Honda and Toyota FCV World Debuts with Headwinds

Discussion in 'FCV or Fuel Cell Vehicle' started by xcel, Nov 18, 2014.

  1. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    [​IMG][​IMG] Ones a concept, ones ready for the road but neither are really ready for prime time.

    [​IMG]Wayne Gerdes - CleanMPG - Nov. 17, 2014

    2016 Toyota Mirai FCV - $499 per month/36 month lease with $3649 due at lease signing, or purchase for $57,500 with free H2 fuel where you can find it for three years.

    In other words, there is little chance that Toyota's first generation consumer available FCV goes mainstream at these price points.

    The Toyota Mirai is a four-door, mid-size sedan based off the now defunct HS 250h platform that never consumes gasoline and emits nothing but water vapor from its tailpipe. The fuel cell electric vehicle (FCV) is powered by H2, re-fuels in about five minutes, and Toyota says it travels up to 300 miles on a full tank.

    Mirai will be available to customers in California beginning next fall with additional markets following the hydrogen refueling infrastructure build out.

    2016 Toyota Mirai FCV at the Torrance Shell H2 Refueling Station


    Toyota’s 153 hp fuel cell stack is located under the front driver and passenger seats whereas the Electric drivetrain is located under the hood like a standard BEV/ICE would be. The FCV is capable of driving the midsize sedan to 60 mph in 9.0 seconds. THe NVH is a little higher than expected but typical for a compact segment sedan.

    2016 Toyota Mirai FCV Drvietrain


    It will be available with an optional power take off (PTO) device - CHAdeMo? - that enables Mirai to serve as a mobile generator to your home for up to a week from a full tank in the event of a power outage. This is actually a cool feature other than the 240V connection and grid disconnect needed for home use.

    2016 Toyota Mirai Home Power Port


    Mirai will include vehicle pre-collision, blind spot monitor, lane departure alert, drive start control and automatic high beams.

    2016 Toyota Mirai Interior


    For those considering a purchase, state and federal incentives of $13,000 available to many customers could see the price drop to as low as $45,000. Unfortunately the $8,000 + Fed Credit disappears on Dec. 31, 2014 with little chance of renewal. Even with three years of very localized free fuel, the cost problem mounts.

    Toyota 360-degree Ownership Experience
    • 24/7 concierge service, with calls answered by a dedicated fuel cell representative
    • 24/7 enhanced roadside assistance, including towing, battery, flat tire assistance, trip interruption reimbursement, and loaner vehicle
    • Three years of Toyota Care maintenance, which covers all recommended factory maintenance, up to 12,000 miles annually
    • Eight-year/100,000-mile warranty on fuel cell components
    • Entune and three years of complimentary Safety Connect, including H2 station map app
    • Complimentary H2 fuel for up to three years
    By the end of 2015, 3 of California’s 9 active hydrogen stations and 17 newly-constructed stations are scheduled to be opened to the general public, with 28 additional stations set to come online by the end of 2016, bringing the near-term total to 48 stations.

    Nineteen of those 48 stations will be built by FirstElement Fuels, supported by a $7.3 million loan from Toyota. The company has also announced additional efforts to develop infrastructure in the country’s Northeast region. In 2016, Air Liquide, in collaboration with Toyota, is targeting construction of 12 stations in five states – New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island.

    Honda’s Latest FCV Effort

    The Honda FCV Concept also made its world debut today in Japan. The Honda FCV Concept showcases the styling evolution of Honda's fuel-cell vehicle anticipated to launch in Japan by March of 2016, followed by U.S. and Europe.

    2016 Honda FCV Concept


    The Honda FCV Concept features a low and wide aerodynamic body with clean character lines. The interior is said to provide more passenger volume than its predecessor, the FCX Clarity which felt very much like an Accord.

    Honda's next-generation fuel-cell vehicle has its fuel-cell powertrain located in the front engine compartment. The stack has a specific output of 134 hp while offering arrange of over 300 miles with a quick refueling time of about three to five minutes at a pressure of just over 10,000 psi. Honda made no mention of where the FC stack itself was located, only the electric powertrain?

