Besides the S-FR and Kikai concept cars set to make their global debuts in Tokyo, Toyota will also be offering show goers another glimpse of the future in the FCV Plus concept, a vehicle that previews what the company is thinking about in terms of design for its next generation fuel cell vehicles.
Toyota says the advanced technology of fuel cell vehicles has the potential to offer greater environmental performance, and the company’s aim is to add an all-new sense of purpose to the automobile by turning fuel cell vehicles from eco-cars into energy-cars.
Design and Packaging
Measuring in at 3800mm long, 1750mm wide and 1540 mm tall, the FCV Plus concept’s exterior design adopts a distinctive, sleek shape, while the frame structure of the interior ensures rigidity despite the vehicle’s claimed lightweight characteristics.
The fuel cell stack is mounted between the front tires and the hydrogen tank behind the rear seat. Together with the adoption of independent in-wheel motors in all four wheels, the cabin is said to offer ample space despite the vehicle’s compact exterior dimensions.
The company also notes that the next-generation fuel cell vehicle package has enabled an optimal weight balance and a wide field of vision thanks to the placement of functional parts at the front and the rear of the vehicle.
Generating and Sharing Electricity
In addition to the vehicle’s own hydrogen tank, the car can also generate electricity directly from hydrogen stored outside the vehicle. This allows the vehicle to transform into a stable source of electric power for use at home or away. When the car is not being used as a means of transport, it shares its power generation capabilities with communities as part of the local infrastructure.
The car’s fuel cell stack can be reused as an electricity generating device, transcending the traditional functions of cars. Put to versatile uses around the world, these stacks could contribute significantly to local communities.
Envisaging a Sustainable Society
Compressed hydrogen has a higher energy density than electricity, can be generated from a wide range of raw materials and is easy to store, making it a promising — and sustainable — future energy source.
The company says that clean generation of hydrogen from a wide range of primary energy sources will make local, self-sufficient power generation a global reality and enable fuel cell vehicles to take on a new role as power sources within their communities.