,390

            The 6kWp Three Phase $15,990 The 6kWp Single Phase $17,290.

            The 4kW system will produce 15.6 kWh a day, about which 7.5 kWh is used to charge powerwall. The remainder is fed back to the grid, earning $0.4131 per day.

            The Powerwall can offset around 6.5 kWh of power usage, saving $1.54505 a day.

            The total saved and earned is $1.95815 a day, or $714.73 a year. Payback is 22.9 years.

            The 6kW system saves the same power each day, but earns $0.8109 a day from the feed in tariff. The 6kW system saves $2.35595 a day, or $859.92 a year. Payback is 21.3 years.

            4kW Payback: ~ 23 years. 6kW Payback: ~ 21 Years”

            These are calculations based again on fact that show that the payback period for solar plus battery storage is less than the expected battery pack life and this is with government rebates applied.

            Fact is that at $1/kg hydrogen is superior to the current state of play for solar plus battery set ups, like anything new there are hurdles to cross, the main one being that consumers do not yet have access to that cheap clean energy but the technology is coming within the next few years.

            The other thing that you might find interesting is the fact that the Hazer Group process can be modified to create a range of carbon morphologies, carbon nanotubes to reinforce concrete(concrete consumption which is one of the worlds top GHG sources can be halved with CNT reinforcemet), graphite to make battery anodes, graphene to make more efficient solar cells and super-capacitors, biochar for soil amendment and improved crop/forest yield. Actually biochar can even be included in the diets of livestock to reduce their GHG emissions by as much as 30%.

            Get where I’m going here? The environmental impact of this process goes a long way beyond simply displacing the use of hydrocarbons in a environmentally damaging way, it actually has the potential to begin the much needed repair process. it is a difficult concept for many to grasp but the fact is that hydrocarbons used in the ways afforded by modern technology do not need to produce any GHG emission and can in fact begin to undo the damage done.

            If the government does not go in guns blazing to adopt this technology then they have rocks in their heads.

          • Robin_Harrison

            **Not questioning your honesty but it appears that if you have solar panels that have lasted 40 years then you are ahead of the odds. Even those selling panels quote 25% lower lifetimes which is yes ‘limited’**

            Any seller quoting 25-30 year lifetimes for PVs, which most are, is going to be pretty confident about that and, by definition, they will last much longer. They would be mad not to leave themselves wriggle room. The same applies to Tesla’s powerwall 10 year warranty guaranteeing much more. In any case 90% efficiency, indeed 80 or 70%, is much less of a problem for PVs. Adding another panel is simple, inexpensive and they are getting cheaper. From personal experience 40yrs is, so far, a doddle and they won’t be thrown out yet.

            Even so you are right, that’s still ‘limited’. However your initial use of that term implied a considerably more restrictive limitation to the point of economic impossibility and you are repeating that here. So I am definitely questioning your honesty. Particularly since your assertion of payback time for solar+storage being longer than battery lifetime is complete bollocks. Even down to 70% battery efficiency is no big deal. Adding units is not that expensive any more and they are getting cheaper.

            Your hydrogen prices are identifiable alright, as complete fiction. For them to be relevant you need a distribution system a little larger than a SMALL PART of California, a little more in Japan and an occasional one elsewhere. When you get your Mirai here in Oz, at a considerably discounted price, you may have to wait for the one on a truck to visit. Your claim of hundreds of H2 supply points globally, if true, are a bit pathetic compared to the already thousands of EV charge points, growing rapidly and exponentially.

            I certainly get where you are going here. The wondrous possibilities of the fossil fuel industry becoming environmentally beneficial. (Yeah!) Most of these claims, like clean coal which your informants are also pushing, are simply possibilities with perhaps a little experimental proof of concept. Plenty in the way of subsidies for these adventures but little sign of rollout.

            Now we’ve dealt with the fantasy let’s get on to the actual subject under discussion. The probability, or not, of hydrogen being part of our transport future, as distinct from our energy future where hydrogen may play a part.

            For HFCVs to survive they will have to be competitive with BEVs. Whilst there is copious evidence of market and technology trends leading to BEVs reaching parity with ICEVs by 2025, and therefore replacing ICEVs, the tiny number of heavily discounted HFCV units sold so far show no such pattern. Judging by their sales, even at below cost, there is very little demand.

