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February 2006

February 28, 2006

Land Rover Concept Showcases Hybrid System and Other Technologies for 30% Reduction in Fuel Consumption

The Land_e technology concept

Ford’s Land Rover is showcasing a range of new technologies including a new mild hybrid drive—collectively known as the e-Terrain System—that, as an integrated system, can reduce both fuel consumption and CO2 emissions by up to 30%.

Packaged into the Land_e concept vehicle, the e_Terrain technologies are targeting sub-150 g/km CO2 figures—equivalent to a combined fuel economy figure of about 5.65 l/100km (41.6 mpg US) in a vehicle similar in size to the current Freelander.

Such CO2 emissions levels are comparable with a typical gasoline B segment or diesel C segment car. Most of the technologies will be available on Land Rover production models starting in the next few years, according to the company.

(The current gasoline-fueled Land Rover models in the US offer fuel economies of between 15 and 16 mpg US (combined). More than 90% of all Land Rover vehicles currently sold in Europe, however, are diesel-powered, with corresponding reductions in fuel consumption and emissions.)

The e-Terrain technologies are practical, feasible, real-world solutions. In every case, they preserve—and in most cases improve—our breadth of capability. We are not prepared to dilute the essence of Land Rover. But we are committed to improving fuel economy and reducing CO2 emissions.

—Matthew Taylor, managing director of Land Rove

The technologies that Land_e showcases are:

  • A mild hybrid function with the Integrated Electric Rear Axle Drive and ISG Integrated Starter-Generator
  • Innovative Propshaft with Seamless Re-connect
  • Terrain Response e-Mode
  • Biodiesel capability
  • ITP Intelligent Thermal Program
  • EPAS Electric Power-Assisted Steering
  • IMES Intelligent Management of Electrical Systems

The Integrated Electric Rear Axle Drive is used in conjunction with the ISG Integrated Starter-Generator system to deliver mild hybrid function to improve both off-road ability and decrease urban emissions.

Off-road, the Integrated Electric Rear Axle Drive system can provide additional torque as required. Because electric power can offer maximum torque from standstill, it is most effective from virtually zero mph/kph. This offers better low-speed control and enhanced pull-away in difficult situations, such as on slippery surfaces or when towing.

On-road, the additional low-speed torque input from the Integrated Electric Rear Axle Drive allows electric-powered “traffic creep” and low-speed acceleration up to 20 mph (32 km/h) without restarting the engine, benefiting fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.

When quicker acceleration is required, the engine can be restarted immediately, so both the conventional engine and the Integrated Electric Rear Axle Drive system supply power from rest. In this case, the electric torque boost provided by the Integrated Electric Rear Axle Drive significantly improves acceleration without adversely affecting either fuel consumption or CO2 emissions.

The Integrated Electric Rear Axle Drive system draws stored energy from a lithium-ion battery pack it recharges by regenerative braking.

On its own, the ISG Integrated Starter-Generator is a micro-hybrid system that allows the engine to be stopped automatically whenever the vehicle stops, as in traffic, and under the control of the ECU it restarts the engine quickly and smoothly when required. The engine does not idle unnecessarily when the vehicle is stationary, to the further benefit of both fuel economy and CO2 emissions.

Together the ISG and Integrated Electric Rear Axle Drive offer the potential of a 20% reduction in CO2 emissions.

The Propshaft with Seamless Re-connect allows the Propshaft and rear drive components to come to rest, avoiding unnecessary rotational losses, when the drive to the rear wheels is automatically disconnected when conditions allow, such as cruising on a dry surface.

When rear drive is required, the system reconnects the rear axle automatically and virtually instantaneously. By ensuring that front and rear wheel speeds are correctly matched, and with the additional control of the Integrated Electric Rear Axle drive, the drive layout virtually eliminates wheel slippage, which in turn reduces soft-surface damage—for instance on grass.

