The Toyota Motor Company has presented its new Highlander FCHV, a model which will bring to the market a new fuel-cell system from the Japanese company. Numbers indicate a drastic step compared to the previous generation, with a 25 percent reduction in consumption, obtained thanks to modification in the regenerative braking and auxiliary systems.
What is more suprising however is the increase in autonomy: on the Japanese 10-15 circuit, the Highlander can manage 830km on one full tank, on the more severe JC08 it does 760 km. Figures which are well above 400 and the previous capacities of fuel-cells. Given legal obligations, these numbers for daily use have been decreased to 560km, meaning you could go from Tokyo to Osaka without stopping at gas station.
The new fuel cells have also been improved in terms of their trustworthiness and durability: important interventions regarding the internal production of water, which then affects low temperature start-up (a big problem for this type of engine). Mercedes, the other company at the forefront of fuel cell technology, has resolved this problem with an unusual solution that sees the adoption of an eletric turbine which can maximise air flow through the conductors, guaranteeing instant thawing. The two companies, with different solutions, promise use down to -30° C.
Via | GreenCarCongress