Development of Fuel Cell Hybrid Vehicle by Toyota -Durability- 2009-01-1002
Various issues must be resolved before sustainable mobility can be achieved, the most important of which are reacting to energy supply and demand, and lowering CO2 emissions. At present, the fact that the vast majority of vehicles run on conventional oil is regarded as a problem for which Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) is developing various technological solutions.
Fuel cell (FC) technology is one of the most promising of these solutions. A fuel cell is an extremely clean device that uses hydrogen and oxygen to generate power without emitting substances like CO2, NOx, or PM during operation. Its energy efficiency is high and it is widely expected to form the basis of the next generation of powertrains.
Since 1992, TMC has been working to develop the main components of fuel cell vehicles, including the fuel cell itself, and the high pressure hydrogen tank and hybrid systems. In 2002, these technological developments enabled TMC to begin limited lease of the world’s first fuel cell vehicle, the Toyota FCHV. Japanese vehicle type certification was acquired in 2005, and in 2008, the Toyota FCHV adv. was developed with a cold start capability and cruising range equivalent to that of an internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicle.
The Toyota FCHV adv. substantially improves usability-related technical issues and TMC is now targeting a transition to the next stage of widespread acceptance of fuel cell vehicles. However, high costs, the improvement of durability, and minimizing size and weight are some of the issues that remain to be addressed before this can be achieved. This paper presents an analysis of the current situation surrounding the issue of durability and discusses the importance of activities to lower overall costs.