Toyota FCHV

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Toyota FCHV-4 SUV circa 2007.
Toyota FCHV-adv SUV at the 2010 Washington Auto Show.

The Toyota FCHV is a current hybrid hydrogen fuel cell vehicle development programme, which was leased to a limited number of drivers in the United States[1] and Japan beginning in 2002.[2]

"FCHV" stands for "Fuel Cell Hybrid Vehicle". A number of prototypes have been produced, up to the latest FCHV-adv ("advanced"). The FCHV designs are based on the first generation Highlander SUV, although a bus version is also in development. The powertrain consists of a 90 kW fuel cell supplied from onboard compressed hydrogen tanks, and a nickel–metal hydride battery in parallel. Battery and fuel cell can provide power to the 90 kW driving motors either singly or together. The mechanism is very similar to the Hybrid Synergy Drive in the Toyota Prius and Toyota Auris HSD but with the fuel cell replacing the petrol internal combustion engine, thus minimising greenhouse gas emissions at point of use.

At low speeds the FCHV can run on battery alone, with a range of about 50 km (31 mi).[2] For high performance, such as when accelerating from rest, the fuel cell and battery supply power in tandem. The battery can also charge by regenerative braking, improving overall efficiency. There are currently five generations of the FCHV, beginning with preliminary prototypes FCHV-1 (1997) and FCHV-2 (1999). The FCHV-3 was presented at the "International Symposium on Fuel-Cell Vehicles" in March 2001 in Tokyo, and the FCHV-4 was the first production version, although Toyota did not plan a full-scale commercial hydrogen fuel cell vehicle launch until around 2015.

As of 2008 the FCHV-adv was available for lease in Japan.[2] The use of the vehicles by government ministries and companies is intended to provide detailed development feedback on the FCHV performance under varied driving conditions.

In 2007 a FCHV was driven 560 km (350 mi) between Osaka and Tokyo on a single tank of hydrogen, proving that a hydrogen vehicle could compete with conventional vehicles for range. In August 2009, Toyota USA announced an estimated FCHV-adv range of 690 km (430 mi) from a 6 kg (13 lb) tank of hydrogen, based on a 331.5-mile (533.5 km) test trip in "real-world" conditions between Torrance and San Diego, California.[3]

Hydrogen storage[edit]

The 700 Bar (10000 PSI) hydrogen tanks holds 156 liters - enough fuel for a range of 830 kilometers (520 mi) on the Japanese 10-15 test cycle and 760 kilometers (470 mi) on the Japanese JC08 test cycle.[4] Test vehicles on the Japanese 10-15 test cycle average 22.7 kilometers per hour (14.1 mph) with a top speed of 70 kilometers per hour (43 mph).[5] Vehicles on the JC08 test cycle average 24.4 kilometers per hour (15.2 mph) and a top speed of 81.6 kilometers per hour (50.7 mph).[6]


Toyota's FCHV-BUS at the Expo 2005

The Toyota FCHV-BUS is a fuel cell bus based on the Hino Blue Ribbon City low-floor bus.

  • 90 kW PEFC Fuel cell stack: twice
  • Motor: AC synchronous 80 kW twice
  • Hydrogen tank: Compressed hydrogen gas 35 MPa / 150 liter, five (version 2002) or seven (version 2005)
  • Passenger capacity: 63 (included 22 seats)

FCHV-BUS demonstrated at Toei Bus (August 2003 - December 2004) and Expo 2005. After Expo 2005, some were lent to bus fleet operators, and also demonstrated in fuel cell events.

Project Portal trucks[edit]

Toyota started testing two Mirai fuel cells in an electric Class 8 semi-trailer truck in the Port of Los Angeles in 2017 as part of 'Project Portal'.[7][8] The truck has 670 hp (500 kW) motors, a 12 kWh battery, and a range of 200 mi (320 km).[9]

Prophets of Science Fiction[edit]

The FCHV is featured in the Jules Verne episode of the Science Channel program Prophets of Science Fiction. Some measure of credit is given to Jules Verne in the episode, for helping to inspire the idea.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Toyota FCHV Fact Sheet" (Press release). Toyota USA. 2008-09-11. Retrieved 2013-01-13. 
  2. ^ a b c "Toyota to Begin Leasing Advanced Fuel Cell Hybrid Vehicle" (Press release). Toyota Japan. 2008-08-29. Retrieved 2013-01-13. 
  3. ^ "Toyota Fuel Cell Vehicle Demonstration Program Expands" (Press release). US: Toyota. Retrieved 2013-01-13. 
  4. ^ "Toyota FCHV". GAVE. 2008-09-04. Retrieved 2013-01-13. 
  5. ^ "Japanese 10-15 Mode". DieselNet. Retrieved 2013-01-13. 
  6. ^ "Japanese JC08 Cycle". DieselNet. Retrieved 2013-01-13. 
  7. ^ Ohnsman, Alan (2016-11-17). "Toyota Adapting Its Hydrogen Car Technology To Power Exhaust-Free Heavy Trucks". Forbes. US. Retrieved 2017-04-22. 
  8. ^ Ohnsman, Alan (2017-04-19). "Toyota Rolls Out Hydrogen Semi Ahead Of Tesla's Electric Truck". Forbes. US. Retrieved 2017-04-19. 
  9. ^ "Toyota Opens a Portal to the Future of Zero Emission Trucking" (Press release). US: Toyota. 2017-04-19. Retrieved 2017-04-28. 

External links[edit]