I can’t claim to be a car type person at all. I’m nearly 24, and in a country where the license to drive is provided at 18, let us just say that my friends have fun with my lack of desire to drive. However, I would like to think that, if I were a driver and had enough funds, I would spend my money wisely on Toyota’s new fuel cell hybrid.
Toyota Motor Corporation has announced that the Toyota FCHV-adv will be powered by a new fuel-cell hybrid system, which is powered by hydrogen and electricity. This improves the models cruising range to a maximum of 516 miles, or 830 kilometers for the rest of the world who decided to go metric. This compares favorably to the previous fuel cell model, which only provided for a 205 mile (330 km) range.
News of this new fuel-cell system came only days after the FCHV-adv was awarded with vehicle-type certification Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport (MLIT) on Tuesday. The car will be available for leasing in Japan later this year, though pricing and other details are not available at the moment.
The “hybrid” nature of the FCHV-adv sees it switch between its fuel cell – which is powered by a chemical reaction when the hydrogen stored in its tank combines with oxygen in the air to produce water – and an electric motor. This in comparison to Toyota’s Prius, which switches between an electric motor and a standard gasoline/fuel engine.
Engineers at the world’s second biggest automaker were tasked with working on the basic problem of how to stop the internally produced water from interfering with electrical generation at low temperatures. Now, the Membrane Electrode Assembly has been redesigned so that it can operate in cold regions, with temperatures dropping as low as -30 degrees Celsius.
In addition, fuel efficiency was improved by 25% as a result of improving the fuel cell unit performance, enhancing a regenerative brake system, and reducing the energy that is consumed by auxiliary systems on board the FCHV-adv.
A Toyota FCHV-adv is to be provided as a test-ride vehicle at the Environmental Showcase within the International Media Center during the July 7-9 Hokkaido Toyako Summit.
See More Posts on Car Technology at Gas 2.0:
- Company Unveils Hydrogen Hybrid Supercar: Available Fall 2008
- An Electric Car With Muscle: The 175 MPGe X1 Prototype by Wrightspeed Inc.
- Want to Test Drive a Hydrogen Powered Car? GM’s “Project Driveway” Looking For Drivers
Image Courtesy of Toyota Motor Corporation
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