Toy­ota drops all its bat­tery plans

The Witness - Wheels - - FRONT PAGE -

WHILE BMW last month an­nounced it has sent a fleet of elec­tric cars into its car-shar­ing test­ing pro­gramme, Toy­ota al­ter­na­tive-fuel chief Craig Scott re­cently told Forbes mag­a­zine Toy­ota has ba­si­cally given up on bat­ter­ies ever be­com­ing vi­able for long dis­tance trans­port.

Scott said that cur­rent lim­its on how much elec­tric­ity can be stored in a given vol­ume, and how quickly a bat­tery can charge, will not change for the next 10 years, adding the cur­rent wave of bat­tery de­vel­op­ments will take at least that long to tran­si­tion to pro­duc­tion.

Which is why Toy­ota has dropped all its bat­tery plans and is fo­cus­ing on hy­dro­gen cars, a new di­rec­tion which Tesla founder Elon Musk fa­mously called bulls**t.

Mean­while, in the next stage of de­vel­op­ment for their jointly-de­vel­oped fuel cell bus, Toy­ota Mo­tor Cor­po­ra­tion and Hino Mo­tors, Ltd. car­ried out field tests in Tokyo from July 24 to to­day, hop­ing to ac­cel­er­ate tech­no­log­i­cal de­vel­op­ment of the bus with the aim of bring­ing it mar­ket.

These field tests will help de­ter­mine the prac­ti­cal­ity of the fuel cell bus for use in public trans­port net­works, as well as eval­u­at­ing the ef­fi­cacy of its ex­ter­nal power sup­ply sys­tem dur­ing wide­spread power out­ages caused by nat­u­ral dis­as­ters. The tests will be car­ried out with the co-op­er­a­tion of the Tokyo metropoli­tan gov­ern­ment.

The new bus was de­vel­oped jointly by Toy­ota and Hino based on a Hino hy­brid non-step route bus and is equipped with the Toy­ota fuel cell sys­tem de­vel­oped for the Mi­rai fuel cell ve­hi­cle. Toy­ota was re­spon­si­ble for de­vel­op­ment of the fuel cell sys­tem, while Hino han­dled de­vel­op­ment of the bus body, in­clud­ing the chas­sis. The de­sign of the bus has been op­ti­mised for in­creased power out­put, and fea­tures two 110 kW fuel cell stacks and 110 kW (335 N·m) mo­tors along­side eight 70 MPa high-pres­sure hy­dro­gen tanks. The bus uses a NiMH drive bat­tery, and also fea­tures a 9,8 kW / DC300 V ve­hi­cle-to-home (V2H) sys­tem.

an­nounce­ment came as Amer­i­cans took to so­cial media to com­plain about the un­avail­abil­ity of hy­dro­gen at the spe­cial fill­ing sta­tions.

Green Car Re­ports say Amer­i­can driv­ers en­joy driv­ing their wa­ter-spout­ing cars, but early adopters of the new tech­nol­ogy in South­ern Cal­i­for­nia can­not re­fuel their hy­dro­gen cars at the hand­ful of spe­cialised sta­tions set up by pri­vate com­pa­nies.

The hy­dro­gen cars avail­able to buy­ers are the Hyundai Tuc­son Fuel Cell, Honda FCX Clar­ity Toy­ota Mi­rai and Merto cedes-Benz B-Class F-Cell.

Cal­i­for­nia ad­mit­ted to Green Car this “is a chal­leng­ing tran­si­tion time for cus­tomers, but we are con­fi­dent it will imThe prove”.

The state cur­rently has 48 sta­tions at “var­i­ous stages of de­vel­op­ment”.

— Wheels Re­porter.


Toy­ota’s fuel cell bus will emit only wa­ter, af­ter us­ing a lot of elec­tric­ity up stream to make hy­dro­gen that will be con­verted

back to power a bat­tery.

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