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Toyota Hydrogen Fuel-Cell Car “A Revolution”

The world’s leading science and technology magazine Popular Science has described Toyota’s upcoming Fuel Cell Vehicle (FCV) as “a revolution in its field”.


Ahead of the car’s global launch, the magazine awarded the sedan its top honour as a 2014 Best of What’s New winner in the automotive category.

“For 27 years, Popular Science has honoured the innovations that surprise and amaze us − those that make a positive impact on our world today and challenge our view of what’s possible in the future,” said Cliff Ransom, editor-in-chief of Popular Science.

Toyota has been developing fuel-cell vehicles for more than 20 years. The company’s commitment to such advanced vehicles is based on three basic principles: embracing diverse energy sources; developing efficient, low-emission vehicles; and driving real and positive environmental change by popularising these vehicles.

The Toyota FCV: technology at a glance

What is it? The FCV is an all-electric, four-door sedan that makes its own electricity. It utilises the same hybrid technology developed for Toyota’s hybrid synergy drive systems but replaces the petrol engine with a fuel-cell stack.

How does it work? The FCV features hydrogen fuel tanks (the hydrogen is a compressed gas), an electric motor, a fuel-cell stack, a small battery and a power control unit. The hydrogen is fed into the fuel-cell stack where it is combined with oxygen. Hydrogen and oxygen move through the fuel-cell stack and create a chemical reaction, producing electricity to power the vehicle.

What’s the benefit? It takes less than five minutes to refuel. It has a range of approximately 480km and the only emission from the tailpipe is water vapour.

What’s next? The Toyota FCV will be launched in Japan on November 18 and in the United States and Europe during the northern hemisphere summer in 2015.