• Sep 28th 2007 at 11:57AM
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Technically this Fuel Cell Hybrid Vehicle made the 560km journey on four tanks of hydrogen, as that's how many high pressure pods are hidden away under the Toyota Kluger's rear seats. But the big news is that this car, and a back up sibling, managed to drive 350 miles from the hydrogen fueling station by the Osaka Prefectural Government Office to Toyota's Mega Web theme park in Toyota without needing to stop for more, err, gas. The car even had 30-percent of its fuel left -- running its A/C the entire time -- which mathematically gives it a 480-mile range. That's double the range of most current fuel-cell vehicles.

Thanks to improvements to the car's fuel cells and the management system that controls the hybrid's charging and discharging, the FCHVs used today are 25% more efficient than their predecessors, which have been roaming Japan's streets since 2001 undergoing testing. New stronger tanks that can hold hydrogen at twice the pressure of the old ones also helped the car reach such an impressive range.

The two cars left Osaka at 5:10 (Japan time) this morning, but still encountered bumper to bumper traffic on their way out of the Kansai region. The cars may not have needed to refuel, but the drivers did, making several stops on the 350-mile trip, but the drivers reckon they managed an average speed of 80km/h while on the road. Both cars arrived in Tokyo in time for a quick wash before their press conference at 3:30pm - though neither driver would admit to having taken the cars to their quoted maximum speed of 155km/h (approx. 90mph) on public roads.

Once the press conference was over, Toyota graciously handed the keys to one of the cars to this Autoblogger for a quick blast around the Mega Web complex. From our short acquaintance we can say that it was very quiet, surprisingly quick off the line thanks to 26.5kg-m of torque, but otherwise drove just like any other compact SUV.

No word when these cars will make it to market, and at what price. But mark our words, they are coming.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 8 Years Ago
      Before anyone gets too excited about hydrogen as a fuel (more correctly, as an energy-storage medium), they should become acquainted with the basic facts. Here's a good, simple explanation of the problem (warning: slight bit of math involved):
      • 8 Years Ago
      Even though we applaud the effort, it is true that GM did this first. No one will change this.

      I bet next time GM will do this again, they will probably complete more than 400 miles.

        • 8 Years Ago
        Maybe you should read the article again, because it states how the car had a 400 mile capacity.
      • 8 Years Ago
      "Toyota's Mega Web theme park in Toyota"

      Don't you mean, Toyota's Mega Web theme park in Tokyo?
        • 8 Years Ago
        No, I believe there is a place called Toyota in Japan. Look it up on wikipedia.
      • 8 Years Ago
      This is impressive why? GM has already done this:

      From the Autoblog Green:
      As it turned out both vehicles ran the full distance arriving at Lyndhurst Castle in Tarrytown New York eight and a half hours after leaving Honeoye Falls having covered a little over 302 miles. Each Sequel still had at least 1kg of hydrogen left in the tank which would have carried the vehicles over forty more miles

      Oh it's impressive because Toyota did it. WHatever.
        • 8 Years Ago
        Toyota: 350 miles actually driven, 480 mile tank capacity left in the tank.

        math > you
        • 8 Years Ago
        hmmmmm 'cause 350 > (301 + 40) ?
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