Toyota’s Mr. Hydrogen Talks 2015

Formerly known by other Toyota employees as “Mr. Hybrid Synergy Drive”, Katsuhiko Hirose has now been given another tag, “Mr. Hydrogen.” Mr. Hirose is in charge of the hydrogen car program for Toyota and was the key player in the Japanese carmaker joining the London Hydrogen Partnership (LHP).

The LHP is heavily involved in developing the UK Hydrogen Highway system and the fact that Toyota is now onboard will make it easier to promote the building of H2 infrastructure to support hydrogen cars by 2015.

According to Mr. Hydrogen, making fuel cell vehicles is not the problem. Hirose says, “We know we can make a FCV, because Toyota engineers have developed very powerful, reliable, fuel cells and cheaper and more effective Hydrogen storage tanks, but the problem is generating the hydrogen [which can come from methane gas or using wind turbines to ‘crack’ seawater into hydrogen and oxygen] and building a re-fuelling infrastructure. Without a network of re-fuelling stations FCVs cannot become a mainstream choice for the consumer. And without large-scale production, FCVs will remain expensive.”

According to the Toyota Blog, “As ‘tens of thousands’ of FCVs are sold each year by 2020, Toyota reckons it can eventually reduce the cost of fuel cell production to 1/20th of today’s manufacturing costs. But Japan itself has another reason for seeing wide-spread use of FCVs. In the event of the kind of natural disaster that is all-too-common in the country, FCVs could be used to provide emergency power. Hirose says that one FCV car could produce enough electricity to power an average house for a week. A fuel-cell powered bus could light an evacuation centre for five days and two buses could power a hospital for a week.”

And as Mr. Hydrogen points out, it’s never too soon to start changing the world.

5 Responses to “Toyota’s Mr. Hydrogen Talks 2015”

  1. I will have one on my back YARD.

  2. Howdy Hydro Kevin…

    I’m now 80 years old and in 1947 our Englewood, Colorado, Jr High School class made hydrogen gas with salted water, to make it conductive, and a lantern battery. I understand every old or new internal combustion engine can run on hydrogen gas. I’ve been a hydrogen energy advocate since 1947 and hope we can soon follow the Sun and run on hydrogen.

    I’ve worked in award winning public relations both in the Navy and as a civilian. I’m hereby volunteering to help increase a desire for renewable, non-polluting, plentiful, hydrogen energy usage…

    Regards and wishing you much success,
    Bob Baerresen
    Bearsun@AOL.com

  3. Hi Bob, welcome aboard! I hope you continue to spread the news and the vision about hydrogen cars.

  4. Too bad Mr. Hydrogen wasn’t more specific about what fuel cell vehicles can be sold for without denying Toyota a reasonable profit when they are mass produced. Wonder what level of technology is in current designs? Are they platiunum free vehicles? How big is the fuel cell stack now? How much power output is there? What is the lifetime of the fuel cell stack now? Cold start capability? How about fuel cell stack stability? Sounds to me like wind power isn’t needed to produce hydrogen. Neither is coal, oil, or uranium needed. Now is the time for engineers to learn about all the technology that is available and really work on the problem of how to produce hydrogen in quantity without harming the environment. Sounds to me like the technology to produce hydrogen economically and in an environmentally friendly way already exists. How can one convince the world’s political leaders that this is the case and get them to act?

  5. Michael Robinson-

    Toyota may have some cutting edge research that they are keeping to themselves, but many of the answers you seek are here:
    http://www.hydrogen.energy.gov/annual_progress12.html

    Start with the introduction. A good overview:
    http://www.hydrogen.energy.gov/pdfs/progress12/i_0_satyapal_2012.pdf

    When the technology is ready, it will come to showrooms.

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