Apparently not content to let General Motors and Ford grab all the fuel cell glory, Toyota has leapfrogged General Motors' 300-mile Sequel ride by making a 347-mile trip with their FCHV fuel cell vehicle. The FCHV is a modified version of the previous generation Highlander equipped with Toyota's in-house-developed fuel cell stack. Toyota says they have improved the fuel efficiency of their fuel cell power-train by refining the design of their stack and improving the control software for the stack and the battery charging system.
The previous 5,000 psi hydrogen tanks have also been replaced by new 10,000 psi tanks allowing more H2 to be stored on board. Toyota doesn't say what the fuel capacity of the FCHV is so a direct efficiency comparison is unknown at the moment, the new FCHV made the trip from Osaka to Tokyo without a fill-up. At the Tokyo Motor Show at the end of October, the FCHV will be on display and available for test drives, so if you're at the show you might want to check it out.

[Source: Toyota]
September 28, 2007


TOYOTA FCHV Makes Osaka-Tokyo Trip Without Refueling
-Initial Hydrogen Fill-up Enough for 560-kilometer Journey-
Tokyo - TOYOTA MOTOR CORPORATION (TMC) announced that an improved version of its TOYOTA FCHV fuel cell hybrid vehicle successfully completed a long-distance road test today by traveling from Osaka to Tokyo on a single fueling of hydrogen.

Today's road test-part of the TOYOTA FCHV's public-road test program-started in front of the Osaka Prefectural Government Office in central Osaka City and, via the Meishin Expressway, Tomei Expressway and Tokyo Metropolitan Expressway, concluded at the Mega Web automobile-themed amusement facility in Tokyo's waterfront area, covering approximately 560 kilometers. The entire trip was completed with the air conditioner on and with no need to stop for refueling.

The TOYOTA FCHV used in the trip is 25% more fuel efficient than earlier versions, due to improvements in the TMC-developed, high-performance Toyota FC Stack fuel cell and to improvements in the control system for managing fuel cell output and battery charging/discharging. It also features TMC-developed 70Mpa high-pressure hydrogen tanks capable of storing approximately twice the amount of hydrogen as the TOYOTA FCHV's previous 35Mpa high-pressure hydrogen tanks. These improvements make it possible to achieve a single-fueling cruising distance of approximately 750km (in the 10-15 Japanese test cycle, as calculated by TMC).

In addition to issues related to cost and hydrogen storage methods, as well as other technical matters, the supply infrastructure and other issues of broad societal importance also need to be considered. TMC is actively working toward making fuel cell vehicles widespread by cooperating with the Japanese government, energy companies and other concerned entities. Against this backdrop, TMC is making steady progress in research and development related to, among others, cruising distance, low-temperature starts, durability and reduced costs.


Vehicle Specifications (for FCHV used in Osaka-Tokyo journey)
Vehicle Name TOYOTA FCHV
Overall length/width/height (mm) 4,735/1,815/1,685
Weight (kg) 1,880
Seating capacity (persons) 5
Performance Maximum speed (km/h) 155
Fuel cell Name Toyota FC Stack
Type Polymer electrolyte
Output (kW) 90
Motor Type Permanent magnet
Maximum output in kW (ps) 90 (122)
Maximum torque in N-m (kg-m) 260 (26.5)
Fuel Type Hydrogen
Storage system High-pressure hydrogen storage tanks
Maximum storage pressure (MPa) 70
Battery Type Nickel-metal hydride

For Reference
As part of the 40th Tokyo Motor Show, which runs from October 26 to November 11, the TOYOTA FCHV will be available for test-drives in a show-sponsored event called "Clean Energy Vehicles Test Ride".

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