Toyota provides update on status of green car technology, future plans; 21 new hybrid models, new gasoline and diesel engines, transmissions, EV and fuel cell stack
|The new EQ EV offers power consumption of 104 Wh/km. Li-ion batteries are from Panasonic. Click to enlarge.|
In Japan, Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) outlined the progress of development of its green technologies as well as its vehicle deployment plans through 2015. Overall, the company says, it intends to continue to work to conserve energy by improving fuel efficiency and reducing emissions, and by diversifying fuel sources by encouraging the use of electricity, hydrogen and other alternative energies.
TMC plans to launch 21 new hybrid vehicles models—consisting of additional (new) models and fully redesigned existing models—from now until the end of 2015. In the area of energy conservation, TMC has developed a new gasoline engine that achieves a maximum 38.5% thermal efficiency for application in hybrids; a high-performance clean diesel engine and a high efficiency transmission. Toyota’s EQ EV will deliver electric power consumption of 104 Wh/km.
In the field of fuel cells, the latest version of the Toyota FC Stack achieves the world’s highest power output density, according to TMC. TMC plans to launch a new fuel cell bus (FC bus) currently in development with Hino Motors, Ltd. (Hino).
TMC has also developed at in-house research division new battery cells that offer substantially improved output density over all-solid-state batteries. TMC says it is also working on wireless battery charging.
Toyota again noted that hybrid technology, capable of both high levels of fuel efficiency and driving performance, can be easily combined with various types of fuel and also includes core technologies necessary for developing many types of “eco-cars”. TMC, believing that eco-cars only contribute to society through widespread use, said it will will continue to refine conventional engine fuel efficiency while placing hybrid technology as key to further improving the performance of eco-cars, reducing their cost and improving the overall TMC product lineup.
Gasoline engines. An enhanced engine for use in hybrid vehicles, based on the 2.5-liter AR gasoline engine, adopts the Atkinson cycle and D-4S injection system. The enhanced engine achieves a maximum thermal efficiency of 38.5%, realizing both high fuel efficiency and high output. Hybrid vehicle models equipped with the engine will be launched starting 2013.
Starting in 2014, TMC plans to launch a vehicle with a new 2.0-liter, turbo-charged AR engine, also based on the 2.5-liter AR gasoline engine. The new engine’s smaller displacement will provide higher fuel efficiency while the turbocharger will improve output.
Diesel engines. Improvements such as an increase in fuel injection system pressure and the adoption of a compact, high-efficiency turbocharger have allowed the 1.4-liter ND diesel engine for passenger cars to achieve both high fuel efficiency and high driving performance.
The adoption of newly developed exhaust aftertreatment technology enabled the engine to meet the Euro 6 standards. Vehicles equipped with the new diesel engine are planned for launch starting 2015.
The 3.0-liter KD diesel engine for commercial vehicles uses i-ART (Intelligent Accuracy Refinement Technology), which autonomously compensates for injection characteristics. Toyota characterizes it as the the first injection system to maintain a high level of injection precision at high pressure, achieving high fuel efficiency and low emissions. TMC first installed the engine in the “Hilux” pickup truck for the Brazilian market in April 2012.
Transmissions. TMC says that its newly developed continuously variable transmission, Super CVT-i, has achieved both superior fuel efficiency and smooth acceleration due to its transmission efficiency, improved integrated engine control and reductions in both size and weight. The transmission, first installed on the Corolla for the Japanese market in June 2012, is planned for use on additional models, particularly in the compact segment.
A new front-wheel-drive eight-speed, automatic transmission—as compact and lightweight as a six-speed automatic transmission—provides smooth and highly receptive acceleration with highly responsive gear shifting, as well as superior fuel efficiency. The new transmission was first installed on the Lexus RX 350 F Sport SUV for the Northern American market in August 2012.
Hybrid Vehicles. TMC expects global sales of its hybrid vehicles to well surpass 1 million units in 2012. With its plan to launch 21 new hybrid models between now and the end of 2015, TMC expects to maintain this level of sales, forecasting global sales of its hybrid vehicles to be at least 1 million units a year from 2013 to 2015.
Plug-in Hybrid Vehicles. TMC plans to enhance the appeal of the Prius PHV plug-in hybrid vehicle (launched in January of 2012) by expanding available vehicle grades and by offering an accessory outlet designed to use the hybrid system as a power supply that can also be used in times of emergency.
Electric Vehicles. TMC’s newly developed high-performance, compact electric vehicle—the eQ—features a new compact high-output lithium-ion battery from Panasonic and offers an electric power consumption rate of 104 Wh/km. Despite its small capacity of 12 kWh, the battery enables a driving range of 100 km on a single charge (in the JC08 test cycle) and a top speed of 125 km/h (78 mph). With an AC 200 V power source, the battery can be fully charged in approximately three hours.
Starting December 2012, TMC plans to offer the eQ to local governments and selected users in Japan and the US on a limited basis.
Fuel Cell Vehicles. Toyota’s proprietary FC stack designed for use in the sedan-type FCV scheduled for launch around 2015 offers a power output density of 3 kW/L—more than twice the density of the FC stack currently used in the “FCHV-adv” fuel-cell hybrid prototype, but at approximately half the size and weight.
TMC has also developed a high-efficiency boost converter. Increasing the voltage has made it possible to reduce the size of the motor and the number of FC cells, leading to a smaller FC system with enhanced performance at reduced cost.
TMC and its subsidiary Hino Motors are accelerating joint development of a new FC bus, with the goal of a launch in 2016.
Next-Generation Batteries. In the area of all-solid batteries, TMC has developed a new solid electrolyte with what it says is the world’s highest performance level. TMC succeeded in improving ion flow, boosting output density by a factor of five (compared to TMC’s existing batteries).
Wireless Battery Charging. TMC is also developing wireless battery charging technology that transmits electric power using resonance resulting from changes in magnetic field intensity between two coils. TMC will conduct a verification test in Toyota City, Aichi Prefecture in 2013 to evaluate performance in a real world environment.