    In June 2013, Honda entered into a long-term collaborative agreement with GM to co-develop the next-generation of FC systems and H2 storage technologies, aiming for the 2020 timeframe. The collaboration expects to succeed by sharing technological expertise, economies of scale and other benefits.

    Early Conclusions

    The problem as I see it IS Gasoline, Diesel, and Electricity are far too cheap for a very expensive, limited region and somewhat limited range medium performance first and second generation FCV to compete.

    2014 Audi A6 TDI at the Torrance Shell H2 Refueling Station

    $58,700 to start, 240 hp, 428 lb-ft. of torque TDI mated to an 8-speed AT: 0 to 60 in 5.5 seconds, EU
    top speed of 155 mph, limited to 130 mph in the U.S. and 40 + mpg is easy on $3.40/gallon diesel.​

    Will the masses consider a futuristic first generation Toyota Corolla/Camry sized FCV or second generation Honda Civic/Accord sized FCV with mediocre performance and limited refueling options or would they rather own a "no compromise" automobile like the Audi A6 TDI for similar scratch + refueling costs? Even the most strident FCV fans should be able to deduce that this is an overwhelming dilemma.

    The H2 Question - Still Undecided


    Like the first gen Toyota Prius based on the FUGLY Echo back in 1997, the first gen Toyota Murai is only a first step. No other manufacturer is pushing into the FCV space as hard as Toyota and you will see a lot more marketing $s spent depsite the limited uptake. Just 3,000 worldwide by 2017 according to Toyota. The industry knows there is little chance for profitability with these offerings yet it is a start. If by 2025 the FCV revolution does not bare real fruit, only then can any of us claim the entire endeavor is a complete failure. As of today, prototyping a technology for technologies sake pays dividends with other future offerings. Even if they are not FCV powered.
  2. EdwinTheMagnificent

    EdwinTheMagnificent Legend In His Mind

    I imagine they can sell at least one , to Ed Begley,Jr.
    rhwinger likes this.
  3. PaleMelanesian

    PaleMelanesian Beat the System Staff Member

    Accord hybrid plug-in for me, if I much choose in that market segment. I don't trust VW/Audi reliability. I like the product, but don't trust it.

    Fuel Cell is literally not possible here - nowhere to fuel it. Not like they'd sell one in my area anyway. These were never intended to be mass market vehicles.
    rhwinger likes this.
  4. Jay

    Jay Well-Known Member

    I like the styling of the Mirai. I have no idea how this particular FCV works, though. I remember when they were all the rage more than a decade ago and Chrysler was touting their FCV that ran on gasoline with 60% efficiency. The 4-stroke piston engine still rules last time I checked, so something must have happened to the FCV on its way to obsoleting the piston engine.
  5. NeilBlanchard

    NeilBlanchard Well-Known Member

    That power takeoff plug is a CHAdeMO - which is mighty confusing.

    I am sure the Ed Begley Jr is smart enough to see through the greenfront of hydrogen.
  6. RedylC94

    RedylC94 Well-Known Member

    Yes, considering that in conventional usage of the phrase, a PTO is a mechanical shaft on a tractor or truck. Why be purposely confusing?
    rhwinger likes this.
  7. Trollbait

    Trollbait Well-Known Member

    Perhaps to avoid using plug and fuel cell in the same sentence.
  8. NeilBlanchard

    NeilBlanchard Well-Known Member

    Yes, they are trying to hide their electric drivetrain.

    The ironic thing is, that if they had made a big battery pack BEV, it would be 2X as efficient with the energy on board the car, and it would consume roughly 1/6th the energy overall; since making hydrogen takes a lot of energy, no matter how you do it.

    The Mirai apparently has 5kg of hydrogen and goes about 300 miles. A kg of hydrogen is virtually exactly equivalent to a gallon of gas. A kg of H2 is equivalent to 33.33kWh and a gallon of gas is equivalent to 33.7kWh.

    That means the Mirai gets ~60MPGe. Which is poor considering the drivetrain is as efficient as any EV. And it means the 5kg = ~166kWh, so it has basically TWICE the energy on board vs the Tesla Model S.

