Toyota Motor Corporation (NYSE:TM) eyes Olympic platform to boost hydrogen tech
Toyota showcases its next-generation hydrogen-powered Mirai model at Wednesday’s Tokyo Motor Show, but with the technology still lagging behind electric, the Japanese firm is hoping for an Olympic boost.
The automaker is a lead sponsor of the global sporting event through 2024, and will include around 500 of the new fuel-cell vehicles in a 3,700-strong fleet to be used during the Tokyo Games next summer.
Adoption of fuel-cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) has been slow compared with electric cars powered by lithium-ion batteries.
By the end of 2018, there were just 381 hydrogen stations in service worldwide, while there were 5.2 million lithium-ion battery recharge stops.
Supporters say the technology has plenty to offer in the transition to climate-friendly vehicles, including zero CO2 emissions from operation, faster recharging and more range per recharge.
But both vehicles and infrastructure remain expensive, in part because of the dangers posed by highly flammable and explosive hydrogen, while there are also concerns about the way the fuel is produced.
Almost all current hydrogen production comes from fossil fuels, generating annual CO2 emissions equivalent to those of Britain and Indonesia combined, according to the International Energy Agency.
“At the moment the technology is not very mature,” said Takeshi Miyao, head of consulting firm Carnorama.
“You need a lot of energy to produce hydrogen.”
– ‘A part of life’ –
But some experts believe more efficient hydrogen production will follow naturally if demand for the vehicles increases.
“Once the market is there, this will enable large-scale investment in low-carbon hydrogen,” said Erwin Penfornis, vice-president for hydrogen Asia-Pacific at the French firm Air Liquide.
And it’s that demand Toyota is hoping to stir at the Olympics next year, aiming to also boost the number of its Sora hydrogen buses on the roads of Tokyo from the current 15 to 100 by the summer.
“The idea is to show that hydrogen can be a part of everyone’s life and for people to take that away from the Games,” Yasunobu Seki of Toyota’s Olympic projects department said earlier this year.
Toyota released its first-generation Mirai at the end of 2014, and has had modest success so far, selling just 10,000 units of the model, whose name means “future” in Japanese.
On Wednesday, it unveiled its second-generation model, promising up to 30 percent more driving range. The car is set to hit the market in late 2020, with no price tag yet announced.
The firm is also boosting production capacity in Japan, with the goal of being able to deliver 30,000 fuel-cell vehicles a year by 2021, which is 10 times more than currently possible.
Toyota says fuel-cell technology is “one approach” among others that it is pursuing, with applications as much for individual cars as for heavy vehicles, including buses and trucks.
It may be that latter category where hydrogen technology is most rapidly adopted, particularly in China, analysts say.
– China’s hydrogen plans –
Already a champion of lithium-ion battery electric cars, China last March adopted a hydrogen plan that envisions putting a million fuel-cell cars on its roads by 2030.
And Toyota has quickly sought to take advantage, signing a deal in April to supply hydrogen equipment to Foton, a subsidiary of China’s Beijing Automotive Group (BAIC).
The Japanese firm has also sealed similar partnerships in recent months with other Chinese companies including FAW and Guangzhou Automobile Group (GAC).
The deals come against the backdrop of warming ties between Beijing and Tokyo, with China’s Xi Jinping expected to make a state visit to Japan next spring.
Analysts say hydrogen-powered vehicle producers might be smart to focus on commercial vehicles initially.
“The focus on commercial vehicles makes it easier to deal with the challenge of developing a network of refuelling centres, as commercial vehicles typically operate on predictable routes,” said Janet Lewis, an analyst at Macquarie Capital Securities in Japan.
“As the infrastructure gets built out, there could be renewed interest… for passenger use, which for now is likely to remain a niche area.”
Overall, the bias in prices is: Upwards.
The projected upper bound is: 140.10.
The projected lower bound is: 132.92.
The projected closing price is: 136.51.
A black body occurred (because prices closed lower than they opened).
During the past 10 bars, there have been 4 white candles and 6 black candles for a net of 2 black candles. During the past 50 bars, there have been 24 white candles and 26 black candles for a net of 2 black candles.
Three black candles occurred in the last three days. Although these candles were not big enough to create three black crows, the steady downward pattern is bearish.
Momentum is a general term used to describe the speed at which prices move over a given time period. Generally, changes in momentum tend to lead to changes in prices. This expert shows the current values of four popular momentum indicators.
One method of interpreting the Stochastic Oscillator is looking for overbought areas (above 80) and oversold areas (below 20). The Stochastic Oscillator is 41.6671. This is not an overbought or oversold reading. The last signal was a sell 3 period(s) ago.
Relative Strength Index (RSI)
The RSI shows overbought (above 70) and oversold (below 30) areas. The current value of the RSI is 58.24. This is not a topping or bottoming area. A buy or sell signal is generated when the RSI moves out of an overbought/oversold area. The last signal was a sell 24 period(s) ago.
Commodity Channel Index (CCI)
The CCI shows overbought (above 100) and oversold (below -100) areas. The current value of the CCI is 71. This is not a topping or bottoming area. The last signal was a sell 3 period(s) ago.
The Moving Average Convergence/Divergence indicator (MACD) gives signals when it crosses its 9 period signal line. The last signal was a buy 6 period(s) ago.
Rex Takasugi – TD Profile
TOYOTA MOTOR closed up 0.030 at 136.350. Volume was 45% below average (neutral) and Bollinger Bands were 11% wider than normal.
Open High Low Close Volume___
136.600 136.980 136.300 136.350 25,451
Short Term: Overbought
Intermediate Term: Bullish
Long Term: Bullish
Moving Averages: 10-period 50-period 200-period
Close: 135.42 133.20 125.59
Volatility: 16 17 16
Volume: 40,688 46,035 46,479
Short-term traders should pay closer attention to buy/sell arrows while intermediate/long-term traders should place greater emphasis on the Bullish or Bearish trend reflected in the lower ribbon.
TOYOTA MOTOR is currently 8.6% above its 200-period moving average and is in an upward trend. Volatility is high as compared to the average volatility over the last 10 periods. Our volume indicators reflect volume flowing into and out of TM.N at a relatively equal pace (neutral). Our trend forecasting oscillators are currently bullish on TM.N and have had this outlook for the last 1 periods.