Toyota has unveiled its new FCHV-adv, which it says can travel 515 miles between refuels, more than double the previous record for this type of vehicle. In tests, the car, which has just received vehicle-type certification from Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport, smashed the 205 mile range achieved by its predecessor.
The FCHV-adv (standing for Fuel Cell Hybrid Vehicle-advanced), combines on-board high-pressure hydrogen tanks with advanced fuel-cell stack technology. According to the Toyota researchers behind the breakthrough, 25% of the advance in range was achieved through a combination of improving fuel cell performance, playing around with the regenerative braking system and minimizing energy consumed by the auxiliary assemblage.
Ignition performance, an issue that has often plagued fuel cell development, has also been tested successfully by the Toyota team. The new core fuel-cell stack has an improved membrane electrode assembly (MEA), which means that the FCHV-adv can turn over in temperatures as low as -30 degrees C. This was achieved by preventing internally produced water interfering with electrical generation within the MEA at low temperatures.
There is no news yet on a potential release date or price for the FCHV-adv. However, Toyota is said to be working closely with governments and energy companies to see how it could best bring the vehicle to mass production. For now, if you want a fuel cell car, you'll want to look towards Honda.
Via Motortorque and Automotive Business Review