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Beginning January 29th, Toyota's FCHV-adv hydrogen fuel cell vehicle will swing into service at Japan's Narita International Airport. By month's end, an undisclosed amount of FCHV-advs will become part of a car-service trial program with All Nippon Airways Co., Ltd. and Welcome-Home Limousine Taxi Service. The FCHV-Advs will be used to transport passengers returning to Japan from Europe and the U.S.

Toyota intends to obtain and verify data from the car-service trials and will utilize this information to further the development of its fuel cell program. The vehicles will be subject to extensive highway use and tasked with multiple real-world driving situations. These trials should verify both the FCHV-adv's total range, estimated at 431 miles, and its miles per gallon equivalent, which the U.S. Department of Energy's testing pegged at 68 mpge back in 2008. Of course, Toyota's fuel-cell trials and extensive testing are aimed at advancing the automaker's development of a sedan-type FCHV set to launch in 2015 at a price of $50,000, or less. Hat tip to Roy!

[Source: Toyota]
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TMC FCVs to Be Trialed in Narita Airport Car-service

Toyota City, Japan, January 21, 2011-Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) plans to provide "TOYOTA FCHV-adv"* fuel-cell-hybrid vehicles to an FCV (fuel-cell vehicle) car-service trial program to start on January 29 between Narita International Airport (Narita Airport) and other destinations. The provision is in response to a request from the Research Association of Hydrogen Supply/Utilization Technology (HySUT), a participant in the Hydrogen Highway Project run by Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) as part of its Demonstration Program for Establishing a Hydrogen-based Social System.

The vehicles will be used in a car service All Nippon Airways Co., Ltd. (ANA) operates from Narita Airport for the Welcome-Home Limousine Taxi Service for passengers returning to Japan on flights from Europe or the U.S. and for its early morning pickup plan.

Under the same project, TMC has been providing an "FCHV-BUS" fuel-cell hybrid bus for use on a commercial route between central Tokyo and Tokyo International Airport (commonly known as Haneda Airport) since December last year.

To continue to promote the widespread use of FCVs, TMC will verify data obtained from the car-service trials (which will include highway use), and conduct ongoing research and development while actively cooperating with various organizations including the national government and the energy industry.


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  • 16 Comments
      • 6 Months Ago
      This truck is perfect, it look good, goes fast, go longer, don't pollute, last long, cost few to make, it's easy to make for toyota and competitor wannabees , the perfect thing for toyota, shell, exxon, citgo, bp, texaco, mobil one, etc to go babkrupt, LOL.

      This thing can be fueled by a solar panel on tops containing water.

      Many inventors wannabees can practice and start building solar panels prototypes put on top of cars or on top of houses or anywhere else to make hydrogen gas, store it in pressurized cylinders and inject this costly, hard to do, inneficient, hard to compress, hard to tune and hard to inject in correct quantity into ice engines.
      • 6 Months Ago
      There is an interesting article on the use of microbeads to store hydrogen instead of carbon fibre cylinders:
      http://nextbigfuture.com/2011/01/uk-cella-energy-develops-hydrogen-based.html

      Also interesting are some calculations there, indicting that the production of the 6kg of hydrogen needed to fuel this car for it's range would take 12kg of natural gas, costing $5.17!
      Of course, there would be equipment costs and so on, but 431 miles on $5.17 worth of natural gas sounds pretty good!
        • 6 Months Ago
        " 6kg of hydrogen needed to fuel this car for it's range would take 12kg of natural gas"

        Is there any reason why "Goatguy" assumes a 4:1 mol production of H2 from methane? Was he perhaps thinking of simply H?
        • 6 Months Ago
        I'm getting more confused.
        I have now received this reply:
        'Because the "burned heat" is captured by the rest of the methane to turn to hydrogen in the CH4 + H2O → CO + 3 H2 reaction, and that energy winds up stored IN the hydrogen as chemical potential -- which is then liberated in the fuel cell. Hence, not wasted. '

