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Toyota FCHV-adv (fuel cell hybrid vehicle-advanced)

“That’s 829 kilometres on a single fill – not bad for a hybrid”

Anthony Crawford

Toyota is powering ahead with its fuel cell/hybrid technology by developing a vehicle, which is now capable of a run from Sydney to Brisbane, without refuelling.

With over 850 million vehicles driven on our planet every day, we simply have to develop more efficient and a less polluting means of transport. If we don’t – the effects may be catastrophic.

With current levels of energy consumption set to rise even higher as China and India race towards economic prosperity, experts are predicting petroleum shortages as early as fifty years from now. Frightening, isn’t it.

Rather than follow the diesel trend, Toyota has led the hybrid push with cars such as the hugely successful Prius.

Lexus, a premium luxury brand also part of Toyota’s global bottom line, has at least four petrol hybrid cars in their model line up, and all have found a growing market worldwide.

But fuel cell technology is an altogether different thing. As far as automotive applications go, a single fuel cell generates less than one Volt, so you need hundreds of these cells linked together in a stack to power the vehicle through sufficient voltage.

Toyota has developed their own original fuel cell in house, which they call the Toyota FC (for fuel cell) Stack. It’s already powering a city bus and a Daihatsu MOVE (minicar).

You may also never again need to pay an electricity bill, at least by the end of this century. Toyota is working on a residential fuel cell, which runs on natural gas.

The FCHV-adv car is equipped with Toyota’s own high-pressure hydrogen tanks and is the principle reason for the increased cruising range from the previous car’s 415km on a single fill.

Low temperature starts have always been an issue with fuel cell powered cars but again, the FCHV-adv has overcome the problems and can operate in climates where temperatures fall to as low as -30 degrees Celsius.

This is not science fiction; Toyota is working with government and energy companies, in order to make widespread fuel cell powered vehicles, a not too distant reality.




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