ITM Power, the energy storage and clean fuel company, is pleased to note that the world's largest carmaker, Toyota, announced that it will begin selling fuel-cell electric cars in Japan on 15 December, 2014, and in the US and Europe in mid-2015.
The electric motor gave the car a very smooth acceleration, with gear changes needed less often than I'm used to, and a very smooth delivery of power. The electric motor also seemed to smooth the gear changes so rather than the jerky transition you can get when accelerating and changing gear, it was altogether a more refined experience.
Plug-in cars appear to be a natural companion to wind power. Presumably car owners would plug their vehicles in at night to recharge. Evening is typically a windy time, so turbines would whir, pushing power into the grid to feed the cars.
Powered by cheap oil, the circulatory system of our economy has globalized, expanding populations, wealth, specialization beyond all historical measure. Yet the founding assumption of our success has failed and we are coasting on the momentum of cheap oil. Increasing supply of cheap oil peaked in May 2005. Since that peak gas prices and home foreclosures have skyrocketed as more and more people cannot afford their commute, food and house payments. The evaporation of Bear Stearns indicates the accelerating rate of consequences.
With a sudden burst of momentum, where do we take the next step in 2008? Production and delivery will be key. Many future car enthusiasts were promised new technologies only to be burned with failures of delivery in the manufacturing facilities. Cost efficient fuel is a must. Build a better battery and they will come.
Any industry has indeed the right to look out for its interests. However, will it not look ridiculous if the so-called tough emissions standards hit the streets (pun intended) at the same time as top-notch top-range luxury vehicles such as the Mercedes S-class, already operating well within compliance?
While fuel cell passenger vehicles are still several years down the road, forklifts provide an excellent framework to showcase the potential of fuel cell technology while providing a cost-effective and environmentally-friendly alternative for distribution centers.
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