        I really don't know what the energy losses of converting methane to hydrogen are.
        • 6 Months Ago
        Interesting article, but it does point out that their current "solution" is not readily re-hydratable or recyclable, and is expensive to make, thus not really usable in its current form. Perhaps future research will overcome these problems

        While absorption methods of H2 storage do reduce pressures and somewhat improves safety, it does dramatically increase the weight and is likely to increase costs as well. Unless a version comes along that proves to be affordable and with reasonable space requirements, the H2-FCV test fleet will continue to use the now standard ultra-high pressure tanks.
        • 6 Months Ago
        David Martin, thanks for an interesting new concept.

        Here's an article about recent storage developments using carbon nanotubes:

        "Inspired by natural sponges, the team designed a computer model that placed carbon nanotubes in the hole positions of a theoretical sponge network. 'Putting cylinders next to each other is a way of packing them. But there is another way - to put them so they cross over each other, like the holes in a sponge. Using modelling we found how many arrangements the nanotubes could be arranged in to fit this criteria,' Leoni tells Chemistry World.

        The carbon nanotubes were arranged in parallel, but with none of them intersecting. Each nanotube is in contact with others, but not all the way along the edge of the nanotube. After hydrogen adsorption simulations, the team found that these structures adsorbed a significant amount of hydrogen. 'The way we put them together provides some points of contact - at these points hydrogen preferentially adsorbed. Putting cylinders next to each other in a parallel fashion doesn't have the same effect,' explains Leoni. "

        http://www.rsc.org/chemistryworld/News/2011/January/26011103.asp
        • 6 Months Ago
        @GoodCheer
        the overall reaction is:
        CH4 + 2H2O + energy -> CO2 + 4H2
        so 4:1 mol of H2 from methane is correct with the very large caveat that you have to burn off additional methane to power the reaction (or use another power source)
        • 6 Months Ago
        Seqan,
        That is why I made it clear what was being discussed.
        A little further down the linked thread I gave I asked:
        'Does this mean that in practise your calculations that you need 12kg of natural gas to equal 6kg of hydrogen is modified, so that you actually use around 18kg of natural gas to allow for the heating?
        Presumably if you wished to compress the hydrogen to 10,000psi this would entail a further energy cost?
        The calculations can be a little difficult to follow for those of us who are not engineers. '

        And the reply was:
        'Yes, you've got it. 12 kg of methane becomes 18 kg, to overcome the endothermic nature of the reaction. (Of note... that "burned heat" though is adding to the hydrogen-produced budget, so actually its not really wasted at all.) And frankly, I'd rather see a low-pressure 'surface energy bonded' hydrogen storage subsystem than raising it up to 10,000 psi. It takes a LOT of energy to get to 10,000 psi. Huge. Yes - the heat-of-compression could as well be captured and added to the endothermic formation reaction. Boil water into steam, for instance, since that takes a lot of calories too. Point is, done efficiently, there are a lot of heat-conservation paths that if explored would make for a very efficient production either of ultra-compressed hydrogen, or much less compressed "reformed" hydrodust. (of some sort)'

        So in fact the cost of the natural gas used for this method of hydrogen storage would be about $7.25 - hardly huge.

        This method does not compress the hydrogen gas, so that energy cost is not incurred.
        In addition, areas like Holland and Germany have excellent district heating systems, so it is quite possible that much of the excess process heat might be used.

        Of course these calculations do not take into account the cost of the equipment needed etc, so you cannot directly calculate the cost of the hydrogen from them.
        They do however show that the material costs are more than reasonable, and there is no reason on material cost grounds to confine oneself to batteries.

