The Global View

New Toyota hybrid goes 830 km at -30C

prius.JPGEveryone’s favourite Prius maker Toyota has come up with a new fuel cell hybrid vehicle which it reckons is the bees knees. Why is it so reminiscent of apiarian joints? Because it has the new Toyota FC stack, apparently.

The stack means that the hybrid vehicles will have a better cruising distance and will be more comfortable with low-temperature starts. As in minus 30 degrees celsius starts.

As well as being more willing to get up on cold mornings, the stack means fuel cell cars will have better fuel efficiency – somewhere in the region of 25 percent – by improving the fuel cell’s performance and “enhancing the regenerative brake system”.

If you’re reading this and thinking “this is just like Vic Reeves during his vintage comedy BBC2 days – it just can’t get any better!” then you’re wrong, very very wrong – it can and oh boy, it does.

Thanks to its new hydrogen tank, this latest Toyota can go 830 kilometres on a single fueling – more than double the distance of Toyota’s previous system.

How cool is that?

Here’s more details on how Toyota did it:

During development, TMC analyzed results and data from various utilization studies by the Japan Hydrogen & Fuel Cell Demonstration Project organized by Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, tests conducted by the California Fuel Cell Partnership in the United States and cold-weather tests in Timmins, Canada. TMC also repeatedly carried out basic research to get to the core of technical problems as they arose. […]

The building block of the Toyota FC Stack is the Membrane Electrode Assembly (MEA), where engineers focused on the basic problem of internally produced water interfering with electrical generation within the MEA at low temperatures. Fundamental research, such as internal visualization tests, was carried out to understand the behavior and amount of water generated in the fuel cell, allowing engineers to optimize the MEA design to improve low-temperature startup.