The ISG Integrated Starter-Generator, Integrated Electric Rear Axle Drive and the Seamless Re-connect propshaft are fully compatible with all Land Rover engine and transmission options, and could be adapted for any model and any market.

The Land_e introduces a sixth Terrain Response mode—e-Mode—to the other five modes available on some Land Rover products: General Driving; Sand; Mud and Ruts; Grass, Gravel and Snow; and Rock Crawl.

The e-Mode is shown for the first time and focuses principally on on-road use. This configures all the vehicle’s e-terrain systems for optimized fuel economy. It always retains instantaneous access to Land Rover’s four-wheel drive capability but adopts soft throttle responses, and delivers early shift points.

In the Land_e, the other five Terrain Modes all use combinations of normal engine and Integrated Electric Rear Axle Drive. In all off-road modes, the engine is never shut down, even if the vehicle is stationary.

The ITP Intelligent Thermal Program controls engine parameters including exhaust heat management and cooling system function. Through heat exchangers, the EHRS (Exhaust Heat Recovery System) utilizes what is normally wasted heat from the exhaust system to promote faster engine and gearbox warm-up from cold, with several advantages.

In a production application, ITP could also control Active Aero Vanes, which would allow specific sections of the radiator aperture to be closed under certain operating conditions. That would reduce high-drag airflow through the radiator core and engine bay when cooling air is not needed—for instance at low ambient temperatures and when running in low-load conditions.

The vanes would also be closed during engine warm-up, again to ensure that the engine reaches optimum operating temperature as quickly as possible. Faster engine and catalyst warm-up significantly reduces emissions in the first minutes after a cold start, and by bringing engine and gearbox oils up to operating temperature more quickly, it reduces mechanical frictional losses.

An electronically controlled thermostat and cooling circuit give far more accurate control of coolant temperature than a conventional system, allowing the engine to run closer to its optimum temperature. The system also incorporates an electric water pump, which, unlike the conventional belt-driven water pump, is driven only on demand, and at variable speeds, avoiding inefficient and unnecessary overspeed running. Mechanical energy savings, optimum temperature control and fast warm-up from start offer the potential for additional CO2 emissions benefits.

Significant benefits are also possible with the use of electric power steering technology, EPAS (Electric Power Assisted Steering). EPAS completely eliminates the pumped hydraulic assistance of a conventional system and powers the steering rack directly, by electric servo motor.

That eliminates pumping power losses, including the significant losses when the pump is being driven at high speed even though assistance is not required, again offering a noticeable CO2 benefit compared to a belt-driven hydraulic system. The higher-voltage electrical supply made possible by ISG also allows the possibility of more powerful assistance for more demanding use.

All electrical system functions are controlled by IMES (Intelligent Management of Electrical Systems), with further efficiency gains. It incorporates a closed-loop system that monitors battery charge, vehicle electrical system demands, and generator speed and load. It uses the monitored data to ensure that the whole electrical system operates in the most efficient way.

It charges the battery only when it needs it, avoiding the over-charging associated with non-intelligent systems, and unless it is absolutely necessary, it avoids charging the battery when it is in low-acceptance states—such as cold ambient conditions, below around 10º C. It also regulates high electrical loads until the alternator is operating at high efficiency, which gives a further reduction in CO2 emissions.

February 28, 2006 in Diesel, Hybrids, Vehicle Systems | Permalink | Comments (6) | TrackBack

Mitsubishi Introduces the Concept-EZ MIEV

Concept-EZ MIEV

Mitsubishi Motors introduced the Concept-EZ MIEV 4WD mono-box concept car at the 76th Geneva International Motor Show that began today.

The Concept-EZ MIEV (Mitsubishi In-wheel motor Electric Vehicle) showcases another application of the company’s MIEV concept for next-generation electric vehicles using in-wheel motors and a high energy-density lithium-ion battery system as core technologies.