        As for compression energy costs where carbon cylinders are used to store hydrogen, Wiki seems poor on this to me, giving the energy cost as 2.1% to an unspecified level:
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hydrogen_storage

        Whilst here it says:
        'The theoretical energy to compress hydrogen isothermally from 20 bar to 350 bar (5,000 psi or ~35 MPa) is 1.05 kWh/kg H2 and only 1.36 kWh/kg H2 for 700 bar (10,000 psi or ~ 70 MPa). Greater compression energies are required to fill vehicles in practice due to compressor inefficiencies and heating during fast fills.'

        http://www.hydrogen.energy.gov/pdfs/9013_energy_requirements_for_hydrogen_gas_compression.pdf

        So it would seem that compression energy costs may be around 10% to 10,000psi, giving a total material cost of about $8 for the 431 mile range of the Toyota, or a couple of cents a mile.

        It should be noted though that the whole process is riddled with inefficiencies, as there has been no pressing need to optimise the process previously.
        The use of hydrides in one form or another for a start would obviously eliminate compression losses, and the subsequent c.20% loss in the fuel cell from decompression.
        IOW this is a starting point, and hydrogen efficiencies can only go up, and have quite a bit of headroom to do so.



        • 6 Months Ago
        Of course you have to add energy in order to get 6kg of hydrogen out of 12kg of natural gas, so saying that you can run a HFCV 431 miles on $5.17 of natural gas is kind of like saying you can run a compressed air car on $0 worth of air.
      • 6 Months Ago
      Use one fuel to make a second. Store, pressurize, transport, and deliver that second fuel to distribution stations.
      Then use the second fuel to make a third fuel.
      Then use the third fuel to move a vehicle.

      Hmm.... the word "efficiency" doesn't exactly come to mind here.
        • 6 Months Ago
        Efficient compared to what? It seems to be more efficient than present combustion engine systems, and you can't move a large, heavy vehicle for 431 miles between charges with any battery we can presently do at any reasonable cost and weight, so you have no basis of comparison for similar capabilities.
      • 6 Months Ago
      Toyota will test fuel cell vehicles at Narita Airport in Japan

      [url= http://green.autoblog.com/2011/01/26/toyota-test-fuel-cell-vehicles-narita-airport-japan/][u]Link[/u][/url]

      Get ready, Toyota is going to be refining and refining and refining these vehicles over the next few years. I still predict that the automaker who delivers on a sub-$50K hydrogen fuel cell vehicle with the looks, performance and utility as good or better than the Chevy Volt will sweep all awards just as the Volt did over the last year.
        • 6 Months Ago
        Yes, I do realize that there will be different vehicles for different uses, that's one of the reasons I mentioned the Volt. Plug-in hybrids are another way to use electricity to reduce oil consumption, and it neatly gets around the "range problem" of some EVs.

        For others, "all electric" will be preferred, either a short range local car like the Leaf or a more expensive long range car like the Model S.

        But that doesn't leave a very large window of opportunity for H2-FCVs, which don't get better range than PHEVs yet cost more, and are less efficient and more expensive than many battery EVs.
        • 6 Months Ago
        Chris M:
        These comparisons of batteries and hydrogen are completely pointless apples and oranges.
        If a large, heavy battery car could run 431 miles between charges, and then recharge in 5 minutes then fuel cell vehicles might not be needed.
        Until then it is simply different strokes for different folks, or rather different applications.
        Very large increases in efficiency are possible with battery vehicles, but they are with fuel cell vehicles too.
        The engineer over at Next Big Future's calculations showed that the Toyota only operates at around a half to a quarter of theoretical efficiency, and gains are also possible in the fuel production chain.
        I think it is good to have options - and I still want my battery car with a fuel cell range extender! :-)
        • 6 Months Ago
        It will still cost thousands more than the Chevy Volt, running on a fuel more expensive than gasoline and several times more than electricity, and will still have a severely limited number of refueling places. Moreover, there will be a substantial market of plug-in cars from all manufacturers established years earlier, most of the plug-ins will be cheaper and several will offer better performance and possibly greater range. It is hard to imagine how H2FCVs could get many sales - if any.
      • 6 Months Ago
      :D
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