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Liquid hydrogen-powered Corolla suffers fire, will not race in Super Taikyu Series Suzuka

Toyota’s #32 ORC ROOKIE GR Corolla H2 Concept (hydrogen-powered Corolla) (earlier post), which was scheduled to participate in the ENEOS Super Taikyu Series 2023 Powered by Hankook Round 1 Suzuka to be held on 18 and 19 March 2023, will not be racing.

During a private test run at Fuji International Speedway on 8 March, a vehicle fire occurred due to a hydrogen leak from a gaseous hydrogen pipe in the engine compartment. Toyota could not recover the vehicle in time and was forced to abandon the race. Instead, Toyota plans to participate with the ORC ROOKIE GR Yaris (gasoline engine).

The hydrogen-powered Corolla in the 8 March test run used liquid hydrogen. However, the vehicle fire was not directly caused by the fuel change from gaseous hydrogen to liquid hydrogen. The cause is seen to be the loosening of a piping joint from vehicle vibration, resulting in a hydrogen leak.

As the piping joint is located near the engine, the leaked hydrogen ignited when heated.

It was found that the hydrogen leak sensor fail-safe functioned properly so that the hydrogen supply was shut off, avoiding a significant spread of the fire. As a result, the cabin was protected, and the safety measures for the occupants were confirmed.

Toyota said it will review the piping design that caused the hydrogen leak this time to continue developing safer vehicles.

Toyota said that it will continue to enter races with the hydrogen-powered Corolla. It is still a goal for this year to become the world’s first to race with liquid hydrogen fuel.



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Its a racecar

Roger Pham

The Toyota Prius with engine efficiency 41% is capable of 57 Miles per Gallon. Ultra-lean Hydrogen engine will be capable of 25% gain in efficiency, which will be 71 MPG. With heavier weight of the compressed H2 tank, the MPG may be down to 65 MPG, which is still on par with FCV today.

Do NOT ignore H2-engine as yet, because it can burn much cheaper grade of low-purity H2, instead of ultra-pure H2 demanded by the Fuel Cells. Also an H2-ICEV can also use gasoline, and can carry a few gallons of gasoline in case H2 may not be available at a remote location, thus making H2-ICEV much more versatile than FCEV.

With Russia using oil and gas as weapons, it would be wise to rush forward with H2 and Battery for trucks, trains, and cars... as means of energy independency and security.



Informative comment.
Have you got links for the efficiency figures you mention, please?

Just a note that the high purity required for hydrogen is applicable to current low temperature varieties used in cars, and does not apply to high temperature PEM, SOFC etc

RP> “With heavier weight of the compressed H2 tank”

This vehicle uses liquid hydrogen in a cryogenic tank, essentially a large Dewer flask.

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