The four 20 kW motors deliver a combined maximum output of 80 kW (107 hp) and combined torque of 1,600 Nm. The use of the in-wheel motor also allows for a “wheel-at-a-corner” layout for high-stability road-hugging.

The lithium-ion battery system, with output of 24 kW and weighing 150 kg, is mounted under the floor. Taking advantage of the absence of a centerline powertrain that distinguishes the MIEV concept, the Concept-EZ MIEV provides three seating arrangements:

  • Lounge mode: A conference room-like space with the seats arranged in a circle.

  • Transport mode: Luggage space with the rear seats stowed under the floor.

  • Driving mode: Appropriate for normal driving conditions, spacious and comfortable seating for five adults.

The Concept-EZ accelerates from 0–100 km/h in 11 seconds, and has a cruising range of 120 km (75 miles) with a maximum speed of 150 km/h (93 mph).

In January, Mitsubishi introduced the Concept-CT MIEV series/parallel hybrid at the North American International Auto Show, an electric-dominant gasoline-electric series/parallel hybrid concept (earlier post).

The Concept-EZ is the fourth MIEV vehicle Mitsubishi has developed, starting first with the Colt EV in the spring of 2005, followed by the Lancer Evolution and then the Concept-CT.

February 28, 2006 in Electric (Battery) | Permalink | Comments (47) | TrackBack

Toyota Announces More Details and Pricing for Lexus GS 450h Hybrid

Lexus GS 450h

Toyota will put the 2007 Lexus GS 450h (earlier post), the world’s first luxury performance hybrid sedan, on sale in early May with a base price of $54,900.

The GS 450h uses a completely new powertrain that combines a 3.5-liter V6 engine with a new compact, high-output, permanent magnet electric motor that drives the rear wheels. The transmission utilizes an advanced two-stage motor torque multiplication device for the Electronic Continuously Variable Transmission (ECVT) motor, delivering responsive and seamless acceleration with no power loss.

The 3,456cc V6 engine develops 296 hp (218 kW) and 368 Nm of torque. Combined with a 200 hp (147 kW) permanent magnet motor generating 275 Nm of torque, the combined powertrain delivers output of 339 hp (253 kW)—essentially the performance of a modern V8 engine. The GS 450h accelerates from zero-to-60 miles per hour in approximately 5.2 seconds.

The all-aluminium engine combines Toyota’s D-4S dual port- and direct-injection system with high strength chain drive, roller rockers, and high torsional stiffness connecting rods.

Double slit, fan-shaped spray injectors optimize fuel/air mixture formation for maximum combustion efficiency, generating higher rpm and power output while reducing emissions. Coupled with variable timing for both intake and exhaust valves (VVT-i), the new D-4S system’s combination of direct and port injection increases engine efficiency throughout the power band.

Direct injection improves full-power engine performance, whilst both low-power engine fuel economy and emissions reduction are enhanced through the coalition of direct- and port-injection systems.

In addition to the engine and motor, the hybrid drive system also includes a 288V NiMH battery pack, a new, compact power control unit no larger than an auxiliary 12V battery, and a power split device which, via planetary reduction gears, combines and re-allocates power from the engine, electric motor and generator according to operational requirements.

The electric motor, generator, power split planetary gear mechanism and motor-speed reduction gearing are all housed in a lightweight, compact transmission casing comparable in size to that of a conventional gearbox.

Unique to the GS 450h, the new transmission system now incorporates two-stage motor speed reduction gearing. A hydraulic control unit incorporated within the continuously variable automatic transmission automatically switches the gearing between low and high motor reduction ratio settings.

The twin-stage gearing generates maximum low-gear torque for significantly enhanced acceleration, as well as extended high-gear performance for quiet, high speed cruising with improved fuel efficiency.

Via a center console-mounted switch, the new transmission offers a choice of three power settings:

  • Normal, for the optimum balance of power and traction;

  • Power, for maximum acceleration; and

  • Snow, for excellent traction control under the most slippery road conditions.

