HyperSolar, Inc., the developer of a breakthrough technology to produce renewable hydrogen using sunlight and water, commented today on the recent debut of the 2015 Toyota FCV, a sedan which runs on hydrogen power, and is expected to reach dealerships in the middle of next year.
The vehicle, chronicled in a recent USA Today story, is expected to possess an approximate 300-mile range, and cost around $50-$60 to refuel. The highly anticipated automobile will join other hydrogen-powered vehicles including the Hyundai Tucson Fuel Cell and Honda FCX Clarity, as auto manufacturers continue to develop fuel cell powered vehicles. Toyota also commented on the scalability of hydrogen fuel cell technologies, citing the need for large vehicles such as buses and trucking fleets to become more energy efficient.
The product rollouts are rapidly growing, as manufacturers seek to leverage market opportunities, such as in the state of California where approximately 50 stations are expected to be operating by the end of 2016. Toyota highlighted the importance of fueling infrastructure and production, as a spokesperson for the company referenced the state's approximately $200 million in funding from the California Energy Commission, as well as Toyota's "undisclosed investment in hydrogen producer FirstElement Fuel."
This expansion of fueling stations has increased the need for actual hydrogen fuel production, for which HyperSolar seeks to apply its hydrogen fuel produced from renewable resources such as wind or solar, known as "green hydrogen," as opposed to "brown hydrogen" produced from natural gas, a fossil fuel. The market for renewable hydrogen production is anticipated to grow as according to a 2014 Union of Concerned Scientists article at least 33% of the hydrogen provided at a company's California filling stations must come from renewable sources to meet the standard.
"Toyota and other auto manufacturers' commitment to hydrogen fuel cell technology further underscores HyperSolar's opportunity in the market," said Tim Young, CEO of HyperSolar. "As these vehicles are adopted by the masses and require refueling not just throughout California but the entire country, we believe that HyperSolar's ability to produce hydrogen at or near the point of distribution via a renewable process will provide fueling stations with the support needed to meet consumer demand."
HyperSolar's technology is based on the concept of developing a low-cost, submersible hydrogen production particle that can split water molecules using sunlight without any other external systems or resources -- acting as artificial photosynthesis. A video of an early proof-of-concept prototype can be viewed at http://hypersolar.com/application.php.