Toyota selling hydrogen fuel cell powered cars as soon as 2015 is all very nice, but why do they depict it in a forest that would even make Harry Potter feel uneasy? And how did it get there?
This is The Morning Shift, our one-stop daily roundup of all the auto news that's actually important — all in one place at 9:00 AM. Or, you could spend all day waiting for other sites to parse it out to you one story at a time. Isn't your time more important?
1st Gear: Toyota Has A Hydrogen Car Coming In 2015
So, Toyota's FCV-R Concept is a preview of the first Toyota hydrogen fuel cell car, which they say will launch in 2015 to what we expect is a limited audience.
The details? It's the Hybrid Synergy Drive they use in the Prius but they use a hydrogen fuel cell instead of a gasoline engine. Impressively, they claim it'll go 420 miles and produce no C02, N0X or particulate matter emissions. Like all hydrogen fuel cells, it just produces water.
Here's the nut, though:
Toyota expects FCHVs to reach full mass-market commercialisation during the 2020s, by when it aims to be selling tens of thousands of vehicles annually. This market growth will be supported by the wider roll-out of fuel cell vehicle technology; the development of hydrogen refuelling infrastructure that will bring filling stations within easy reach of greater numbers of people; and cost reductions that go hand-in-hand with a maturing technology.
Toyota is having a big celebration of its hybrids right now in Michigan, a sign in the minds of some that they're worried the trend is towards EVs and plug-ins and yet they're still promoting hybrids and now hydrogen-powered cars.
Of course, I could be wrong. Look at how influential Honda's hydrogen car has been...
2nd Gear: Speaking Of The Next Prius
Marky Mark Rechtin reports that the next Prius will be smaller, lighter, cheaper, and get better fuel economy.
Now, what they mean by that is the powetrain will get smaller. The size of the car and the interior package, of course, isn't going to get smaller. That's not what Toyota does.
The goal? 55 MPG. Look for it in early 2015.
3rd Gear: Detroit Electric To Build Cars In… Holland?
So what now?
Karl Henkel says the "Detroit" in "Detroit Electric" actually means "Holland," as in they're going to build the cars in Holland instead of Wayne County, Michigan.
That was fast.
4th Gear: Was Carlos Tavares Too Power Hungry?
Yesterday, we told you Renault COO/ Carlos Ghosn's right-hand-man Carlos Tavares was leaving. Today we learn from the WSJ that little Carlos wasn't so happy to hear his #2 was looking for other jobs.
Mr. Ghosn was on vacation when he learned about Mr. Tavares's remarks, a person familiar with the matter said. He was highly upset, the person said, especially after Renault's French employees complained about what they considered disloyalty on the part of Mr. Tavares. "He was supposed to be a leader, the guiding light for policy implementation, and yet he was saying publicly he was looking for another job," the person said.
Yeah, do not make Carlos Ghosn mad. Bloomberg is also reporting that Tavares had asked for a wider role before declaring publicly that he'd be happy somewhere else.
Ace move, Carloses. Way to communicate.
5th Gear: Ford About 2/3rd Of The Way To Living Up To Labor Promise
Ford told the United Auto Workers they'd add 12,000 hourly workers in 2011 and now they're about 2/3rds of the way there with 8,000 jobs (many coming along at Ford's Flat Rock plant for the U.S. launch of the Fusion, which happened this week) reports The Detroit News.
And that's not all. A UAW official said they could add another 8,000 jobs eventually. Wishful thinking? Probably. If demand warrants I'm sure Ford will add a lot more workers, but they're just as likely to report to work in China or Mexico.
Reverse: Thank The Governator
On this day in 2006, the California State Senate passes Assembly Bill (AB) 32, otherwise known as the Global Warming Solutions Act. The law made California the first state in America to place caps on carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases, including those found in automobile emissions.
Neutral: Hydrogen? That's a lot of work to build out an infrastructure when, as Tesla is showing, it's much easier to build up on the electric grid or build an electric grid of your own.
Photo Credit: Getty Images