With a manufacture-estimated combined fuel rating of 28 mpg, the GS 450h delivers an estimated 33% better fuel efficiency than its V8 competitors. Toyota expects a Super Ultra-Low Emission Vehicle (SULEV)/Tier 2-BIN 3 emissions rating for the luxury hybrid.

The car also uses Electronic Power Steering (EPS) with Variable Gear Ratio Steering (VGRS) and an electrically powered air conditioner.

Toyota will introduce the hybrid version of its flagship LS460 sedan at the New York auto show in April. (Earlier post.)

Lexus GS 450h Preliminary Specifications
 2007 GS 450h2006 GS 430
Engine3.5-liter V64.3-liter V8
Engine Output218 kW (296 hp)224 kW (300 hp)
Motor Output147 kW (200 hp)
System Output (peak)253 kW (339 hp)224 kW (300 hp)
0–60 mph5.2 sec.5.7 sec.
Fuel Economy (combined mpg US)2821
CO2186 g/km269 g/km

February 28, 2006 in Hybrids | Permalink | Comments (5) | TrackBack

Dodge Introduces Hornet Subcompact Concept to Europe

Dodge Hornet

At the Geneva show, the Chrysler group is introducing the Dodge Hornet, a new subcompact B-segment concept vehicle for the European and international markets.

The Hornet uses a 1.6-liter 16-valve OHC supercharged four-cylinder engine putting out 127 kW (170 hp) and 224 Nm of torque @4,000 rpm. A raised plateau on the hood features a recessed scoop on the driver’s side to funnel air to the engine air box.

In the front, an exposed engine intercooler is flanked by front brake air ducts and fog lamps.

Outfitted with a six-speed manual transmission, the Hornet offers estimated 0–60 mph acceleration of 6.7 seconds, with a top speed of 130 mph (209 km/h).

In the B Segment, the Hornet would compete with cars like the Toyota Yaris, Chevrolet Aveo or Fiat Grand Punto. But while the Hornet is B segment in length, it is almost as wide as a C segment vehicle, giving the car a solid stance.

February 28, 2006 in Europe, Fuel Efficiency | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

International Truck Evaluating Several Enova Hybrid Drive Applications

One application of the versatile International 4200-series medium-duty truck.

Enova Systems announced today that it is working with and evaluating hybrid drive systems for International Truck and Engine Corporation (International). Enova confirmed it delivered a post-transmission 120 kW parallel hybrid-electric drive application in an International 4200-series medium-duty truck to the company in November 2005.

The delivery of the truck is in addition to a prototype hybrid drive school bus delivered to IC Corp in January 2006. (Earlier post.) Both the 4200 series truck and the School Bus are currently being evaluated by International at their Fort Wayne Technical Center.

The performance of the 4200 series International Truck, as delivered by Enova, has yielded an average reduction in fuel consumption of more than 31% and a corresponding increase in fuel economy (miles per gallon) in excess of 48%.

The 4200 series supports a standard Gross Vehicle Weight of 21,500 lbs up to a maximum of 35,000 lbs. The conventional models feature the 6-liter VT 365 V8 diesel engine with ratings from 175 to 230 hp and 624 to 841 Nm of torque.

International is partnering with Eaton Corporation on a number of other hybrid applications, including diesel-electric hybrid parcel delivery trucks for FedEx and UPS, a prototype diesel-hydraulic hybrid parcel delivery truck (also for UPS), and a diesel-electric hybrid utility trouble truck.

International Truck and Engine is the US’ largest medium-duty truck manufacturer. It currently supports approximately 40% of the medium truck build and 60% of the school bus build in North America.

February 28, 2006 in Diesel, Fleets, Hybrids | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

VW Introduces 60-MPG Diesel Polo Bluemotion at Geneva Show

Polo Bluemotion

In Geneva, Volkswagen is presenting its first series production vehicle under the new BlueMotion banner: the Polo BlueMotion.