            If the Australian government, which doesn’t support EVs, goes in guns blazing to adopt this technology it wouldn’t surprise me. But it will clearly identify them as the puppets of the FF industry we know them to be.

          • Robin_Harrison

            Here are some more facts you are welcome to ignore.

            While the fixed costs of the harvesting technologies to generate green electricity are decreasing exponentially, the marginal cost of producing renewable energy is near zero. The sun and the wind are free and only need to be captured and stored.

            At a recent shareholder meeting, Elon Musk said Tesla’s new solar shingles will cost less than a “normal roof” and the energy would essentially be free. Does this mark the dawn of mass market zero marginal cost mobility? Popular Mechanics recently ran the experiment, powering three electric vehicles with a conventional rooftop PV system. They concluded that buying a rooftop PV system to power your electric vehicle is comparable to prepaying three years worth of gasoline, based on $4/gallon, and never having to pay for it again.

            We think the payback time for a retrofitted rooftop PV system can be even shorter! Based on average annual motoring of 15,000 km/year, a small 1.5 kW PV array (PM used 7.5 kw) could power a typical EV like a Nissan Leaf (114 Wh/km quoted energy consumption) on it’s daily commute for 25+ years at an average cost of < $0.004/km. Let me repeat that, $0.004/km.

            Eliminating the $240/month a typical household spends on vehicle fuel, (in the USA where gas is cheaper) a modest rooftop PV system would pay for itself in just 6 months. Ticking the box to have Tesla tiles fitted to your new house eliminates the payback stage altogether. It is effectively a rooftop perpetual fuel pump where the per kilometre cost is zero from day 1.

            Combine Tesla's solar shingles and EV powertrain which, irrespective of their "infinite Mile" 8 year warranty, is expected to last well in-excess of a million miles, (true for all EVs) with the ever growing installed base of rooftop PV systems (25% of households in some Australian states) and we could soon see zero marginal cost mobility becoming reality at internet speed, hammering another couple dozen nails in the coffin of ICE cars.

            With the pump price of hydrogen never expected to be less than the pump price of petrol (surprise, surprise) HFCVs will never be competitive.

          • MickyJ

            Elon and his cult following are living in the past, technology to produce clean hydrogen is on the cusp of commercial applications and the simple fact of it is the economics and practical application outweigh solar.

            Let’s revisit in a year…..

          • Robin_Harrison

            Sure, but it won’t be in Mirai. You and your FF industry mates are truly living in the past.
            You know your argument is in trouble when you constantly ignore uncomfortable facts and need dishonesty to defend it.

          • MickyJ

            Likewise, yet to see an economic case from yourself, math is easy, numbers are absolute.

            When your done if still not convinced then perhaps write of to the worlds physicists and educational institutions and let them know that they have it wrong. Some of them may have more time to bang their heads against a dumb brick wall than I do.

            You have no interest in learning, simply defending an indefensible position like many before. The world and technology are changing.

            Keep up or be left behind gramps

          • Robin_Harrison

            There you go again, conveniently ignoring uncomfortable facts. Like, for instance, the economic reality of the exponential growth of BEV adoption, accompanied by absolute, real world, reasoning and facts. Pointed out several times and completely ignored by you, you dishonest little man.

            Let’s compare that with the minuscule growth of HFCVs. 700 Mirais so far and difficulty moving them even at well below cost prices. Even Toyota are facing the absolute numbers of economic reality and moving towards BEVs.
            Do feel free to give us more examples of your dishonesty and willing blindness. Your mates in the FF industry must be so proud of you.

          • MickyJ

            What you completely fail to understand is that an asset needs to be calculated over its lifetime. Love to see your workings to show how your solar set up is performing?

            Just remember to factor in the capital commitment while you are there. Also when you consider the payback (against today’s grid?) period use 3c/kWh which is the price of hydrogen energy.

            There are fundamental flaws in most of your logic. Furthermore it’s not the FF pushing hydrogen, it’s the educated forward thinkers.

            Don’t get me wrong, solar has a growing place in today’s market especially with the increase in cell efficiency however it’s not an absolute fix, highlighted further by the cost and inefficiency when coupled with batteries.

          • Robin_Harrison

            Your dishonesty is getting boring along with your ignoring of any facts presented. Run along now and play with your fossil fool mates, there’s a good boy.
            Cya.

