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Toyota to start sales of fuel cell buses under the Toyota brand from early 2017

Toyota Motor Corporation will begin to sell fuel cell buses (FC buses) under the Toyota brand from early 2017. After repeated field tests of the hydrogen-powered buses for practical use, the Bureau of Transportation of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government plans to utilize two of the Toyota FC Buses as fixed-route buses.

Toyota plans to introduce more than 100 FC buses mainly in the Tokyo area, ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games. In view of this, the FC buses will be sold for the first time in Japan in early 2017, so as to help increase the level of understanding by the general public of the utilization of FC buses as a form of public transportation.


Moreover, in preparation for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games, the number of FC buses being introduced will increase steadily going forward. Together with this, Toyota aims to engage continuously in the development targeted at the expansion of the introduction of the new FC buses from 2018.

The Toyota FC Bus was developed by Toyota, based on the company's experience in developing FC buses together with Hino Motors, Ltd. (Hino). The Toyota Fuel Cell System (TFCS)—which was developed for the Mirai fuel cell vehicle (FCV)—has been adopted to provide better energy efficiency in comparison with internal combustion engines, as well as to deliver superior environmental performance with no CO2 emissions or substances of concern (SOCs) when driving.

The bus also can function as a high-capacity external power supply system. With a power supply capable of a 9 kW maximum output, and a large capacity of electricity supply at 235 kWh, the FC bus can be used as a power source in the event of disasters, such as at evacuation sites such as in school gymnasiums or for home electric appliance use.

Main specifications of Toyota FC Bus
Vehicle Length / width / height 10,525 / 2,490 / 3,340 mm
Capacity (seated, standing, driver) 77 (26+50+1)
FC stack Name Toyota FC stack
Type Solid polymer electrolyte
Maximum output 114 kW × 2 units
Motor Type AC synchronous
Maximum output 113 kW × 2 units
Maximum torque 335 N·m × 2 units
High-pressure hydrogen tank Number of tanks 10
Nominal working pressure 70 MPa (approx. 700 bar)
Tank storage density 5.7 wt%
Tank internal volume 600 liters
Drive battery Type Nickel-metal hydride
External power Maximum output 9 kW
Power supply amount 235 kWh



If these can be done at an acceptable premium over BYD's formidable BEV buses, built in their thousands, there is no question but that they are far better for city air quality, as since they need oxygen, they take in and filter large amounts of air to the high quality needed for the fuel cell to work.

Hyundai put the benefits as high as taking out the particulates from 50 diesel cars by one FCEV bus.

That is presumably so much higher than the 2 diesel cars worth they say and FCEV car takes out due to the bus running nearer capacity most of the time.

In any case, if these can be done economically, they can make a huge difference to city air quality.


Fleets of large FC-buses & taxis, operating with clean H2, could effectively help to clean the air in city centers.

Adding a few more thousand FCEVs could make a real difference?

Let's hope that other manufacturers will follow Toyota.


If cities adopt these, the hydrogen infrastructure build-out will get a huge shot in the arm.


Could be one of the reasons, the Toyota fuel cell car would have more places to fill up.


The problem of "where is the source of clean H2" remains. Hydrogen probably comes from steam reforming natural gas or coal which is not exactly clean or maybe from electrolysis of water which could be clean if the required electricity was clean. But in Japan, most of the electricity is from either burning LNG or coal. It was a bit hard to get current data but there are maybe 48 coal fired power plants or maybe they are planning 48 new coal fired plants. Anyway, it is hard to argue that this is clean power. Taking clean power away from the grid just means that dirty needs to be supplied to replace.


Hi sd.

Actually the lowest percentage of hydrogen for transport from renewables and waste sources that I am aware of is in California, which still mandates and uses 33% renewable hydrogen, far more than the percentage in the electric grid in the US.

Norway and Denmark use 100% renewable, and that will continue, with plans in Norway to set up a substantial export industry of hydrogen from their renewables.

