Toyota to deliver hydrogen FCV in 2015

Toyota has confirmed they are on track to introduce their first hydrogen fuel cell vehicle (FCV) to the market next year.

Back in 2010, Toyota announced the next step in their technological development by endeavouring to create a viable and sustainable hydrogen FCV by 2015. With 2015 just around the corner, they have stated they are on course to keep this promise.

By combining the range benefits of a conventional combustion engine, the efficiency of a hybrid's dual power system and the zero emissions impact of an electric vehicle (EV), a hydrogen FCV certainly seem an attractive concept.

Hydrogen, as a secondary fuel source, can be generated using any primary fuel, and is ideally suited to capture renewable energy for vehicle use. The gas can also be easily stored using high pressure tanks, which have been proven to be highly reliable and safe.

Toyota expects their production FCV to offer 100kW of peak power amounting to 500 miles off a single fuel tank. They claim that the car takes around three minutes to refuel and it will emit only water vapour.

Toyota is convinced this is the logical direction to take on their venture to create the "ultimate eco-car". However, FCVs do pose issues which have yet to be fully resolved; the development of hydrogen infrastructure, public awareness and cost will all play a part in whether the FCV will be a success in the future.

Karl Schlicht, Executive Vice President of Toyota Motor Europe, says "there is of course a long way to go, as with any game-changing technology, but remember the same was said about hybrid only 10 years ago".

For these reasons, the initial volume of production FCVs is likely to be limited. This is likely to change, however, with BMW now partnering with Toyota to further fuel cell research and development. What's more, FCVs have recently seen support from the EU who has injected £31m into their HyFive initiative.

Toyota

Edward Wirgman

Author:Edward Wirgman
Date Updated:17th Apr 2014

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