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A few things not mentioned in the Ricardo announcement. The Latitude Project is a UK Research Council project which stands for "Lightweight Advanced boosTed Diesel Engine - LAtiTuDE" ( So these are Diesel Infinium engines and 10% improved economy is impressive particularly when you consider that the current production engine is already very efficient. According to Autocar UK, Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) is working on two more hybrid systems to be rolled out across its model range, a Plug-in Hybrid and a mild hybrid electric vehicle. Not sure how this project will fit in with these new models.
Lithium should not be the Energy Storage solution for all applications. NiZn and ZnAir batteries are very old tech, Thomas Edison was awarded a rechargeable nickel–zinc battery patent in 1901. They are also safe. ZnAir batteries have a very high energy density (over 1000 W hr/kg theoretical) and low cost ($10 kW/kg), I use these in my hearing aids everyday. The only problems with ZnAir is power density and cycle life. The NRL research has definitely shown that cycle life may no longer be an issue. NRL is working with EnZinc for commercial applications, always watch their web site for any new developments. Of course, Fluidic Energy has installed products around the world in special applications like telecom backup power, rural electrification, and micro grid applications since 2011.
This looks like a good near term solution for PHEV batteries that require both high power and high energy density. This solution has a energy density of 230–240 Wh kg−1 that is comparable to the latest Panasonic/Samsung 21700 batteries. Also, they have added an Ionic Liquid to enhance the safety of the electrolyte which already had a high conductivity. This research used a full battery cell (anode, cathode, and electrolyte) and has industry standard materials. The only question really is if this can be adopted by battery manufacturers and produced at a low cost.
Actually, it may be difficult to beat a Battery Electric Bus, particularly the ProTerra. Seattle (King County Metro) plans on buying 73 buses. The first 20 will cost $15.1 million. The operating and maintenance costs on these buses is significantly cheaper than diesel, CNG, or Hydrogen FC buses.
Correction on Toyota Mirai FC System it weighs 173kg plus weight of compressors, not 230kg (H2 storage is 88kg not 144kg).
Despite what Toyota and Honda think FC cars may not be the future. A good example is to look at the current Toyota Mirai FC system which weighs roughly 230 kg (5kg H2 storage weighs 144kg, the NiMH battery weighs 29 kg, and the Fuel Cell weighs 57kg) and has roughly 60 kWh. A GM Bolt EV battery weighs 435kg. The 2018 Formula E battery built by Lucid motors using Samsung 2170 batteries will weigh 250kg and develop 54 kWh ( So Battery EV are almost as energy dense as FC cars. Class 8 Semi Trucks (like the Toyota FC Semi) and Range Extended Buses are another story. These have at least 40kg of Hydrogen storage. So the Fuel Cell is not a significant percent of system storage weight. According to my calculations the Toyota Semi FC system probably has in excess of 800 Wh/kg Energy Density. Of course, these trucks could use the SunLine H2 fuel station or any of the other 30 H2 stations in California.
SunLine Transit also has a BYD 40' Battery Electric Bus (324kWh, 155mile range). The New Flyer hydrogen fuel cell buses are Battery Dominant Fuel Cell Hybrid Bus (FCHB). Not sure about the exact specs but this 40' New Flyer Excelsior XHE40 bus should have a 80 kWh Lithium-Ion battery and a Hydrogenics “Celerity Plus” 60 kW fuel cell (actually 2 30 kW units). Since this is a series hybrid the Fuel Cells will charge the battery at optimum efficiency. Also, the bus can be operated in electric only mode, so a significant part of the route will use battery electric power and the 80 kWh battery can be charged at night. This "range extended" FCHB has a lower initial cost and should be cheaper to operate than earlier Fuel Cell buses.
An update on my previous post. 1. BYD (which has a facility in Lancaster, CA) was awarded $9 million by the State of California for 27 electric trucks: 23 battery-electric 80,000-pound (GVWR) Class 8 yard trucks, also known as “yard goats,” to move heavy freight containers short distances within freight yards, warehouses, distribution centers and port terminals, i.e. Category 1. Also, four 16,100-pound (GVWR) Class 5 medium-duty service trucks. BNSF Railway will operate the trucks at two of its intermodal rail yards. 2. Local Operation: Warehouses and truck terminals, and the major rail yard (Hobart) that exist within 20 miles of the Port of Long Beach have some "High Speed Transient" sections, i.e. speeds in excess of 26 MPH. So the Toyota FCEV would also be used for this category as well. So, both BEV and FCEV trucks will help California reduce Diesel pollution.