More than 20 of the stations being built in Germany are using 100% renewables, and their whole drive is to use hydrogen to enable the use of otherwise wasted renewables, with hydrogen being generated when renewables are in surplus, and they have this up and running.

Japan also plans to have most of its hydrogen for transport from renewables, with wind prominent.

They are intending to set up substantial renewable hydrogen production in the Fukushima region:


South Korea reckon that they can power the first 500,000 fuel cell cars by using the wastes of industrial processes which are currently thrown away.


Most countries could use REs (Hydro-Wind-Solar)and/or NPPs to produce clean H2. Solar electricity is almost infinite/eternal in most places and H2 can be stored for rainy days.

The direct cost to capture solar e-energy is now as low as $0.028/kWh (and going down every year) and would make low cost clean H2 possible.


Davemart and HarveyD

The problem remains that using "renewable" energy for hydrogen production means that unless there is really a surplus of clean power for the entire grid, taking renewable power off the grid for hydrogen production means replacing it with other power and that is often natural gas or coal. Yes, there are a few places in the world where there is a potential surplus of clean power. Norway which has a relatively small population and a lot of hydro power may be one of those places. Iceland has ample hydro power and maybe even HarveyD's Quebec. However, Germany and Japan both burn too much coal and Germany burns peat which is even worse. And even in Iceland, the power is used for Aluminum production. In Quebec, the power is added to the grid which feeds the the rest of eastern Canada and eastern US. Take this power off the grid to make hydrogen and it needs to be replaced from somewhere.



The resources being used are not ones which would otherwise go to produce power.

Do have a look at the actual stuff which is being done.

For instance Iceland has loads of power, and they don't need to sacrifice aluminium production to make hydrogen.

The US are using waste products from sewage etc.

The German system is specifically set up to use renewables when they are SURPLUS to make hydrogen.

I would respectfully suggest that the dichotomy you have said up is not a real one.

The grid needs only so much electricityn at any particular time.



You do not get it. Maybe Iceland has enough surplus power to make hydrogen. Japan, Germany, the US, etc do not or they would not be burning coal and natural gas for power. There is no excess renewable power.

Yes, you can generate methane from sewage and other waste. This was being done 45 years ago when I toured the sewage plant in Boston and they were using the methane to generate the power to run their pumps. It would also make sense to use high temperature incineration instead of land fills but that is another subject.


Renewable contracts from wind turbines can make H2, add pressure and heat from power plants for higher efficiency.



The grid only needs so much energy at any given time.

The issue with renewables is that the power is often available when it is not needed, and not available when it is.

Just like batteries but on a far larger scale making excess into chemicals is a way of bridging that gap.

That is why AFAIK every country which is working towards a very high proportion of renewables is looking to chemical storage. This is especially important in places at higher latitudes where solar resources are inadequate in winter.

Go through the papers on the German Energiewende effort.

Chemical storage is inherent in it, and in similar efforts elsewhere, and the system can't be made to work without it.

That is why they are doing it.


Electricity production from REs (Hydro-Wind-Solar)rarely match spot consumption. The output from Hydro plants (with reservoirs) can be adjusted to match demand as far as the reservoir is not over-full. Otherwise, water has to be overflowed or wasted.

Outputs from Wind mills and Solar farms have to be used (or stored or wasted). Using those two (2) sources for base loads and keeping Hydro (with reservoirs) as filler is more efficient. As more Wind and Solar facilities are installed, Hydro plants (with reservoirs) can be over-equipped to handle larger/higher peak demand periods. However, keeping reservoirs as close as possible to 100% full increases pressure and efficiency. Very large (10 mega-watt will turbines on high towers

H2 can be made and stored outside peak demands hours (about 18 hours/day - Monday to Friday and 24 hours/day on weekends and holidays) and 24/7 during Summer, Fall and Spring days in our region. In reality, peak demand is restricted to about 20 very cold days in winter time due to electric heating.

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