          • MickyJ

            I’m awaiting your mathematical representation of how your panels and battery beat 3c/kWh. I imagine that this is beyond you therefore if you can give me a few figures I’ll happily calculate for you while you lick windows and speculate on jet streams.

            All I need is

            Solar installation size, cost and expected lifetime

            Battery installation size, cost and expected lifetime

            Inverter cost and lifetime.

            Energy usage

            If you want you can give me the subsidies or we can just assume that what you pay is real world but obviously that will sway the calculations in favour of solar therefore will provide a less than true reflection.

            This information will provide a full levelised cost which gives you a figure over the lifecycle of the asset. It will be more than 3c/kWh though so best be ready to accept some hard facts….

          • Robin_Harrison

            BTW Australia with very little subsidy from a fossil fuel owned govt and a lot of opposition, has one of the largest uptakes of solar and, due to the fossil fuel dominated grids resistance, battery storage.
            Once again, what’s the betting our fossil fools in Canberra give subsidies to HFC technology even though subsidies for EVs remain unlikely. They are definitely stupid enough to do that and, when they do, we will know precisely who is pushing hydrogen.

          • MickyJ

            This is not strictly correct, basically every roof top solar set up in Australia has been govt subsidized therefore anyone charging a BEV at home does so using subsidized electricity. Fossil fueled ICE engines emit high levels of GHG’s and only convert around 20% of the contained energy to motive force so the end petrol diesel engines is coming, a point which we can agree on. A question though is what harm is there in using fossil fuels if it can be done in a way that produces zero emissions?

            The technology to do so has been developed and not by an oil company but rather by one of our esteemed universities (YouTube Hazer group), whats better is that the hydrocarbons need not come from mining. Sewerage and household waste all produce methane as a product of decomposition, this methane can and is being harnessed to produce hydrogen around the world with Toyota being one of the leaders in adopting this approach which is in fact carbon negative

          • Coley

            Not in the UK it wouldn’t be, I source my leccie from a green supplier
            ( Ecotricity) so once I move to an EV, my transport will be carbon neutral, and a damn sight less expensive.

  • Rod

    $60 worth of Hydrogen to travel 550 kms doesn’t sound like value to me.
    Many small ICE vehicles would do that at current petrol costs.
    Wouldn’t have the minimal maintenance costs of EVs either.

  • MickyJ

    Solar/wind powered electrolysis is inefficient and costs somewhere around $6 for every kg of hydrogen produced. The most common production method today is steam methane reforming of fossil fuels which separates the hydrogen and carbon atoms of the gas molecule, this method costs around $2.50/kg but has the downfall of producing several tonnes of carbon dioxide for every tonne of H2.
    An Australian start-up company Hazer Group (Hydrogen And Zero Emission Research) have invented a novel process which utilizes iron ore as a catalyst to crack methane particles into hydrogen and then ingeniously converts the carbon component into graphite carbon which is the high value stuff used to produce fuel cell plates and battery electrodes as well as a range of other things. Because the carbon is captured the emission of greenhouse gases are avoided. Due to the fact that they can produce value from every atom in the hydrocarbon the company are going to be able to produce Hydrogen at around $1/kg enabling the transition to carbon neutral transportation industry.
    See the companies website (Hazer group) for a video further explaining the technology

    • Charles

      Oh look, a hydrogen supporter, and they’re spruiking a particular business. See my other comment – the only people supporting hydrogen are those trying to sell it to us.
      Hydrogen for cars is a wasteful and inefficient process. It *could* be useful for things like trucks, trains, ships and ferries – but consumer passenger vehicles will always be better as standard battery electric.

      • MickyJ

        The people supporting hydrogen adoption generally have a higher understanding of the complete carbon chain as well as the benefit afforded by superior range and fast filling. Economics will prevail in the end.

        Have a look for instance at what the Californian government are doing to speed up the roll out of the hydrogen economy, 100 filling stations are to be in service within a year

        • Charles

          Anyone with an understanding of the complete carbon chain can workout solar panel on their roof –> car. That’s it. Hydrogen requires generation (which uses electricity – 3-4 times as much as an equivalent battery electric would use), delivery (pipelines or tanker trucks) and enough filling stations to cover 100% of usage at a cost of $1m+ each (compare to electric fast chargers – only need to cover 5% of usage at a cost of $50k per outlet). How can you suggest that hydrogen is more efficient and keep a straight face?