@sd, There are 3 categories of Drayage operations at the Port of Long Beach (ref: "Characterization of Drayage Truck Duty Cycles at the Port of Long Beach and Port of Los Angeles"); 1. Near-dock Operation (very short cargo moves from 2 to 6 miles in length). 2. Local Operation: Warehouses and truck terminals, and a major rail yard (Hobart) that exist within 20 miles of the ports. 3. Regional Operation: At distances greater than twenty miles from the ports, large warehouse facilities used to transfer goods for interstate delivery. The Orange BEV would be used for the first category, possibly Category 2. The Toyota FCEV is planned for Category 3. According to Toyota, the goal is for the truck, laden with cargo, to make regular round trips between the port and warehouse facilities up to 70 miles away (ref: Toyota’s test truck is a Kenworth T660 chassis with the standard sleeper compartment converted into a custom aluminum shell housing a quartet of high-pressure hydrogen tanks and a pair of 6-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion batteries. Class 8 Trucks seem to be a good area for FCEV where there is a need for long range, short refueling time, and require only a limited hydrogen fueling infrastructure (for this project all refueling will be done at the Port of Long Beach). Also, In California, heavy-duty vehicles — including big rigs, buses, delivery trucks and port-based drayage vehicles — account for more than 30 percent of the state’s smog-causing nitrogen oxide emissions and FCEV can definitely help in this area.
This could be the ultimate Chevy Volt or as Dr. Andrew Frank calls an "ultimate" PHEVLAR. However, Qoros does not need to use the 1500 hp Konigseggs Regera powerplant (1000hp ICE + 700hp YASA electric motors). Use the Qoros QamFree 4 cylinder and a smaller electric motor with a 20 kWH battery and build a $25,000 500hp supercar.
Solid State EV batteries may be closer than most think. Recently, Dr. Goodenough developed a new strategy for a safe, low-cost, all-solid-state rechargeable sodium or lithium battery cells using a solid glass electrolyte ( This research will be implemented much faster than his original work on Lithium Ion batteries since there are now many more applications than what Sony needed in the 90's (Video Cameras). Even if the glass electrolyte is not ready for manufacture there are others (not the Dyson/Sakti tech - Dyson is already looking at other areas). The PBS Nova TV show ("Search for the Super Battery") presented an interesting novel "ceramic state" polymer electrolyte developed by Ionic Materials. Also, check the Bio-inspired Murray materials recently reviewed here ( There are many other areas that will also make the Sulfur Cathode practical as well, e.g. Graphene Filters or encapulation.
@Roger is correct. Cryo-Compressed H2 is even more dense than LH2, except does not have the boil-off problem. It also meets the 2015 DOE Volumetric and Gravimetric Density Goals. Check research by LLNL, ANL, BMW, and others that proposed this for automotive applications. An extensive LH2 network would not be required (It would be produced at select airports using renewable electricity or transported by truck. Linde has both LH2 and Compressed H2 at the Munich Airport).
While Methanol can definitely be used as a transportation fuel directly. In most cases today it is not Carbon Neutral (produced using Coal in China or from Natural Gas, and in the FC or ICE vehicle CO2 is also produced). Here is an idea for a novel approach that is Carbon Neutral and solves the H2 infrastructure issue. Renewable Methanol would be produced from carbon dioxide and hydrogen from renewable sources of electricity (hydro, geothermal, wind and solar) - see Carbon Recycling International (Iceland). Transported to the H2 station using existing Methanol distribution (pipeline or truck). At the H2 station, a new approach developed by Georgia Tech, the CO2/H2 Active Membrane Piston (CHAMP) reactor would produce the H2 and capture the CO2 to be recycled back to the Methanol plant. Reference:
Always believed that the best use of Fuel Cell Tech is long range transportation. The Buxtehude–Bremervörde–Bremerhaven–Cuxhaven train can complete a 500 mile (800 kilometer) journey on a full tank of hydrogen, which is enough for one day according to Alstom. It operates 24 hours a day during the work week. In the US most rail networks are non-electrified, so the use of FC trains would reduce the large expense to electrify these networks. Low noise, zero pollution 90 mph trains may be a better solution than High Speed Rail in many parts of the US (which is the focus of the Alston train). FC tech can have a major impact on transportation in the areas of long range transport such as inter-city rail and trucks, even short haul air transport, e.g. helicopters.
This is a 200 km range BEV with life cycle costs equivalent to a diesel bus. The Aptis can be recharged in two different modes. The first method recharges batteries overnight using a standard connector (the full battery recharge takes about 6 hours). The other solution can be formed by an Alstom SRS solution (a ground-based static charging system) or from a toppled pantograph, which takes about 5 minutes for charging, equivalent to the time of a short break of drivers - Reference:
Today 95% of H2 production is by Fossil Fuel Steam Reformation, predominately Steam Methane Reformation (SMR). However this is a high temperature (up to 900 degrees C) large scale process. The Tokyo Gas System does use an SMR with Selective Oxidation Catalyst @ 650 degrees Centigrade (Ga Tech is at 400 degrees). See Also, it does not have Carbon Capture, though it is a Combined Heat and Power System. The Ga Tech SMR Process appears to use a K2CO3-promoted hydrotalcite material as the CO2 sorbent. The adsorbent can be regenerated or reused (reference: Linde Engineering has solutions for handling CO2 Removal and could partner for sequestering or reusing the CO2. The Ga Tech SMR Process looks like a possible solution to a distributed H2 system that could either efficiently supply FCEV at a cost half that of Electrolysis systems or produce distributed FC electricity to backup Renewable Electric Generation. It would also be virtually CO2 free and could provide Carbon Capture (CCS) at a cost significantly less than Coal CCS or other large scale CCS systems.