The Polo Bluemotion uses a modified version of the 3-cylinder 1.4-liter TDI diesel engine in the conventional Polo to produce the same power output—59 kW (79 hp)—and torque—195 Nm—but with a reduction in fuel consumption of 11% (0.5 liters/100km) to 3.9 liters/100km (60 mpg US).

Emissions of CO2 drop by 13% from 119 g/km to 103 g/km.

Volkswagen achieved the reduced consumption and emission values by using longer gear ratios (gears three to five have 12% to 24% longer ratios); by aerodynamic design of front and rear spoilers; and by other modifications inside the engine. The Volkswagen vehicle has a manual five-speed gearbox.

VW assembles the Polo BlueMotion in Pamplona in Spain. The car will be launched in Switzerland, the Netherlands, Austria and Germany in the Summer of 2006.

This Polo—the “spiritual successor to the Lupo 3L TDI” according to VW UK—marks the start of Volkswagen’s BlueMotion campaign. VW will develop BlueMotion into a seal of approval which will be awarded to the most fuel-efficient vehicles in a model range.

February 28, 2006 in Diesel, Europe, Fuel Efficiency | Permalink | Comments (25) | TrackBack

Mayor of London Plans for 70 New Hydrogen-Fueled Vehicles by 2010

A Mercedes-Benz Citaro fuel-cell bus in London Bus livery.

The Mayor of London plans to introduce 70 new hydrogen vehicles to London by 2010 and is asking the transport industry to get ready to deliver the necessary vehicles and refueling technology.

Currently there are three hydrogen fuel-cell buses in trials in London (Mercedes-Benz Citaro buses) as part of the larger CUTE (Clean Urban Transport for Europe) project—the first volume production test for fuel-cell buses. (Earlier post.)

The CUTE fleet has logged more than 1 million kilometers in service. The Future of Clean Transportation conference, scheduled for 10 and 11 May 2006 in Hamburg, will disseminate CUTE results and learnings from various stakeholder perspectives.

The Mayor is committed to rolling out more hydrogen-fueled vehicles in the capital as part of the London Hydrogen Partnership’s London Hydrogen Transport Programme to make London a leader in clean technologies.

In support of this goal, Transport for London, the agency responsible for the city’s transport systems, has begun the procurement process for 10 new hydrogen-fueled buses. The Mayor is working with the Metropolitan Police Authority and London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority, as well as Transport for London, to deliver and run the other sixty hydrogen vehicles.

Hydrogen fuel cells could offer a real alternative to diesel in the future. The high cost of the vehicles is the major barrier at the moment but the greater the demand for vehicles, the more the costs will come down. I would call on the manufacturers to gear up for this change, as hydrogen vehicles are a real and viable option for London.

—Mayor of London Ken Livingstone

The hydrogen fuel cell bus trial has been extended until the end of this year and following a successful planning application process the hydrogen refueling station at Hornchurch will continue to provide service.

The London Hydrogen Partnership is working towards a hydrogen economy for London. It is chaired by the Deputy Mayor of London, and its members include: Air Products, Association of London Government, Baxi Group, BMW, BOC, BP, Carbon Trust, DTI, Energy Saving Trust, Greater London Authority, Health and Safety Executive, Imperial College, Intelligent Energy, Johnson Matthey, London Climate Change Agency, London Development Agency, London First, Rolls-Royce, Thames Water and Transport for London.

Transport for London recently introduced into service six Wrightbus Electrocity series diesel-hybrid buses on an experimental basis. (Earlier post.)


February 28, 2006 in Europe, Fleets, Fuel Cells, Hydrogen | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack

February 27, 2006

Team Sets Sights on Solar Car Distance Record

Preliminary route map for the Power of One distance run.

A multinational team (primarily Canadian and Brazilian) is targeting a world distance record in a solar-powered electric vehicle.

