As part of its Fuel Cell Hybrid Vehicle Demonstration Program, Toyota USA will be placing two hydrogen powered Toyota Fuel Cell Hybrid Vehicle (FCHV) advanced test vehicles with Nuvera Fuel Cells in Billerica, MA. The program is part of Toyota's goal to support partnerships with energy and transportation companies and to demonstrate the advantages and viability of the technology as a long term clean energy solution by placing the FCHV-adv vehicles with universities, private companies, and government agencies throughout the USA.
As one of the leading companies developing clean energy technology solutions and hydrogen fuel cells, Nuvera Fuel Cells was an obvious choice to participate in the program. As such, you may soon see Toyota Fuel Cell Hybrid Vehicles being tested on highways in the Boston and New England area!
And now for a little history behind Toyota hydrogen fuel cell technology! First developed in 2002, Toyota has continued to improve the vehicle range, durability, and efficiency and of the vehicle while also making significant cost reductions in materials and manufacturing, a key aspect towards eventually developing the vehicle for consumer production.
The FCHV-adv, which will be placed at Nuvera Fuel Cells, has an approximate 150% increase in range over the first generation FCHV developed in 2002. It is based on the Toyota Highlander SUV, but uses the same core hybrid synergy drive as the Prius.
The FCHV-adv's fuel system uses four compressed hydrogen fuel tanks, an electric motor, a nickel-metal hydride battery, and a power control unit. Hydrogen is fed into the fuel cell stack where it combines with oxygen to produce the electricity that poweres the electric motor and charges the battery.
In 2009, on a single full tank of compressed hydrogen gas, the FCHV-adv achieved an estimated 431 mile range and the equivalent of 68.3 miles/kg (approx. mgp equivalent). Even better, the FCHV-adv is completely smog-free and only emits water vapor - producing absolutely zero emissions while driving!
So when can you actually get your hands on one of these zero emissions vehicles? Toyota's demonstration program will continue for the next 3 years, aiming to educate and increase awareness of fuel cell technology prior to their planned market introduction in 2015.
If you'd like to learn more about the vehicles, check out some of the videos below: