Tokyo Motor Show 2015 is welcoming its first visitors as we speak. Building on the enthusiasm with which the Mirai fuel cell car was received at its recent launch, Toyota presents 2 brand new fuel cell-powered concepts at the show.
Toyota FCV Plus Concept
The FCV Plus Concept takes the idea of hydrogen one step further. Not only does it provide zero emission driving, it is also conceived to work as a miniature power-plant that can give energy back to society. The FCV Plus concept embodies our plans for an eco-friendly future where hydrogen energy is widespread in its use: the fuel cell vehicle isn’t only a means of transport; it is also a tool to turn hydrogen into electricity so that it becomes a power source for general use in the community.
So how does that work? In addition to the vehicle’s own hydrogen tank, the car can also generate electricity directly from hydrogen stored outside the vehicle. The Toyota FCV Plus concept’s fuel cell stack can be reused as an electricity generating device, enabling to fuel other vehicles or to add power to building grids if needed.
And again, why based on hydrogen? Compressed hydrogen has a higher energy density than batteries, can be generated from a wide range of raw materials (e.g. renewable electricity, bio-mass) and is easy to store, making it a promising future energy source.
Clean generation of hydrogen from a wide range of primary energy sources will make local, self-sufficient power generation a reality, and fuel cell vehicles will take on a new role as power sources within their communities. Our aim is to add an all-new sense of purpose to the automobile by turning fuel cell vehicles from eco-cars into energy-cars.
Lexus LF-FC Flagship Concept
At the heart of the LF-FC is a high output fuel cell power system that energizes the rear wheels, and also sends power to two in-wheel motors in the front, making the LF-FC all-wheel-drive. This innovative drive system allows precise torque distribution control between the front and rear wheels, giving the full-size sedan exceptional dynamic handling and superior road stability. The strategic placement of the fuel-cell stack at the rear of the vehicle, power control unit at the front and T-formation configured hydrogen fuel tanks result in front and rear weight distribution optimal for a sporty sedan.
“With fuel cell vehicles, we are really still at the beginning, so it is hard to predict how quickly this technology can develop”, says Moriai-san, the Chief Engineer of the FCV Plus. “But I expect that this type of car, with a much downsized fuel cell stack and compact electric motors in each of the wheels could become reality in the next 10 à 15 years.”
Having these 2 new fuel cell concepts presented so quickly after the Mirai launch with a strong vision of a hydrogen-based future conveys a very clear message: TOYOTA believes firmly in this technology and the Mirai is opening the door to a new and better tomorrow.