Honda and Isuzu to jointly develop hydrogen fuel cells for large trucks

17 Jan 2020

Image: © ahua/

This week in future tech, Japan’s auto giants Honda and Isuzu will work together to develop hydrogen fuel cells for heavy-duty trucks.

Japan’s place at the forefront of hydrogen-powered vehicle development continues with news that Honda and Isuzu are coming together to develop fuel-cell technology. According to Reuters, the pair will look to bring hydrogen to heavy-duty trucks.

“Although we have done extensive R&D into passenger fuel-cell vehicles, we have not been able to study how best to apply the technology to commercial vehicles,” a Honda spokesperson said. “This partnership will allow us to do that.”

It will be a two-year deal, where Isuzu will test Honda’s fuel cell powertrain, designed for passenger cars, in the former’s commercial trucks.

In a statement, Honda said: “Through this joint research, Isuzu and Honda will not only realise clean, low-noise, low-vibration heavy-duty trucks customers are waiting for, but also promote expansive discussions by the industry.”

1,000 electric bicycles to be made available for Dublin streets

As many as 1,000 electric bicycles (e-bikes) will be made available across Dublin in the coming months.

According to The Irish Times, Dublin City Council (DCC) said that two companies, BleeperBike and Moby, will be tasked with rolling out the e-bikes. BleeperBike has said it plans to launch between 150 and 200 e-bikes initially and will release more based on demand. These bikes use a combination of pedal power and battery power.

The company’s founder and chief executive, Hugh Cooney, said the batteries on its bikes can be switched out for a fully-charged one once their charge has been used up.

Meanwhile, Irish start-up Moby has started testing its own e-bikes ahead of its launch, with expectations that it will have approximately 250 e-bikes when operational.

Geopolitical tensions will see electronic warfare tech spending soar

Market analyst firm Frost & Sullivan has published a report estimating that global spending on electronic warfare technology will soar in the years ahead with rising geopolitical tension. It said that the emergence of stealth and advanced drone aircraft has pushed nations to invest in countermeasures.

The global military airborne electronic warfare market could expect revenues of more than $30.8bn between 2018 and 2028, it added.

“Many countries will be modernising their ageing fleets through upgrade or replacement programmes in the next 10 years,” said Ryan Pinto, a research analyst covering aerospace and defence for Frost & Sullivan.

“With an increased focus on electronic warfare systems, this modernisation phase will provide opportunities to replace their existing electronic warfare capabilities with modern systems that can counter new threat environments.”

5G connections to hit 1.5bn globally by 2025

Juniper Research has published a report estimating that the number of 5G connections will reach the 1.5bn mark by 2025, rising from only 5m in 2019. This will be due to rapid growth in the US and South Korea, with 75pc of all 5G subscribers being attributed to these two countries by the end of this year.

The research noted that operators in Europe and elsewhere have focused on maximising early 5G revenue by applying premium pricing over 4G subscriptions.

But the report warned that operators will need to rapidly expand their network roll-out if they are to justify the high price for customers. By comparison, the US and South Korea have gone for cheaper pricing, increasing its adoption significantly.

“We expect 5G to be used for over 5m broadband connections by the end of 2020,” said research author Andrew Knighton. “Operators will need to provide 5G whose bandwidth and latency matches or exceeds current internet services. Otherwise, they risk missing out on this valuable new revenue stream.”

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Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic