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Toyota 'Fueled by Bullshi*t' campaign promotes Mirai

by Justin King

Toyota uses a bit of humor to fight back at critics, pointing out that hydrogen can be manufactured from bovine excrement.

Toyota has released a humorous YouTube video that responds to critics of fuel-cell technology.

The segment starts off with a few quotes from doubters -- "Fuel cells are dead on arrival;" "Hydrogen is inefficient;" and "It's a pipe dream."

"Some have even gone so far as to call bullsh*t," says Nuvera Fuel Cells VP Scott Blancht. "And they're right, but not in the way they think."

The documentary shows how hydrogen can be created from bovine excrement, which is placed in a pool lagoon "digester" to create raw biogas. Hydrogen is then harvested from the gas via a steam methane reforming, then used to power fuel-cell vehicles such as the Toyota Mirai.

Tesla Motors chief executive Elon Musk has derisively called the technology "fool cells," arguing that the technology doesn't compare well to even current battery technology. Criticisms have focused on lack of infrastructure, high cost of fuel cells, dangers of hydrogen storage, and carbon-dioxide emissions from the popular steam methane reforming process.

"We're putting hydrogen in the spotlight for its exciting potential as a renewable fuel source," said Toyota senior VP Bob Carter. "This is the beginning of the road for hydrogen, but we see the potential and we're making a long-term investment in the future."

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