The Power of One (xof1) project is planning a 22,900-kilometer (14,230-mile) run, mainly through Canada. The tour would start in Toronto, then head east to St.John’s (Atlantic ocean), west to Victoria (Pacific Ocean), north to Inuvik (Arctic ocean) and back again.

The xof1 car.

The car, designed and built by the xof1 team, uses 853 Shell solar cells, each 6.44mm x 12.5mm (2.5" x 4.9"). The cells operate at about 15% efficiency and the array generates about 900 watts, according to the xof1 team.

The drive system uses a 96V brushless DC motor and controller from New Generation Corporation as well as a 3.8 kWh lithium-ion battery system from Kokam. Total net weight of the cells is about 30 kg (66 lbs).

The battery is recharged both by the array and via regenerative braking. The motor takes energy from the battery at all times, although at times the current flow will result in a net recharge for the battery rather than a net discharge (wWhen going down a hill, for example, or at low speeds). The xof1 team developed its own Battery Monitoring System (BMS).

Underneath the cover of the solar car. Click to enlarge.

The car has an estimated wight of 300 kg (661 lbs)—including driver—and a projected top speed of 140 km/h (87 mph).

The project, conceived of and led by Marcelo da Luz, has faced as many problems from red tape as technology challenges. The government of Ontario and Newfoundland declined to issue the temporary permits that would allow the solar car on public roads.

A pedestrian, a cyclist, horse and buggies, farm equipment, etc. can make use of secondary roads where the speed limit is 80kmh but a solar car that can drive at 120kmh and would be escorted by vehicles with flashing lights is not allowed.

—Marcelo da Luz

The team, however, found a workaround loophole, and plans the run the 3rd week in May.


February 27, 2006 in Canada, Electric (Battery), Solar | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

GM Introduces 400hp, E100 BioPower Concept Saab

The front-opening canopy on the Saab Aero X E100 concept

GM is unveiling the Saab Aero X two-seater sports coupé concept at the Geneva motor show. Taking design cues from Saab’s aviation heritage, the Aero X has no door or windshield pillars; the car adopts a cockpit canopy instead.

The Aero X features a new 400 hp (298 kW), twin-turbo, BioPower V6 engine that is fueled entirely by ethanol (E100), thereby offering net zero tank-to-wheel CO2 emissions.

With carbon fiber bodywork, electronically-controlled suspension and all-wheel drive, the Saab Aero X is projected to accelerate from zero to 100 kph in just 4.9 seconds with a top (limited) speed of 250 kph (155 mph).

Although optimized for E100, the engine management system will make adjustments for any gasoline-ethanol blend.

For optimum handling, the powertrain is mounted entirely behind the front axle line, giving the Aero X a near perfect 50/50 weight distribution. All-wheel-drive, with a variable torque split between the front and rear axles, provides excellent traction and Saab Active Chassis, with continuously variable damping, gives excellent real-life driving safety and control.

The 2.8-liter V6 E100 BioPower engine delivers 400 hp maximum power at 5,000 rpm and torque of 500 Nm between 2,000 and 5,000 rpm.

Pure ethanol (E100) fuel has a higher octane rating of 106 RON compared to gasoline’s 95 RON. Using a 12:1 compression ratio and twin turbochargers running at 1.0 bar boost, the Aero X BioPower engine delivers a hefty 143hp per liter displacement. Turbocharging with E100 fuel allows the use of a higher compression ratio—giving more engine power—than is possible with gasoline because of the risk of harmful knocking (pre-detonation).

The all-aluminum, 24-valve, four-cam engine is a higher-performance version of the current engine in the Saab 9-3 range. For the Aero X, the engine is longitudinally installed and features a Spark Ignited Direct Injection system (SIDI) for optimum combustion; variable inlet and exhaust cam phasing for improved breathing, and dry-sump lubrication for a lower chassis installation and reduced oil pumping losses. Both turbochargers have variable geometry turbine (VGT) wheels to give a quick low-end response.

