Toyota next fuel cell vehicle is a big ole bus

The Toyota FC Bus is coming soon.

Toyota knows that fuel cells and big vehicles are a match made in zero-emission heaven. It started testing hydrogen buses last year, and other large vehicles – like semi trucks – could be on the way. Well, starting in 2017, you will be able to buy Toyota-branded hydrogen buses. They even come with Toyota's trademark boomerang headlight design up front.

That's not all that the buses share with Toyota's cars. The powertrain uses Toyota Fuel Cell System that was originally developed for the Mirai. It's been changed for better energy efficiency and now has a maximum output of 9 kW and the tanks can hold the equivalent of 235 kWh of electricity. As we've heard with other electric vehicles destined for Japan, this on-board energy could come in handy in an emergency. Toyota says that a fully fueled bus could provide power to evacuation sites like school gymnasiums.

As preparation for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, the Japanese government is pushing to green things up, and that includes more hydrogen vehicles. Six thousand of them, in fact. Toyota's new H2 buses, made by its Hino subsidiary, will start service as fixed-route buses in Tokyo early next year. Before the Olympics start, over 100 of the Toyota FC Bus vehicles will be on the roads. An updated version will arrive in 2018, Toyota says. An earlier version of the H2 bus used two fuel cell stacks and eight hydrogen tanks.

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