After more than a century the internal-combustion engine still reigns supreme as the world’s go-to powerplant for vehicular propulsion. Of course electrics have started to chip away at that dominance but they really haven’t had all that much success. When it comes to alternative technologies will fuel cells fare any better? Well, maybe if Toyota starts pushing them.
The Japanese automotive giant just revealed its FCV Concept here at the Tokyo Motor Show. It’s powered by the company’s latest fuel-cell stack, one with twice the power density of its current technology. Feeding the system a steady stream of H2 is a duet of high pressure hydrogen tanks mounted underneath the car. Maximizing interior space, this location allows the vehicle to hold four passengers.
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Unlike some pure-electric vehicles the FCV Concept can drive at least 500 kilometers on a single tank of fuel; that’s right around 310 miles. Additionally, it can be refilled in just three minutes – less time than it takes to microwave a TV dinner. Try that with an electric…
Intriguingly, with a full load of hydrogen this car’s fuel-cell stack can provide up to 10 kilowatt hours of juice, which is supposedly enough to meet the needs of the average Japanese home for more than a week.
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Toyota has big ambitions with this vehicle, but they seem a little behind the curve. A production version of the FCV Concept isn’t expected to reach dealers until around 2015. Other automakers could beat them to market.
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