Toyota to Sell Fuel Cell-Powered Bus in 2017
Toyota pushing fuel cell while the industry goes electricby Mark McNabb, on
Toyota has just announced it will be producing hydrogen fuel cell-powered buses in 2017 in preparation before the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. The automaker will work with Hino Motors, a subsidiary of Toyota, to build more than 100 examples of the FC Bus. The city bus will be assigned to fixed routes around the city to help “increase the level of understanding by the general public of the utilization of FC buses as a form of public transportation.”
The bus will run on fuel cell technology similar to that found in the Toyota Mirai. A maximum of 303 horsepower and 494 pound-feet of torque will come from two AC synchronous motors powered by a Nickel-metal hydride battery with a maximum external output of nine kW. The 10 on-board fuel takes hold 600 liters, or the equivalent of 235 kWh of power. What’s more, the FC Bus can be used to power emergency shelters in the event of a disaster, so long as the building has a compatible plug-in.
Toyota says it has already been field-testing the FC Bus. Initially, two FC Buses will be assigned a fixed route in downtown Tokyo. More Toyota buses will come online afterward, with at least 100 being planed before 2020. This is only part of Tokyo’s Bureau of Transportation’s plan to have more than 6,000 fuel cell vehicles registered in Tokyo before the big games. Government officials have tapped both Toyota and Honda to help spearhead the initiative.
Continue reading for more information.
Why It Matters
Alternative energy is huge these days as the world strives to move away from fossil fuels and towards cleaner, more sustainable means of power. Electric vehicles like those from Tesla have proven their worth, but other automakers are considering other options. Toyota, in particular, sees hydrogen fuel cell vehicles as a clear option since they operate much like a standard internal combustion engine. Users will fill their vehicles up with liquid hydrogen and drive until the tank needs refilling. A quick process similar to a gasoline or diesel fill-up gets the vehicle back on the road with little downtime.
Hydrogen fuel cells work by converting liquid hydrogen into electricity inside the fuel cell system. The only byproducts are heat and pure water. Hydrogen would also better assimilate into cultures used to filling up at gas stations.
Perhaps the future will have a place and need for both pure electric vehicles and those that run hydrogen. The next 20 years will certainly be an interesting couple of decades.