Development Progress of the Toyota Fuel Cell Hybrid Vehicle 2008-01-0420
Since 1992, Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) has been working on the development of fuel cell system technology. TMC is designing principal components in-house, including fuel cell stacks, high-pressure hydrogen storage tank systems, and hybrid systems. TMC developed the '02 model TOYOTA FCHV, the world-first market-ready fuel cell vehicle, and started limited lease of the vehicles in 2002. In 2005, TMC developed a new model of TOYOTA FCHV which obtained vehicle type certification in Japan, and is currently available for leasing.
TMC has improved the cruising range and cold start/drive capability of the TOYOTA FCHV, and conducted public road tests to evaluate the performance. The improved TOYOTA FCHV successfully traveled from Osaka to Tokyo (approximately 560km, 350 miles) on a single fueling of hydrogen. In addition, the cold weather tests carried out in Hokkaido and North America have verified its starting/driving capability at subfreezing temperatures including -37°C.
Although many obstacles remain towards commercialization of fuel cell vehicles, TMC is committed to overcome the obstacles. This paper describes TMC's approaches toward solving the challenges of cruising range and cold start/drive capability.