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Scientists have increased the life of fuel cells – why that matters for solar and wind

solid oxide fuel cell

In research that could jumpstart work on a range of technologies including fuel cells – key to storing solar and wind energy – MIT researchers have found a relatively simple way to increase the lifetimes of these devices: changing the “pH” of the system.

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Toyota admits ‘Elon Musk is right’ about fuel cell, but moves forward with hydrogen anyway

For years, Toyota has been betting on hydrogen fuel cell over battery-electric vehicles for its zero-emission vehicle strategy. It put the Japanese automaker behind in the electric transition in the industry.

Now Toyota admits that Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who called hydrogen fuel cell  “incredibly dumb”, “is right,” but the company is still heavily investing in the technology.

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Tesla co-founder says hydrogen fuel cells are a ‘scam’

Marc Tarpenning

People affiliated with Tesla have often been outspoken about how hydrogen fuel cells are simply a bad solution to the sustainable transport issue. Just last week we reported on Tesla co-founder and CTO, JB Straubel, going on a quick rant about hydrogen and saying that fuel cells will soon be “irrelevant” in the transportation industry.

Now another Tesla co-founder, Marc Tarpenning, went a little further than Straubel and called hydrogen fuel cells a “scam”. He also said out loud what many in the industry are thinking – that energy companies are supporting the technology for its inefficiency.

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Hyundai: “we are making electric plug-ins until hydrogen fuel cell vehicles take hold”

2017-Hyundai-Genesis-G90-1

Just last month, we published an article arguing that automakers entrenched in fuel cell hydrogen vehicles, like Hyundai, Toyota and Honda, appear to be succumbing to physics and finally warming up to battery-powered vehicles.

Now Hyundai is coming out saying that it is only temporary.

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Automakers entrenched in fuel cell hydrogen are succumbing to physics and going electric

fuel cell toyota

I think we are witnessing the start of a new (but long overdue) trend this year. The few established automakers still pushing fuel cell hydrogen vehicles appear to be warming up to battery-powered electric vehicles instead. Honda, Toyota and Hyundai, arguably the automakers most stuck on hydrogen, all announced new electric vehicle programs in the past few weeks.

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Honda will offer all-electric and PHEV versions of the Clarity as soon as next year

Honda Clarity Fuel Cell

Good news coming from Detroit this morning. Honda came to its senses and officially confirmed that the Clarity, which until now was only a fuel cell car, will be offered with two new powertrains, all-electric (BEV) and plug-in hybrid (PHEV), as soon as next year.

The two new vehicles will be appropriately named: Clarity Electric and Clarity Plug-In Hybrid. The automaker appears to be hedging its bet on hydrogen with some battery-powered vehicles. 

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Sky raced an electric vehicle vs a fuel cell car from London to Paris

Sky News staged a race between Nissan’s battery-powered LEAF and Hyundai’s hydrogen fuel cell ix35 SUV. The race started at Sky’s studios in London and the finish line was in Paris for the COP21 Conference. Spoiler alert: the ix35 won.

The 270-mile journey was well within the 369-mile range of the ix35, but with the LEAF’s 84-mile range, it needed to stop to charge its 24 kWh battery pack.

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Tesla CEO Elon Musk talks about the fire with Bloomberg

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Tesla CEO Elon Musk stopped by the Bloomberg office to discuss TSLA stock valuation and other fun stuff this week. Of course the question of the recent Fire, which the NHTSB recently ruled was not a defect nor compliance issue, came up and Musk reiterated his stance. 

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Tesla CEO Elon Musk calls fuel cells ‘so bullshit’, notes energy density isn’t even as high as current lithium batteries

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Elon Musk takes fuel cells down in his talk in Germany this week. Perhaps more importantly, he revealed that the Model S would be running a Chrome Browser and eventually an Android emulator in its 17-inch touch display. 

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