|Toyota’s FCHV fuel cell hybrid. Click to enlarge.|
An improved version of Toyota Motor Corporation’s (TMC) fuel cell hybrid vehicle (FCHV) featuring a new, more efficient fuel cell stack, improved control system, and higher-pressure storage system successfully completed a real-world 560-km (348-mile) long-distance road test by traveling from Osaka to Tokyo on a single fueling of hydrogen.
Toyota calculates that the vehicle has a single-fueling cruising range of approximately 750 km (466 miles) in the 10-15 Japanese test cycle. The prior version of the Highlander-based fuel cell hybrid has a cruising range of about 330 km (205 miles), according to Toyota.
The Toyota FCHV used in the trip is 25% more fuel efficient than earlier versions, due to improvements in the TMC-developed Toyota FC Stack fuel cell and to improvements in the control system for managing fuel cell output and battery charging/discharging.
It also features TMC-developed 70Mpa (10,000 psi, 700 bar) high-pressure hydrogen tanks capable of storing approximately twice the amount of hydrogen as the TOYOTA FCHV’s previous 35Mpa high-pressure hydrogen tanks.
The fuel cell hybrid’s battery pack remains the same 21 kW NiMH pack. The other basic performance specs of the improved FCHV also remain the same as those of its predecessor: the fuel cell stack produces 90 kW of output, the 90 kW electric traction motor produces 260 Nm (192 lb-ft) of torque, top speed is 155 km/h (96 mph).
The road test—part of the TOYOTA FCHV’s public-road test program—started in front of the Osaka Prefectural Government Office in central Osaka City and, via the Meishin Expressway, Tomei Expressway and Tokyo Metropolitan Expressway, concluded at the Mega Web automobile-themed amusement facility in Tokyo’s waterfront area, covering approximately 560 kilometers. The entire trip was completed with the air conditioner on and with no need to stop for refueling.