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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.


Literally Engineer

Basically, then, it's a case of: back all horses, at least some of the bets will pay off! According to the TTAC report from the launch (link below), Toyota is only going to supply 100 of these eQs to local government agencies, making it more a proof of concept rather than anything viable.

Hybrid and advanced IC engines are the near future, Fuel Cell maybe for the next steps.


'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.'

Does anyone know what the thermal efficiency of the engine in the present Toyota hybrids is?
That would give a pretty good indication of how much the fuel efficiency might increase.

Overall on a long drive that should further improve the margin of the Prius over the Volt.


Gen1 and Gen 2, 36% peak, Gen 3 37% peak.


Toyota doubled Prius sales and hybrid production to 1.2 MILLION vehicles a year. When will Congress, and its GM/oil handlers, apologize before the Japanese parliament about Prius faults that not even NASA could find?

The cons should have been passing a federal budget perhaps.


They now have a fuelcell that is half the weight and size of the previous version. They should now take care of the upcoming hydrogen infrastructure if they are serious about a lunch of this technology in 2015. Im surprized that they prepare the fc vehicle but do not say anything about the fueling of it by hydrogen. What will happen in 2015 with the hydrogen infrastructure. As a hydrogen fuelcell can be operated in reverse i suggest to toyota to include the hydrogen making into the car instead of a costly external hydrogen infrastructure. With a simple plug of 110 volt into the car, one can do hydrogen and fill his tank with the same fuelcell included in the car. It take also a water plug, so you plug a 110 volts wire and a water hose and you fill the car and we can forget a big costly hydrogen infrastructure.

This website should take some responsabilities and ask and obtain informations about the problem of fueling a hydrogen car. There is numerous methods to produce hydrogen almost at no cost with the proper methods and catalysts and also it don't pollute at all. I suspect that many oil traders are impeding in some way this upcoming hydrogen infrastructure by buying some scientists, car compagnies, politicians and media. It's anormal that nobody is doing anything about the production of hydrogen and not talking about it.


It is obvious that Toyota will not accept to be left behind others in ICEV, HEVs, PHEVs, BEVs, FCVs, FCs and improved batteries development.

That will make future competition very interesting.

Batteries with output density increased by a factor of five is what is needed for extended range future BEVs. Coupled with improved ICE, transmission, e-ancillaries etc it will make first class PHEVs.


Other sources are reporting this as Toyota giving up on Evs for now to concentrate on hybrids.

They don't say very much about PHEVs, except to release more "vehicle grades" of the Prius. I.e. no new PHEV cars, just more Prius "grades" and a V2H supply system.

It would be nice if one of the grades was a larger battery Prius PHEV (and also a smaller battery (cheaper)) version.


A D continues to spread the fatally wrong gospel that hydrogen fuel cells are good for you.

Let me set the record straight: Hydrogen as a "fuel" is BAD for mankind, in all possible ways: It pollutes more (CO2), it costs more, it is less convenient and it is less safe.

The truth about hydrogen has already been told multiple times. To find it, google the following string: Jus7tme hydrogen


If it provides the range and short refueling time not available with an EV H2 is the way to go.


Too bad not much more specific news on plugin. My hopes were on a plugin Lexus RX, CT or stationwagen (Avensis. It seems no real competition then for GM Volt/Ampera for the next few years.


From Kelly

"When will Congress, and its GM/oil handlers, apologize before the Japanese parliament about Prius faults that not even NASA could find?"

I assume this is about the run-away acceleration events that Toyota/Lexus experienced. Some of these were caused by loose rugs, others were probably caused by drivers pushing on the wrong pedals but there were several that were not easily explained including one by a California State Trooper who probably knew something about driving. The fact that NASA looked at the code and did not find an obvious problem is not too surprising. They also did not find the problem in the Apollo 11 lunar landing code that caused an extraneous warning during landing (and neither did I although I might have as it was my job at the time to run the lunar landing simulator) and this code was far less complex than the code controlling modern cars. These problems can be caused by extremely small probabilities of different events happening simultaneously.

I do know that not having a absolute kill panic switch that will kill the engine is a bad idea when you have computers running both the throttle and controlling the brakes along with keyless ignition is not smart. This is particularly true given the skill of the average driver. Until a few years ago, I had a faculty appointment in both Computer Science and Mechanical Engineering at the local University and still act as adviser for students building FormulaSAE and BajaSAE cars. SAE requires all of these vehicles to have multiple kill switches and forbids the use of throttle by-wire systems.