    Strong headwinds, indeed.
  9. Jay

    Jay Well-Known Member

    I found this cool video that shows how the Mirai works:

    I get the distinct impression that Toyota would make neither BEVs nor FCVs if not for the CA CARB zero emissions mandate. But since they have to make a zero-emission vehicle, Toyota feels the FCV holds more promise than the BEV. Have you read former Toyota executive Bill Reinert's interview?:

  10. NeilBlanchard

    NeilBlanchard Well-Known Member

    Jay, you may be on to something: I think Toyota is going the FCEV route for two reasons:

    1) It meets the CARB requirement

    2) It won't compete with their lucrative Prius brand - and it will fail, because it is expensive, it has no working infrastructure - and it is fugly.

    A BEV, on the other hand, would be twice as efficient as their Prius, has most of the infrastructure in place, would be a great car to drive, and costs less to drive and own.
  11. EdwinTheMagnificent

    EdwinTheMagnificent Legend In His Mind

    Neil, you're absolutely right. Fugly ( or not) doesn't mean anything to me. But it's definitely a compliance car , doomed to fail. Why couldn't they make a BEV for this purpose ?

    Oh yeah, it just might take sales from the (slow-selling) Prius family.
  12. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi All:

    After speaking with some Toyota folks at the LA Auto Show yesterday , I have softened my conclusions somewhat. Still a long ways to go and neither of these offerings will make a difference but its only a first step in a long term strategy for Toyota, Honda and Hyundai.

  13. Trollbait

    Trollbait Well-Known Member

    The Japanese LEV programs came to the conclusion that battery electrics would not meet the nation's needs of lowering vehicle emissions. This conclusion was reached over a decade ago when EVs were using NiMH at best, but is still likely influencing the government regulations and corporation decisions. I think the eQ may have been designed to meet those conclusions than to be an attractive BEV to sell.

    This means Japan is investing in fuel cells cars and the hydrogen infrastructure. The Murai is being made for the domestic market. Toyota, other lobbyists, and fuel cell supporters within CARB got the ZEV credits reduced on BEVs and greatly increased on FCVs. This lets Toyota spread the costs of the Murai out a little more, and walk away from the Rav4 EV partnership with Tesla.

    Honda has had the Clarity available for limited lease for a few years now, but they haven't made as much noise about it. Without the CARB ZEV changes, and possibly being peeved about Toyota's first FCV sold in America claims, I think they would have remained low key FCVs, and might have brought the Fit EV or some BEV back for compliance purposes.

    Korea maybe pushing FCVs like Japan, but I don't really know. Hyundai though is hedging their bets through Kai with the Soul EV.
  14. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

  15. elem

    elem Well-Known Member

    Japan is investing... really means the Japanese government provided a lot of money but has had no return. Similar to NHK high definition analog format etc....
    Mirai does not make any kind of sense, my understanding in Japan is only a few hundred will be available. Already booked.
    The prius was never a mandate car it sold in volume from the 0 generation, so does Toyota really think H2 is viable?
    They might which is the problem....

    How does it matchup against competing technologies
    Range? --- This is T selling point but how can it compete against a PHEV, 20-40m AER means charge at home in most cases. Only use gasoline for long distance trips or long commutes.but no infrastructure issues.
    Pure play long range BEV? 200m range BEV, means 400m range with one 30 minute charge. It is far cheaper to install a supercharger network than H2 refill network.
    CO2 reformed CH4 so no real benefit.

    Last edited: Nov 23, 2014
    xcel likes this.
  16. Jay

    Jay Well-Known Member

    I believe hybrid ICE/electric owns all, and will for as far as the eye can see. Between the FCV and BEV, hydrogen at 70 MPa has more than twice the energy density of Li-ion. Hydrogen tanks are cheaper, last longer, leak less than a Li-ion battery. Plus, hydrogen tanks can be filled in 3 minutes. These are huge advantages for most people.
    xcel likes this.
  17. Trollbait

    Trollbait Well-Known Member

    No reason why FCVs can't also be plug ins. They already have the electric drive and a battery.

