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Toyota Unveils New Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicle

Set to hit the market in mid-2015, streamlined Toyota FCV has capability to power a home through its battery.
September 19, 2014

​SAN FRANCISCO – Earlier this week, Toyota quietly rolled out the newest addition to its eco-conscious fleet, the 2015 FCV. That stands for Fuel Cell Vehicle and translates to hydrogen power. While the car hits dealers in the middle of next year, the company hasn’t revealed details on pricing and the interiors have not yet been shown to the public, according to a USA Today article.

According to USA Today’s description, the FCV looks fairly conventional. Claiming the dimensions of a midsize car, its front end boasts massive “gills” to help cool the suitcase-sized fuel cell located under the front seats, while its hindquarters feature a number of curves "that are meant to recall waves, hinting at the fact that the only thing coming out of the tailpipe is H20," according to Toyota representatives.

Toyota's first hydrogen-powered production car, the result of some seven years of refining the technology and reducing manufacturing costs, joins small lease-only runs of Hyundai Tucson Fuel Cell and Honda FCX Clarity vehicles. Other automakers, including Mercedes-Benz and General Motors, also have small fleets of fuel-cell cars on the roads.

Among the interesting features engineered into the FCV to make it a production vehicle were refinements to fuel-cell safety systems. If an accident creates cracks in the Toyota-made carbon fiber fuel tanks, their gases are instantly vented. Another feature allows the driver to elect to keep the water waste in a storage tank. And an even greater bonus is a feature that would allow the FCV to be set up to double as a source of electricity to power a home in the event that power is lost, for instance in a natural disaster.

For more on hydrogen fuel technology, read the article “Fuel for Thought,”  in the October issue of NACS Magazine. Examples of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, as well as other alternative fuel vehicles will be on display at the Future of Fuels Showcase at this year’s NACS Show.