Toy­ota next-gen fuel cell con­firmed

Autocar - - TOKYO MOTOR SHOW -

TOY­OTA’S FINE-COM­FORT Ride con­cept is a show­case for the firm’s nextgen­er­a­tion hy­dro­gen fuel cell tech­nol­ogy, due to be launched in 2020, R&D chiefs re­vealed at the Tokyo mo­tor show.

Although of­fi­cials de­clined to re­veal specifics, they did con­firm the next-gen fuel cell is smaller, lighter, more ef­fi­cient and cheaper than that found in the only Toy­ota pro­duc­tion car fea­tur­ing the tech­nol­ogy to­day, the Mi­rai. Kiy­otaka Ise, head of ad­vanced R&D for Toy­ota, said he wanted to re­duce costs and im­prove per­for­mance by around 50% with ev­ery new-gen­er­a­tion pow­er­train.

“If you look at the jump from first-gen­er­a­tion hy­brid to sec­ond, that is what we achieved – and that is our tar­get again for 2020,” he said. “We want to re­duce the amount of plat­inum, for in­stance, and in­crease the sales vol­ume. For cost re­duc­tion, they are two of the big­gest goals.”

To­day’s Mi­rai de­liv­ers a 312-mile range from a 5kg tank. Although the fuel-cell stack in the Fine-com­fort Ride is more com­pact than the one cur­rently in pro­duc­tion, the re­quire­ment for a 6kg fuel tank to hit the 620-mile (1000km) range tar­get forces the Fine-com­fort Ride to be long, hence its six-seat ar­range­ment. Ise con­firmed hy­dro­gen pow­er­trains would still likely only be suit­able for larger ve­hi­cles.

Fine-com­fort Ride is un­der­pinned by next-gen fuel cell tech

Cabin houses six seats that of­fer a va­ri­ety of con­fig­u­ra­tions

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