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The Good News
2018 August/September
Pg 3 - The Sunshine Express
equal to the world record gallium arsenide solar cell
and much higher than record silicon cells that only
reach 84 percent.¡±
These improvements in material quality are theo-
retically predicted to enable the light-to-electricity
power conversion efficiency to reach 27.9 percent
under regular sunlight levels, which would push the
perovskite-based photovoltaic record past the best
silicon devices.
The next step for perovskites, the researchers said,
is to demonstrate a similar chemical passivation that
is compatible with easily manufactured electrodes ¡ª
as well as to experiment with other types of surface
¡°Perovskites have already demonstrated unprec-
edented success in photovoltaic devices, but there
is so much room for further improvement,¡± said de-
Quilettes. ¡°Here we think we have provided a path
forward for the community to better harness the
sun¡¯s energy.¡±
Other co-authors are Luis Pazos-Out¨®n, a post-
doctoral researcher at the University of California,
Berkeley; Sven Burke, who recently completed his
UW undergraduate degree in materials science and
engineering; and Mark Ziffer, who just completed his
doctoral degree with the UW Department of Chem-
istry and the CEI. The research was funded by the
U.S. Department of Energy, the National Science
Foundation, the University of Washington, the UW
Clean Energy Institute, the UW Molecular Engineer-
ing & Sciences Institute and the University of Cali-
fornia, Berkeley.
For more information contact Ginger at:
206.685.2231 or and Hillhouse at:
206.685.5257 or
Grant numbers: DE-SC0013957, DGE-1256082, DE-
EE0006710, ECC-1542101
Thin Solar Cells (continued from pg1)
a plant in Toyota
City, where 13
technicians push
partially con-
structed units into
assembly bays for
detailed inspec-
This process yields
just 6.5 cars a day,
a sliver of Toyota¡¯s
average domestic
daily production
of about 13,400
Strategic Analysis
Inc, which has ana-
lyzed costs of FCVs
including the Mirai,
estimates that it
costs Toyota about $11,000 to produce each
of its fuel cell stacks, by far the vehicles¡¯ most
expensive part.
Toyota has been building up production capac-
ity to change that, as it expects global FCV
sales climb to 30,000 units annually after
2020 from about 3,000. Strategic Analysis
estimates that would allow Toyota to reduce
costs to about $8,000 per stack.
It has already begun to use parts developed
for the Mirai in other models, such as the fuel
cell stack, which is used in Kenworth freight
trucks being tested in California, the Sora
FC bus it released in Japan in March and the
delivery trucks it will test with Seven-Eleven
stores in Japan next year.
¡°It will be difficult for Toyota to lower FCV
production costs if it only produces the Mirai,¡±
the first source told Reuters on condition of
anonymity as he was not authorized to speak
publicly about the issue.
¡°By using the FCV system in larger models,
it is looking to lower costs by mass-produc-
ing and using common parts across vehicle
classes,¡± he added.
The Mirai¡¯s high production costs are largely
due to expensive materials including platinum,
titanium and carbon fiber used in the fuel cell
and hydrogen storage systems.
Engineers have been reducing that by improv-
ing the platinum catalyst, a key component
in the 370 layered cells in the fuel cell stack,
which facilitates the reaction between hydro-
gen and oxygen that produces electricity.
¡°We¡¯ve been able to decrease the platinum
loading by 10 percent to 20 percent and deliv-
er the same performance,¡± said Eri Ichikawa,
a fuel cell engineer at Cataler Corp, a Toyota
subsidiary that specializes in catalytic convert-
Strategic Analysis says using that much less
of the precious metal would save up to $300
per fuel cell stack, based on an estimate that
Toyota now uses about 30 grams of platinum
per unit.
¡°By consistently focusing on these issues, we
will be able to progressively lower the cost of
FCVs in the future,¡± Tanaka said.
(Reporting by Naomi Tajitsu and Maki Shiraki;
Editing by Joe White, Ritsuko Ando and Gerry
Doyle. source:
Toyota Doubles Down On FCVs
future product plans.
But it has developed FCV prototypes of small
delivery vehicles and large transport trucks
based on models already on the road, as
Tesla Inc develops a battery-operated com-
mercial semi-truck from the ground up.
¡°We¡¯re going to use as many parts from
existing passenger cars and other models as
possible in fuel cell trucks,¡± said Ikuo Ota,
manager of new business planning for fuel
cell projects at Toyota. ¡°Otherwise, we won¡¯t
see the benefits of mass production.¡±
The company is also betting on improved
Toyota wants to push the driving range of the
next Mirai to 700-750 kilometers from around
500 kilometers, and to hit 1,000 kilometers
by 2025, a separate source said.
Driven by the belief that hydrogen will be-
come a key source of clean energy in the
next 100 years, Toyota has been developing
FCVs since the early 1990s.
Hydrogen is the most abundant element in
the universe and stores more energy than a
battery of equivalent weight.
The Mirai was the world¡¯s first production FCV
when it was launched in 2014. But its high
cost, around $60,000 before government
incentives, and lack of refueling infrastructure
have limited its appeal. Fewer than 6,000
have been sold globally.
LMC Automotive forecasts FCVs to make up
only 0.2 percent of global passenger car sales
in 2027, compared with 11.7 percent for bat-
tery EVs. The International Energy Agency
predicts fewer FCVs than battery-powered
and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles through
Many automakers, including Nissan Motor
Co and Tesla, see battery-powered cars as a
better, zero-emission solution to gasoline en-
gines. Only a handful, including Honda Motor
Co and Hyundai Motor Co, produce FCVs.
But people familiar with Toyota¡¯s plans said
the automaker thinks demand will perk up as
more countries, including China, warm to fuel
cell technology. The company also sees FCVs
as a hedge against a scarcity of key EV bat-
tery materials such as cobalt.
For now, Mirais are assembled by hand at
Toyota plans to expand production, shrink cost
of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles
JULY 26, 2018, TOYOTA CITY (Reuters): Toyota
Motor Corp is doubling down on its investment in
hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, designing lower-cost,
mass-market passenger cars and SUVs and pushing
the technology into buses and trucks to build econo-
mies of scale.
As Toyota cranks up improvements for the next gen-
eration of its Mirai hydrogen fuel cell vehicle (FCV),
expected in the early 2020s, it is hoping it can prove
wrong rival automakers and industry experts who
have mostly dismissed such plans as commercially
The maker of the Prius, the world¡¯s first mass-
produced ¡°eco-friendly¡± gasoline-hybrid car in the
1990s, says it can popularize FCVs in part by mak-
ing them cheaper.
¡°We¡¯re going to shift from limited production to
mass production, reduce the amount of expensive
materials like platinum used in FCV components,
and make the system more compact and powerful,¡±
Yoshikazu Tanaka, chief engineer of the Mirai, said
in an interview with Reuters.
It is planning a phased introduction of other FCV
models, including a range of SUVs, pick-up trucks,
and commercial trucks beginning around 2025, a
source with knowledge of the automaker¡¯s plans
The automaker declined to comment on specific