Toyota the giant Japanese automaker is apparently active in cold fusion or low energy nuclear reaction research again. New Energy Times’ Steven B. Krivit reported that Toyota has apparently hired the Electric Power Research Institute a think tank in Palo Alto, California, to conduct an analysis on LENR.
Krivit reported that Toyota’s Central Research and Development Laboratories in Nagakute Japan is working on LENR. At least one Toyota subsidiary Technova is also conducting LENR research. A series of articles by Krivit indicates that Toyota is working with researchers at Osaka University and Kobe University in an attempt to use nanomaterials and hydrogen isotope gas absorption to achieve a low energy nuclear reaction.

Toyota was apparently active in LENR research in the 1990s when it funded research by Pons and Fleischmann in France. The results of that research didn’t pan out so the company eventually halted the work. It has a apparently returned to LENR work in recent years.

Toyota is a giant publicly traded corporation that is the world’s number two automaker. Its involvement certainly gives LENR credibility. This work also indicates that Toyota’s management might be concerned about energy shortages.

A cold fusion Prius might be in our future.

Japan is currently experiencing an electricity shortage because its nuclear plants are shut down because of the Fukushima debacle last year. Japanese carmakers like Toyota have had to shut down operations or move them to the United States because of electricity shortages. Large Japanese electric companies like Tokyo Electric are now importing large amounts of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from countries like Australia to burn to produce electricity. Tokyo Electric has actually invested in LNG plants and natural gas wells off the coast of Western Australia to ensure a supply.

LNG Tanker in Port

Demand for LNG is now so high in Japan that there aren’t enough tankers to haul LNG there. So it’s easy to see why companies like Toyota are interested in new technologies such as LENR. There is also a plan to build a massive plant to convert American natural gas into LNG for export to Japan in Coos Bay, Oregon.

It looks like the energy crisis in Japan is driving LENR research. Hopefully Toyota will devote the kind of resources needed to make LENR into a viable energy source. Interestingly enough New Energy Times is now a paid content website so you’ll have to buy an $80 membership to see the articles.