          • MickyJ

            LCOE of rooftop solar is appropriately 15c/kWh, upfront costs for a system including installation is $1.42/w. Approximately 15% losses occur when transferring AC current from your home to your DC car. A Tesla for example will do about 7 km per kWh so a single vehicle family that travel up to 100km per day will need a 16.4 kWh solar system installed which will cost around $23k, then you just have the issue of getting the electricity from the panels to the car battery so you’re going to need a large home battery as well with further AC to DC losses so it can be stored during the day. A 20 kWh storage system installed will be another $20k. Then of course there is the actual home charging station which is only about 1k. So far we’re at $44k per person that thinks roof –> car.

            Or you can just fill up from the dirty grid for 25c/kWh or a $50k public charging station for 30-40c/kWh which will take you a few hours. 

            Now considering that the million dollar hydrogen station can produce about 200kg per day that’s about 40 complete fills, assuming the same 100km travel per day and 500km range then that million dollar piece of infrastructure can provide 200 users with their car energy needs. 

            Those same 200 people who invested in   roof–>car would have spent 8.8 million to provide their energy needs plus still need further infrastructure to allow distance travel. 

            Hydrogen electrolysis is inefficient and your right does use more energy than produced, hence I’m not here discussing the benefits of electrolysis.

            Hydrogens barriers to adoption have always been cost and the fact that previously the environmental benefits of running hydrogen vehicles with zero emissions was offset by the production methods.

            Hydrogen made using the Hazer group process which can be done for $1/kg is a game changer. Each kg of hydrogen holds 120MJ of energy or 33.3 kWh. When run through a vehicle fuel cell (stationary is up to 90%) the efficiency is about 50 percent therefore 16.6 kWh is what actually makes it to the vehicle. At $1 to get 16.6 kWh of energy to the wheels a car the energy cost is 6c/kWh 

            This is how I can suggest that hydrogen is more efficient and keep a straight face. Just because you lack understanding doesn’t make it snake oil…

          • Charles

            The fact you need to over inflate the costs in your first paragraph says it all.
            Firstly, people have solar anyway. To suggest they need to do all that to have an EV is ridiculous. Some will, some won’t. For some people getting solar makes them think about an EV, for some they get an EV and then think about solar.
            But the important thing is that hydrogen doesn’t offer the option of energy independence. At the end of the day everyone will be reliant on a hydrogen company to manufacture, ship and supply their fuel, and have to pay whatever they want for it. Just like with oil now. No doubt the oil companies would like people to go in this direction because it allows them to shift in to this area and continue to rip people off.
            For the record, I don’t have a battery, have solar which generates more than my house (+EV) uses, have a 1:1 feed in tariff, and I’m luckier than most in that the grid here in Tasmania is clean hydro & wind. All for less than a quarter of the number in your first paragraph, and no different to what we had before the EV.

          • MickyJ

            I note that your reply is free of any verifiable numbers, mine are all easily verified from a quick google search.

            So your telling me that in Tasmania your levelised electricity costs you 1/4 of 15c while the energy council of Australia tell me 15c…. I choose to believe the energy council so happily call BS on your statement.

            It was in fact your suggestion that roof to car was the way but now you wiggle back when confronted with actual numbers. A common position from anti vaxxer tree huggers. You actually have very little idea of energy balance or true cost but yes screw the man and the actual numbers because you are independent right? But only when the suns shining as you opted out of battery storage…

            Not surprisingly you are taking a hand out from the govt in the form of feed in tariff, while this affects single user economics right now it is hardly relevant as it sets up a false economy while driving adoption. I

            Maintain that the infrastructure required to adopt hydrogen comes at a cost lower than that required to adopt clean electricity.

            As someone who used to run large generation facilities I can tell you Tasmania when dry has one of the highest peak electricity prices in the country so I assume that you will be charging your car from your solar system between 10am and 2pm when everyone else is at work rather than plugging it in overnight?

          • Charles

            Looks like I touched a nerve. Don’t take the fact that hydrogen cars are unworkable personally.

          • MickyJ

            Incredible, so after being proven wrong on basically every argument you have thrown up, you throw up another unsubstantiated ignorant comment.

            Happy to have a fact based discussion about if that’s not going to overstretch your limited vision. Interested to see your calculations to show your claims of BEV’s being superior to FCEV’s. Quick hint, the facts will not support your agreement…

          • nakedChimp

            You lose 5-10% from AC to DC, not 15%.
            And once they figure out to use the DC straight for charging batteries (from PV) you don’t even have those losses.. and that’s not nebulous stuff – I was shown gear that does that. Just not available yet for Joe Average – esp in Oz.

          • MickyJ

            The 15% came from reading a few comments users have made. Generally the smart digital charge stations provide the energy in figure so it’s easy to calculate based on battery % before and after. Tesla themselves expect 8% losses under optimal conditions. Losses will always exist however minimising then is definitely worthwhile when you consider that you could essentially get more usable energy from the same generation equipment

        • Coley

          “Higher understanding” got the Trumpet into the White House.
          “Higher understanding” in the energy field is those who deny the workable, road ready, transmission ready workable developments at hand in favour of hydrogen/ cold fusion and other pies in the sky.

          • MickyJ

            Look at it this way, if you were to turn up

            at a refuelling station that had been paid for by someone else and you had two zero emission fuel options. One is electricity for 25c/kWh and the other is hydrogen for 12c/kWh. Which one would the average motorists pick?

          • nakedChimp

            Does your 12c/kWh refer to electrolysis sourced H2 or FF sourced one?
            If the latter does it include a potential CO2 tax or not?

            Also, it doesn’t matter.
            BEVs are here now and are being sold in thousands and have a 200mile range next year. You charge them up at home or work. Can’t get more convenient.

            FCEVs are were?
            You might like the tech and the prospect. Cool for you. Just wait it out then, if it’s superior it will flourish, if not, who cares?

            Myself I liked SED screen technology.
            Industry found cheaper ways to make nice pictures.. and by now I don’t even care anymore. 😉

          • MickyJ

            As per my entry to this thread my figures are based on the production method invented by the Western Australia University and spun out as Hazer group (Hydrogen And Zero Emission Researh). Biomethane or FF is the feed however unlike every other FF method there are no GHG emissions as the carbon atoms are catalytically converted to graphite (such as the graphite your battery anode is made from). The process is designed to run direct from fossil fuels or to use biofuel emissions from landfill gas etc which in fact make the entire well to wheels process carbon negative. Toyota in Fukuoka recently had some press when they announced that the were looking at poo power where the reaction products of breaking down human waste could be used to produce carbon negative hydrogen.

            Electrolysis costs anywhere between $6-10/kg (18-33c/kWh) of hydrogen produced meaning like you and others have alluded to that hydrogen made this way cannot complete with electricity. Hydrogen made via the Hazer process however will be produced for around $1/kg (3c/kWh) so the 12c figure is already factoring in the requirement to payback capital and produce profit.

    • Coley

      Whey aye, and this remarkable process has been highlighted where exactly? If it had even a smidgin of scientific respectability/credence, then one of the contributors on here would have posted an article.

      • MickyJ

        Give it some time, the first upscale application won’t be in effect until next year

  • onesecond

    The Mirai is the future and always will be. BEVs are selling in the hundred thousands already.

  • Coley

    Ships and aviation, where dedicated major refuelling depots are a prerequisite? Fine, hydrogen could have a future there.
    Anybody ( me included) who has gone down the LPG road in their quest to reduce their environmental footprint will know what a total Faff filling up with liquefied gas is!
    For individual personal transportation it’s an absolute non starter.

  • trackdaze

    Hey toyota give the technology to your truck business where it makes sense and get cracking on plug in electrics.

  • DevMac

    “While some energy and car industry types argue that electric vehicles are the way of the future, and fuel cells something of a cul-de-sac, the Mirai is a perfectly acceptable car to take for a drive.”

    My current car is a perfectly acceptable car to take for a drive too. It’s not much of an advertisement to buy though is it? Hydrogen seems to be a better fuel for the environment than petrol, but aren’t EV’s even better?

    My tinfoil-hat is telling me that Hydrogen is the incumbent-preferred future as it’s a more controllable (read: taxable) energy source. The fossil fuel industry is better situated to move from oil / petrol / diesel to hydrogen than it is to deal with consumer-generated solar. If that’s the case then Hydrogen would have the support of government and the FF industry – which is a very difficult combination to go up against. Hopefully the EV industry has progressed far enough that it can’t be rolled back by FF industry sponsored legislation.