Anytime you have a car, even if its a concept, that promises a maximum range of 310 miles, you immediately have to give it the attention it deserves.
At the 2013 Tokyo Motor Show , Toyota has a concept that promises as such, although how much of it will translate to the production model is still a matter of discussion.
The concept is called the FCV Concept, a conceptual successor to the FCV-R Concept we saw two years ago in Tokyo. The new FCV Concept is a lot closer to production than its predecessor with Toyota expected to release the vehicle in the next few years.
As far as the concept goes, the styling is a dramatic improvement from the FCV-R Concept. It still doesn’t look good as we’d like, but the large vent on the front, the stylish headlights configuration, and the unique grille setup makes for a front end that actually looks pretty interesting.
In terms of its dimensions, the FCV Concept is surprisingly robust, measuring 191.7 inches long, 71.25 inches wide, and 60.4 inches high with a wheelbase of 109.44 inches. All that allows enough space for the interior to comfortably sit four adults, which is a good thing for a car that promotes itself as a long-distance people mover.
Ok, so here’s where the FCV Concept gets interesting. It’s far from powerful, as it’s powertrain features a pair of 70 MPa high-pressure fuel stacks, which have a power output density of 3 kW/L and a minimum output of just 100 kW, which is about 134 horsepower based on conversions. All that does, though, is give the concept a whole lot real estate to cover, thanks to its maximum range of 310 miles.
Ultimately, the fate of the FCV Concept will be determined by how much it lives up to its range claims. It if it can come remotely close to approaching it, then Toyota has a winner on its hands. If it doesn’t, then it’s back to the drawing board.
Click past the jump to read about the Toyota FCV Concept’s predecessor, the FCV-R Concept
Back in June, we brought you the first rumors related to a possible collaboration between BMW and Toyota . Now, those rumors have become reality, as BMW has dropped the first official details on this upcoming partnership.
It looks like Toyota fell in love with these types of collaborative projects after the GT 86 sports car , developed in cooperation with Subaru went so well. This new partnership with BMW will add a yet another new sports vehicle to its lineup.
According to the new agreement signed between BMW and Toyota, the two companies will join forces to develop a new fuel-cell system, as well as new architecture and components for a sports vehicle concept that is set to be completed by the end of 2013.
Along with the new sports car, the two companies will join forces in their attempt to develop zero-emission technology. They are talking about a fundamental fuel-cell vehicle system, including not only a fuel-cell stack and system, but also a hydrogen tank, motor and a lithium-air battery. This new system is aimed for completion in 2020.
At the 2012 Paris Auto Show, Hyundai announced plans to become the first global automaker to begin commercial rollout of zero-emissions vehicles. Deliveries on their new ix35 Fuel Cell Vehicle will begin in December 2012 and by 2015, the company hopes to have built up to 1,000 units.
The ix35 Fuel Cell Vehicle is powered by hydrogen, with a fuel cell stack converting the hydrogen into electricity, which in turn charges the Lithium Polymer battery that powers the vehicle’s electric motor. Other technologies include kinetic energy regeneration system that charges the battery when the driver applies the brakes or drives downhill, plus a start/stop system which helps minimize energy loss in city driving. The only emission generated by the ix35 Fuel Cell is water steam. The ix35 Fuel Cell will sprint from 0 to 60 mph in 12.5 seconds, can hit a top speed of 100 mph, and can travel 588km (365miles) without refueling.
"The ix35 Fuel Cell is the pinnacle of Hyundai’s advanced engineering and our most powerful commitment to be the industry leader in eco-friendly mobility," said Vice Chairman Woong Chul Yang, head of Hyundai R&D. "Zero-emissions cars are no longer a dream. Our ix35 Fuel Cell vehicle is here today, and ready for commercial use.
Since 2009, Honda has had hydrogen fuel cell vehicles running around in Europe and in 2011, Honda joined the Clean Energy Partnership in Europe to help bring hydrogen fuel cell vehicles to the forefront. Now Honda is set to expand its hydrogen fuel cell vehicle production in a huge way by replacing the existing FCX Clarity with an all-new fuel cell vehicle in 2015. What’s more is that this car will be marketed in Japan and the U.S., as well as Europe.
Hydrogen fuel cell vehicles use hydrogen to create electricity and the electricity is used to power the car. This means that there is literally no non-renewable fuel used and the only emissions created are water vapor. The details are still pretty sketchy on the entire project and Honda has pretty much only let us in on a little bit of information. In a statement, Honda stated that this new fuel cell vehicle will “showcase further technological advancement and significant cost reduction that Honda has accomplished.”
The latter statement is thanks to a new manufacturing process that Honda will adopt that allows it to produce its cars at the same time around the world, as opposed to staggering the production around the globe. Per Honda’s research, and general consensus agreement, this will reduce the cost of producing all Hondas, not just FCVs.
The biggest issue that Honda will run into in the U.S. is the hydrogen-delivery infrastructure. You can’t really head on down to your local BP station and top off your hydrogen tanks at will. It definitely takes a little planning and we are interested to see what Honda has up its sleeves for this. Don’t be shocked to start seeing Honda offering up filling stations at local dealerships that sell these cars.
We’ll keep you up to date on the production and details on this upcoming Honda FCV.
Nissan’s experimentation into the world of zero-emission, hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles is now in concept form as the Terra SUV Concept.
The concept, which will make its debut at the 2012 Paris Auto Show, provides a glimpse on what a future zero-emissions SUV concept is capable of. This may not be good news to the die-hard gear heads, but rings like music to the ears of environmentalists the world over.
More importantly, the Terra SUV Concept was born from technologies the Japanese automaker has used on a number of its vehicles, particularly the Juke , the Qashqai , and the Leaf .
"Our challenge was to take Nissan’s strength in SUVs and crossovers forward into the zero-emissions era, fuel cells being our new frontier in zero emission mobility," said Francois Bancon, Nissan’s division general manager of product strategy and planning.
"Not big and tough for the desert, the aim was a new approach to SUVs that’s relevant to urban life. The unique diagonal seating layout that offers an exciting driving experience thanks to exceptional visibility that creates a sense of being in control under any conditions."
Find out more about the Nissan Terra SUV Concept after the jump