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Toyota Doubles Range oF Fuel-Cell Hybrid Vehicle

Toyota Advanced Fuel Cell Hybrid VehicleToyota Motor Corporation (TMC) has developed a fuel-cell hybrid vehicle that can travel 830km* on a single fuelling – more than double the range of its predecessor.

The Toyota FCHV-adv (fuel-cell hybrid vehicle – advanced) is equipped with the newly designed high-performance Toyota FC Stack.

TMC improved fuel efficiency by 25 per cent by improving fuel-cell unit performance, enhancing the regenerative brake system and reducing energy consumed by the auxiliary system.

The new vehicle has TMC-developed 70Mpa high-pressure hydrogen tanks, which also helped improve its range compared with its predecessor.

The Toyota FCHV-adv has acquired vehicle-type certification from Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport (MLIT).

During development, TMC analysed results and data from the Japan Hydrogen & Fuel Cell Demonstration Project organised by Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry. It also analysed tests conducted by the California Fuel Cell Partnership in the United States, and cold-weather tests in Timmins, Canada.

TMC additionally repeatedly carried out basic research to get to the core of technical problems as they arose.

Based on the results gained from these studies, the Toyota FCHV-adv’s fuel-cell system was enhanced to improve cruising distance and low-temperature starts, which had presented obstacles to widespread fuel-cell vehicle use.

The building block of the Toyota FC Stack is the Membrane Electrode Assembly (MEA), where engineers focused on the basic problem of internally produced water interfering with electrical generation within the MEA at low temperatures.

Fundamental research, such as internal visualisation tests, was carried out to understand the behavior and amount of water generated in the fuel cell, allowing engineers to optimise the MEA design to improve low-temperature start-up.

As a result, the Toyota FCHV-adv can start and operate in cold regions at temperatures as low as -30 degrees Celsius, meaning the vehicle can be used in a wider variety of conditions and climates.

Further changes included incorporating degradation control for the electrode catalyst and improving fuel-cell durability.

TMC is steadily conducting research and development to resolve issues such as how to improve the durability and reduce costs of the Toyota FC Stack. It is also working with government, energy companies and other concerned parties to actively bring about widespread fuel cell vehicle use.

A Toyota FCHV-adv is to be provided as a test-ride vehicle at the Environmental Showcase within the international media centre during the July 7-9 Hokkaido Toyako Summit.

*Japanese 10-15 test cycle, TMC calculations

Source: Toyota

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