This is one area where Fuel Cells make sense and are already being widely used. This will also build up the Toyota Fuel Cell manufacturing base and is directly applicable to other areas like FC Range Extenders or utility systems. Warehouse operations are large energy users. Energy typically accounts for 15 percent of a non-refrigerated warehouse’s operating budget, but in refrigerated warehouses, refrigeration accounts for 60 percent of the electricity used. Companies like Sysco Foods has converted many of their warehouses to Solar Energy and are already using H2 FC forklifts. Warehouse Fork Lift use does not have to worry about infrastructure since refueling is done in-house. Also, warehouse operations are 24 x 7 and downtime to recharge batteries can be costly. Even the automated warehouse system that Amazon uses requires 5 minutes per hour to recharge. Autonomous Forklift Automatic Guided Fuel Cell Powered Vehicles are not a future concept, they are an economic reality today. Except the current FC Forklift companies (PlugPower, Oorja, Nuvera, etc.) may not like the competition.
It appears that it is in Japan. A recent review can be found in (Japanese). From the article, JC 08 mode fuel consumption for the Nissan is 37.2 km / L which is the same as Prius (called an Aqua in Japan). The price of the Nissan e-POWER · X is 1,959,120 yen. Aqua S is 1,991,635 yen, almost the same. The article declared the Nissan Note e-Power the overall winner.
Large ocean going vessels probably will not be returning to wind power. However, autonomous warships like the Sea Hunter might be a good candidate. Particularly, if they look like Victorien Erussard's Energy Observer ( which uses Wind, Solar, and Hydrogen.
True all solid electrolytes have low ionic conductivity compared to to organic liquid electrolytes. However, it still looks like this problem could be resolved. Check "Review—Solid Electrolytes in Rechargeable Electrochemical Cells", John B. Goodenough*,z and Preetam Singh, Journal of Electrochemical Society, 2015 volume 162, issue 14, A2387-A2392, doi: 10.1149/2.0021514jes (or
Actually Lead Acid batteries have changed quite a lot since Gaston Plante's original design in 1859. The sealed lead acid emerged in the 1970's and the most common are gel, also known as valve-regulated lead acid (VRLA), and absorbent glass mat (AGM). The Firefly Carbon Foam VRLA AGM GEL battery was invented in 2000 at Caterpillar and extended Lead Acid Battery life greatly. The Ultra Battery was developed by CSIRO in Australia, its key feature is the combination of the high-performance carbon ultracapacitor with the lead-negative electrode. The only thing that cannot change is the maximum energy density of the Lead-Sulfuric Acid chemistry which could exceed 167 W-hrs/kg though is typically 30-40 W-hrs/kg.
This does appear to be important research (If you would like additional information check This is next generation battery tech and it has been reviewed by both Goodenough and Dunn. It takes some time before Material Science develops into commercial products. Dr. Goodenough LiCO cathode was patented in 1980 and Sony introduced the batteries in 1991. There are many companies that are looking into Solid state and Lithium-Sulfur batteries, e.g. Dyson, BASF, and many others. Interesting to note that Sony is no longer in the battery business even though they invented the first generation battery. The Huawei research is interesting too since it involves Graphene. Fisker Nanotech claims their EV batteries will use Graphene. The 2018 EV batteries are already in production, might put some in my future E-Bike (check out BMZ 3Tron battery system that uses Samsung 21700 batteries. These are planned for the Lucid Motors Air EV (Tesla will use a Panasonic version).
A few more details. These same authors: Braga, Murchison, etc, are involved in PATHION work to develop LiRAP-based solid-state electrolytes for Li-sulfur and sodium-ion batteries (see The earlier paper uses a Li3ClO-based glass electrolyte. The PATHION web site points out that a lithium-sulfur battery could achieve specific energy levels up to 800 Wh/kg. The Li3ClO-based glass electrolyte could be used with current cathode technology (NCA or NMC based) to achieve 300-400 Wh/kg cell level energy densities with Lithium anodes for the next generation batteries in the 2020 timeframe.
In reading this in more detail, Dr. Goodenough is not only rethinking the metal anode with a glass electrolyte, but also the cathode. I could not get free access to this paper, however in another article with open access (Goodenough, "Batteries and a Sustainable Modern Society", Electrochem. Soc. Interface Fall 2016 volume 25, issue 3, 67-70, doi: 10.1149/2.F05163if), Dr.Goodenough discusses a cathode architecture that confines the charged Sulfur (S8) particles in mesoporous conductive fibers. Basically an all-solid-state cell with the glass electrolyte, a metallic-lithium anode, and a sulfur relay embedded in a carbon/glass mix on a copper current collector plates which is the strategy in this paper. This approach if successful would lead to low cost, long cycle life energy storage.