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Toyota hopes fuel cell research will lead to increased efficiency

Tue, 05/26/2015 - 16:19 -- Andrea Baerland
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Toyota hopes fuel cell research will lead to increased efficiency.
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Automotive manufacturer Toyota has made a breakthrough in its research that could result in more efficient fuel cell stacks.

The company claims to have developed an observation technique

which allows researchers to monitor the behaviour of nanometer-sized platinum particles during the chemical reaction in fuel cells.

This will allow the processes leading to reduced catalytic reactivity to be observed.

By observing the coarsening of platinum particles – when nanoparticles increase in size and decrease in surface area –researchers hope to find the starting point of the process.

Scientists will also measure voltage output during the coarsening process with the aim of  improving the performance of the platinum catalyst and the fuel cell stack as a whole.

The breakthrough was made in partnership with Japan Fine Ceramics Center (JFCC).

Tesla considers setting up a battery plant in Germany

Wed, 11/26/2014 - 15:02 -- Laura Varriale
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Elon Musk
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Tesla is to open up a battery production plant in Germany “within five to six years”, according to the carmaker’s CEO Elon Musk.

In an interview with German magazine Der Spiegel Musk called for more effort in the development of batteries in Germany and criticised the German automotive industry for the lack of technological commitment despite “fulfilling all qualifications for it.”

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Next-gen Toyota Prius to offer optional li-ion battery

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 14:06 -- Laura Varriale
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Toyota Prius
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Toyota’s fourth-generation Prius will give the option between a lithium-ion battery and a nickel-metal hydride unit, Toyota revealed in an interview with Automotive News.

"The batteries will be renewed. Everything will be revised. And I think we will come up with a fuel economy that will surprise everyone,” said Koei Saga, senior managing officer at Toyota.

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China approves Toyota-Panasonic nickel metal hydride joint venture

Fri, 07/11/2014 - 15:51 -- Laura Varriale
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Toyota EV
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China has given a conditional approval for an electric vehicle (EV) nickel metal hydride battery joint venture (JV) between Toyota and Panasonic’s Primearth and two other Toyota units, Hunan Corun and Changhsu Sinogy.

The JV is called Corun PEVE Automotive Battery Co. and it aims to focus on the production of nickel-metal hydride batteries for hybrid cars.

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Motor giants collaborate on fuel cells

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 17:36 -- Ruth Williams
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Daimler, Ford and Nissan have signed a three-way agreement to collaboratively develop fuel cell electric vehicles to accelerate getting the technology onto the road. The deal will see each company developing its own vehicle but with a common fuel cell system, sharing development and investment costs.

sealing the deal

The companies hope to have affordable fuel cell EVs ready by 2017 with common components to standardise and define global specifications for the technology and encourage faster commercialisation.

(L - R: Raj Nair of Ford, Thomas Weber of Daimler and Mitsuhiko Yamashita of Nissan)

“Working together will significantly help speed this technology to market at a more affordable cost to our customers,” said Raj Nair, group Vice President, Global Product Development, Ford Motor Company. “We will all benefit from this relationship as the resulting solution will be better than any one company working alone.”

Each company will invest equally to develop a common fuel cell stack and fuel cell system that each company can use in their individual FCEVs. This work will be done at several sites around the world to speed up engineering development.

A similar agreement was made by Toyota and BMW in June 2012, and extended in January 2013, to develop a fuel cell system for a lightweight sports vehicle.

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