    Well, maybe weight is an issue. The Murai is nearly 300lbs heavier than a Volt.
    xcel likes this.
  18. NeilBlanchard

    NeilBlanchard Well-Known Member

    They certainly could be plugins - I think the Honda FCX Clarity had ~4-5kWh pack, but the Mirai may only be 1.3-2kWh.
    xcel likes this.
  19. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi All:

    It gets hot on FB among the greener enthusiasts...

    Chelsea Sexton via Eric Loveday: Oh please; I didn't take his comment literally. I called it out because it was--in the most generous possible interpretation--a particularly ignorant thing for Toyota USA to say given both their history and the current market appetite for PEVs.

    His "clarification" does imply they've received mass-market scale interest for FCVs. If true, will be interesting to watch them answer all of the questions that have merely been talked around today. Still, unfortunate for all H2 proponents that they don't seem to grok that the current petty and condescending tactics by some regarding PEVs will only hurt them all with FCVs too.

    I repeat, Toyota- am just up the road if ya wanna talk this out directly.

    Toyota Hears Us Knocking - Craig Scott Responds To His "Barefaced Lie"

    Toyota hears us knocking. Craig Scott has responded to his "barefaced lie" that no one is...

    Craig Scott has responded to his "barefaced lie"

    Peter Ramsey: Keep pushing them Chelsea Sexton

    Joe Garces: This is soooo frustrating.

    Peter Ramsey: Toyota could have gone first but decided to follow

    Paul Scott: We'll all be watching their roll out of the FCV. I doubt they'll sell it, probably just lease. And if they get into triple digits, I'll be very surprised.

    Walter Bays: "Mass market in Toyota’s eyes is Prius level." And the sales ramp up charts have Nissan LEAF way ahead of Prius at this point after introduction, not to mention all the other EV's. So given that EV demand is way ahead of "mass market" does that mean that Craig Scott will start building EV's now? Or that he is lying now? Or that he was lying before?

    Per Lyngemark: Toyota might have their Kodak moment soon if they don't wake up...

    Eric Rotbard: I am curious as to how Toyota determined that pursuing FCVs was the right strategy. We do need to keep in mind that they are privy to information that we aren't. I'd like to see more cars in line with Audi's approach.

    Gerry Gaydos: Can't resist a snark here. Maybe their first FC vehicle will find it's way onto an iconic rock band album cover.

    Russell Frost: I surprised it's taken this long for those particular birds to come home to roost.

    Brad Stertz: There's that word again! "Grok" ... Kids these days!

    Stephen Lee: Terry If you could make your fuel at home.....on might go over quickly partner or supplant EV's. Safely of course.

    Wayne Gerdes: 1 guy, 100 guys, 1,000 guys asking Toyota to please build EVs? The OEMs do what suits their needs both short term and long term and all will continue to do so on their schedule.

    If you are pissed off because Toyota will not sell you an EV this year, buy a Tesla, LEAF, Focus Electric, iMiEV, ForTwo ED, Spark EV, 500e, B-Class ED, i3, Soul EV or eGolf. It is not like you do not have a choice here.

    I wish VW would sell the Tiguan with the EA288 TDI. I wish Audi would sell the upcoming 15 A3 Sportback e-tron for < $20k. I wish Ford would sell the all-aluminum Fusion Hybrid. I wish Hyundai would sell a Sonata PHEV. I wish the 15 Fit had a cloth like textured headliner. I can wish for a lot of things too. And the OEMs will continue to offer what they perceive makes sense for them on their own schedule, not yours or mine.

    Regarding FCVs, none of us know all the reasons why Toyota is following their current path with so much vigor but knowing Toyota, there are a number of solid reasons behind it. In a similar light, they will continue to spend their R&D, PR, and Marketing $s to sell cars and trucks that insure their long term profitability. If that does not include BEVs, so be it.

    This entire exercise is like crying over the early demise of your favorite TV show and frankly it is not that important.

    In Toyota's defense I am glad they offer the Prius PHEV-11 that my wife and children drive daily. < $25k all-in new and it goes without a care despite its numerous shortcomings.