I could be retired but I currently work for a start-up company building a high tech self-propelled machine that is largely computer controlled including both throttle and steering by-wire. We have multiple safety kill switches both inside and outside the vehicle and our vehicle typically runs at a speed of a moderate walk.

Bob Wallace

Don't forget that Toyota has a very close relationship with Tesla. Toyota's strategy could well be to let Tesla lead the way with EVs while Toyota produces models that sell in high numbers right now.

Once Tesla has brought an EV to market that is priced along the lines of an average car then we might well see Tesla join the Toyota brand with Tesla being their EV brand and Lexis their luxury brand.

Toyota knows how to build in large volumes and build to high quality standards. I would think Tesla would be comfortable being part of that organization.


Just some comments on the article. It is a relatively long article short on specifics. What is a D-4S injection system? Is this gasoline direct injection? If so, maybe Toyota will build an engine that will come close to the GM 2 liter direct injection turbo engine that has been around since 2006 except that they will need to quit using timing belt cam drives and start using iron cylinder sleeves instead of coated aluminum. Also Hyundai and Ford (Eco-Boost) also already have equivalent DI turbo engines.

Just what is i-ART (Intelligent Accuracy Refinement Technology)?

Also, why would you build CVT transmissions (an idea that GM looked at and rejected in the mid 1980's) which continuously slip and wear instead of building an seven, eight or more speed dual clutch transmission that is equally smooth and more efficient.

Kit P

“not having a absolute kill panic switch”

Don’t ja just hate when your car asks, ‘HELLoo, do you want to play a game?’

“They don't say very much about PHEVs”

Toyota is in the business of selling cars and likes to skip over the part about not selling very many of something.

Roger Pham

H2 infrastructure is the easy part. To provide access to a H2 station within 5-7-mile driving distance, we will only need one station for every 100 square mile area in urban area, the H2 station will be located within the center of that 100-square-mile area.
Assuming a relatively low urban population density of 10,000 per sq.mile, then one single H2 station can serve 1 Million persons. Densely populated cities in the world may have population density of 50,000/sq.mile!

Assuming that only 1 person in 1000 will need access to that H2 station, this means that that single station can have as many as 1000 customers. Assuming that H2-Vehicles will need on average one fill up every 7-10 days, then each station will serve on average over 100 customers per day. Assuming 120 fill-ups per day and $25 per fill-up, then daily revenue will be $3000 and yearly revenue will be $1.1 million USD. Enough business to pay for itself within just a few short years. Since this is a money-making proposition, to assure enough H2 station to be present at mass roll-out of H2-FCV in 2015, the car dealers can join with the automakers to finance the opening of these H2 stations.

Since one station can serve a population of 1 million persons initially, the USA will need only a minimum of 300 stations. If rural areas along highways corridors will be included, the number of stations may have to be increased to 500. Assuming $1 Million cost per station, then the total cost of building enough H2 stations by 2015 will be only $300-500 Million USD. This is pocket change for the auto industry with gross revenues in the tens to 100 billions USD yearly.

Now, your enthusiasm about your "Hydrogen Battery" is admirable, however, it won't be competitive with Lithium batteries. It will require 3 times more electricity for a given driving range than Lithium batteries which has above 95% round-trip efficiency, since a combined PEM FC-electrolyzer (regenerative FC) is very inefficient in comparison to a dedicated specialized PEM FC or dedicated high-pressure electrolyzer. A PEM regenerative FC has a round-trip efficiency of about 33-37% max. Unlike Lithium batteries that can be fast-charged in 15 minutes, you can forget about fast charging in your "Hydrogen Battery", because electrolyzers can only work so fast to produce H2. The only way to fast-charge your "Hydrogen Battery" is to fill it up with H2, and for that, you'll need a H2-filling station.

And, all electrolyzers require distilled water, so you can forget about putting tap water into your Hydrogen-Battery Car! Sorry for the bad news.


Toyota and US industries have something in common. They are both invested in profitable technologies that they don't want to go away from. With Toyota it's NiMH powered hybrids, with the US industries it's oil. Those with the real money and political influence don't care about what is best, only what is most profitable over the next quarter.

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