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.
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
A little uglier than the FCV Concept, the FCV-R was a hydrogen-powered sedan-type concept that was being run on a promising source of CO2 emission-free energy that, according to Toyota, can be produced in a variety of ways using a number of sources and can be easily stored and transported.
The overall set-up of the FCV-R Concept was designed with the aforementioned fuel-cell unit located just under the a specially designed bodyshell. The concept was also being pegged as a future fuel cell model that the company is looking into bringing into production in a few year’s time, hence the introduction of the tighter FCV Concept.
Gallery Toyota FCV-R Concept
The Toyota FCV Concept is a practical concept of the fuel cell vehicle Toyota plans to launch around 2015 as a pioneer in the development of hydrogen-powered vehicles. The vehicle has a driving range of at least 500 km and refueling times as low as three minutes, roughly the same time as for a gasoline vehicle.
The vehicle’s exterior design evokes two key characteristics of a fuel cell vehicle: the transformation of air into water as the system produces electricity, and the powerful acceleration enabled by the electric drive motor. The bold front view features pronounced air intakes, while the sleek side view conveys the air-to-water transformation with its flowing-liquid door profile and wave-motif fuel cap. The theme carries to the rear view, which conveys a catamaran’s stern and the flow of water behind.
With Toyota’s proprietary small, light-weight FC Stack and two 70 MPa high-pressure hydrogen tanks placed beneath the specially designed body, the Toyota FCV Concept can accommodate up to four occupants.
The Toyota FC Stack has a power output density of 3 kW/L, more than twice that of the current “Toyota FCHV-adv” FC Stack, and an output of at least 100 kW. In addition, the FC system is equipped with Toyota’s high-efficiency boost converter. Increasing the voltage has made it possible to reduce the size of the motor and the number of fuel cells, leading to a smaller system offering enhanced performance at reduced cost.
Fully fueled, the vehicle can provide enough electricity to meet the daily needs of an average Japanese home (10 kWh) for more than one week.