More durable valves and valve seats are fitted, together with ethanol-compatible materials in the fuel system, including the tank, pump, lines and connectors. The addition of the SIDI system ensures the same cold starting performance as a normal gasoline engine.

The 32-bit engine management system simultaneously controls the ignition timing, fuel injection, turbo boost pressure, air mass measurement and the throttle setting. For minimized exhaust emissions, the two close-coupled catalysts are equipped with electronically controlled, secondary air injection, which gives extremely quick light-off following cold starts.

Turbocharging and bioethanol make excellent partners. In developing this BioPower V6 engine we have been able to take the next step by using E100 fuel, pure 100% bioethanol. That means there are zero fossil CO2 emissions because we are not using any gasoline at all.

—Kjell ac Bergström, Executive Director of Saab Automobile Powertrain AB

The 2.8-liter engine is matched to a seven-speed automated manual transmission using a wet double clutch system to allow fast, full throttle, sequential gear changes via the steering wheel paddles. Power is transmitted to all four wheels through a multi-plate clutch, allowing an infinitely variable front/rear torque split.

Suspension is by double wishbones at the front and an independent multi-link layout at the rear. Continuously adjustable damping (Saab Active Chassis) is adopted for enhanced body control, ride comfort and driving safety.

Saab Active Chassis involves processing signals from a number of on-board sensors which measure the vehicle’s vertical, lateral and body-in-roll movements. These inputs are fed into a central control unit, which monitors the behavior of each wheel as often as 100 times per second. It can then calculate and make small adjustments to the valving of each relevant damper as required in just 10-30 milliseconds. Opening the valve increases oil flow to allow softer damping, while closing the valve produces firmer damping. A range of pre-settings can be selected by the driver.

February 27, 2006 in Ethanol, Europe | Permalink | Comments (35) | TrackBack

Toyota and Hino to Run Fuel-Cell Hybrid Bus Trial Near Chubu Airport

FHCV fuel-cell bus. Click to enlarge to see the happy molecules decorating the bus.

Toyota and Hino (the heavy-duty vehicle subsidiary of Toyota) will put a FHCV fuel-cell hybrid bus into limited service for two weeks on a route near the Chubu Centrair International Airport near Nagoya, Japan.

Chitanoriai Company will use the FCHV-Bus to link Nagoya Railroad’s Tokoname Station, located close to the airport on a man-made island, and Chita Handa Station. The bus will make a round trip to link the two stations once a day.

The project is an element of a fuel-cell vehicle commercialization program promoted by Japan’s transport ministry.

Toyota and Hino will collect in-use data concerning the durability and fuel economy of fuel-cell vehicles. The bus to be leased to Chitanoriai is one of the FCHV-Buses used last year to transport visitors between pavilions at the 2005 World Exposition. (Earlier post.)

The companies are planning to expand the service area covered by fuel-cell buses by linking the airport with other nearby railway stations and by transporting airport users between airport facilities.

The layout of the fuel-cell bus. Click to enlarge.

The FCHV bus uses twin fuel cell stacks and traction motors combined with a version of Toyota’s THS-II hybrid drive and management systems (used in the Prius).

Toyota has had this type of bus in very limited service since 2002 on select routes in Tokyo in addition to the service at the World Expo.

Toyota-Hino FCHV-BUS2
Fuel Cell Name Toyota FC Stack
Type PEM
Output (kW) 90 x 2
Motor Type Permanent magnet
Maximum Output (kW / HP) 80 / 107 x 2
Maximum torque (Nm / lb-ft) 260 / 192  x 2
Fuel Storage High-pressure tank
Maximum pressure (psi) 5,000
Battery Type NiMH
Performance Max range (km / miles) 250 / 155
Maximum Speed (km/h / mph) 80 / 50

February 27, 2006 in Fuel Cells, Hydrogen, Japan | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

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