Toyota to unveil new fuel cell vehicle concept; focus on distributed generation as well as transportation
With its fuel cell Mirai already on sale, Toyota Motor is continuing to push the fuel cell envelope with the introduction of a new fuel cell concept at the upcoming Tokyo Moto Show at the end of this month. The new Toyota FCV Plus is a fuel cell concept that embodies Toyota’s vision of a hydrogen-based society. Toyota is also introducing the all-new Prius and the Toyota C-HR Concept, a compact hybrid crossover.
Toyota envisages a sustainable society in which hydrogen energy is in widespread use—a society it says is embodied by the new FCV Plus concept vehicle, which functions as a distributed power generation system as well as a vehicle.
|Toyota FCV Plus. Click to enlarge.|
Clean generation of hydrogen from a wide range of primary energy sources will make local, self-sufficient power generation a global reality, and fuel cell vehicles will take on a new role as power sources within their communities, Toyota proposes. Toyota’s aim is to add an all-new sense of purpose to the automobile by turning fuel cell vehicles from eco-cars into energy-cars.
In addition to the vehicle’s own hydrogen tank, the car can also generate electricity directly from hydrogen stored outside the vehicle. The vehicle can thus be transformed into a stable source of electric power for use at home or away. When the car is not being used as a means of transport, it shares its power generation capabilities with communities as part of the local infrastructure.
The car’s fuel cell stack can be reused as an electricity generating device, transcending the traditional functions of cars. Put to versatile uses around the world, these stacks could contribute significantly to local communities, Toyota suggests.
The fuel cell stack is mounted between the front tires, and the hydrogen tank behind the rear seat. Together with the adoption of independent in-wheel motors in all four wheels, this allows for a spacious cabin despite the vehicle’s compact vehicle body. By concentrating functional parts at the front and the rear of the vehicle, this next-generation fuel cell vehicle package creates an optimal weight balance and a wide field of vision.
The exterior adopts a distinctive, sleek shape, while the frame structure of the interior ensures rigidity despite the light weight of the car. Altogether, the design conveys the vehicle’s advanced technology and outstanding environmental performance.