    Brad Stertz: Don't count on an under $20k, my sources tell me Vorsprung alone costs $13,995

    Wayne Gerdes: I know Brad, I have a few stories up on it myself. But I can wish.


    Russell Frost: Wow Wayne, condescending and oblivious at the same time. I thought that kind of miscommunication was something only I was capable of. Cheers dude.

    And, historically, assumptions of competence are dangerous. Sometimes, even lots of times, big companies and even nations do really stupid stuff for the oddest of reasons.

    I think you do a lot of these people a disservice when you say something like, "This entire exercise is like crying over the early demise of your favorite TV show and frankly it is not that important."

    Number one, how sad to trivialize this attention Toyota is being given. Would Toyota rather no one care what they do? Would it be better somehow for Toyota's action to go unnoticed?

    Two, this is a response to something a very important and specifically placed Toyota exec said. This isn't a bunch of kids whining that Star Trek got cancelled. This is a response to statements from Toyota and, from my point of view, in response to their marketing for the FCV.

    Three, unless someone is a complete jerk, no one ignores the good things Toyota has already done, be they PiP or regular Prius. Or whatever it is. The point isn't that Toyota is evil. The point is that, apparently, some people like Toyota products and wish they were building vehicles they wanted to buy. By the way, I'm one of those people and happen to think it's a really good thing for Toyota that people care enough to fight for them to make products that those same people can actually give Toyota money for.

    Finally, given the marketing that Toyota and Lexus has put out there connected to the FCV's, it's Toyota's responsibility to back it up or, not. And if not, then not be bothered by the questions that said marketing (or random executive statements) inevitably raises.

    That's just my opinion and well worth the electrons it took to post it.

    Wayne Gerdes: Russell, I would place my $s on Toyota over any of our thoughts on what Toyota should or should not offer the consumer next. They have a pretty darn good track record over the previous 80+ years despite the current flap over their FCV push.

    I have also seen releases from EVERY OEM stating that the next big thing is what their customers wanted when in fact few wanted any such thing. This is PR.

    What does a few consumer demands have to do with an OEM offering a product that could be unprofitable? Every OEM can build HEVs, PHEVs, BEVs and FCVs. Most appear to be doing so for regulatory compliance, not to meet a few consumers’ wishes or consumer demand. Some do not at all as it could cost them big $s!

    Fiat-Chrysler's CEO Sergio Marchionne:
    Regarding $s spent on FCV marketing, here is Toyota's fiscal first half results.

    Toyota October Sales Up 6.9% with 180,580 Vehicles Sold + Fiscal 1H Results

    The Mirai R&D and marketing do not account to a blip on Toyota's last quarters earnings statement and Toyota can do whatever they want with their current or future product investments. I also highly doubt they are wasting it despite what most of us believe right now.

    Time to get over Toyota not building a BEV while marketing the Mirai this year and move on.

    Jeff U'Ren: Hmmm, Honda is offering 2 year extensions on their FitEV leases.
    Maybe they feel the need to stay in the PEV ZEV Mandate game a little longer for some reason after the autoshow FCV excitement/ non-excitement.

    Russell Frost: Wayne, there's no "it" to get over.

    You see this in history, over and over again. Everything's great until it isn't. This country was pretty successful militarily until Korea and since then, not so much. Going by "track records" Vietnam should have be...See More

    I find your lack of faith disturbing Darth Vader
    I find your lack of faith disturbing.

    Wayne Gerdes: Russell, there is. You and I do not know what Toyota's reasons are. Some think they do. They do not. You and nobody else reading this know anything about running a global automotive conglomerate yet somehow you are smarter than they are when it comes to FCVs R&D? Really?

    Regarding Toyota's sales history and future, the Camry outsold every midsize in the country in November. Totals Toyota sales were up 3 percent in Nov and up 5.6 percent for the year. The only real missteps are the Hybrids and I am pretty sure we all know why.

    When it comes to BEVs, let's not consider the cost to produce or purchase. Maybe the CEO of FCA is as stupid as you must believe but I tend to think he is a pretty sharp guy.

    Instead, let us consider cost to charge. It costs more to plug-in our Prius with our $0.22/kWh rates for its 11 mile range than to refuel at a local station and drive the same distance right now. From a ChargePoint charging station, the price is ridiculous.

    So the current incentives to buy a BEV for Southern Californian's at least are not cost to fuel but where it comes from and lower emissions. Along with the negatives. Time, cost, and limited range.

    Toyota is spending $s on FCV technology for the future, not today's purchases. They are going to lose tens of thousands of $s on each FCV purchased - if any - but they will only sell a few. That means the marketing $s are being burned.

    What does Toyota receive in return? Maybe Chelsea can tell us what kind of deal CARB and Toyota are into but it is not about the bottom line here.

    Do you know why Chrysler still sells the Viper? It sells between 25 and 60 per month over the past 5-years. They do not sell that car because it makes any money, they sell it because it is on the cover of 10s to hundreds of magazines.

    The Mirai despite its shortcomings has produced similar activity online and its reveal was less than a month ago. Probably far more than the RAV4EV or Scion iQ EV ever produced.

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    The Purpose of This Article In my previous article, The Birth Of The Lithium Millionaires, I discussed a future...

    Russell Frost: I think what you're missing in my argument here Wayne Gerdes, is this. I'm not saying I'm smarter than Toyota. I'm not saying anyone in particular is. What I am saying is that Toyota is made up of humans. In many cases humans just like the ones here discussing this. And because of that, they are not perfect, they are not prescient and they are by no means omniscient. They will make mistakes. Again Wayne, history. It's something we can't debate. It's just a basic tenet of human history, we **** up. And sometimes that "we" is a country and sometimes it's a corporation and there are volume upon volume of examples. To ignore this and say that everyone is wrong because, thus far, Toyota has been right a lot of the time is a specious argument.

    I'm not implying anyone, even the CEO of FCA is stupid. What I am saying is, oh hell, I've said it enough. Read Barabara W. Tuchman's "March of Folly", it is exceptionally illuminating in circumstances like this.

    And please, don't condescend to me. I get show cars, concept cars and halo vehicles.

    That's all. I'm done here.

    Wayne Gerdes: Russell: "I get show cars, concept cars and halo vehicles."

    If you get it, than think of the Mirai as exactly that and nothing more.

    Toyota has not lost its way yet and if they do, they will probably fight like hell to get back on track. The numerous Camry revisions from the 7th gen launch in early 2013 through to the extensive mid-model refresh for 2015 - nothing is the same other than the roof - is just one example of a market segment they continue to covet and will do the right thing to keep it. Unlike the Malibu released about the same time which continues to languish on rental fleet lots and no chance of being competitive.

    You know who won the FIA WEC Manufacturers and Drivers Championship this year with the TS040 Hybrid for the very first time?


    Russell Frost: Just make a liar of myself, I won't be done.

    I despise show cars. Always have. A waste of money. Just like racing.

    mic drop.

    Wayne Gerdes: Russell, this is but one reason why you and I will never be successful running a multi-billion $ automobile conglomerate.

    Russell Frost: Or, maybe we'd run an amazing, efficient, non-money wasting just for some idiot's ego automobile conglomerate. Maybe.

    Wayne Gerdes: Russell, not a chance. You and I are both too cheap and target fixated to make a multifaceted company succeed.

    John Briggs: You have to love Chelsea Sexton for calling them out.
    As someone that has only bought Toyota's all my life, I will probably have to leave the brand just to get a reasonable EV. A fuel cell vehicle is just not a practical option for me.

    Personally, I think he meant to say there was insufficient interest in EVs and Toyota's interests are better served by continuing with hybrids. Fair enough. He might well be right.
  20. Carcus

    Carcus Well-Known Member

    Re : Honda and Toyota FCV World Debuts with Headwinds

    If Nissan comes out with a 150 mile Leaf and can hold the current price, you'll see a "new attitude" from Toyota, (and most of the other OEM's as well).

    But by 'new attitude' I mean they'll develop and concept and trickle sales to certain areas ,,… until they're truly starting to lose market share… then they'll put a competitive BEV on the nationwide/worldwide showroom floor, … but not before. IOW, business as usual.

    Don't expect anything different.
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2014

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