Toyota Fuel Cell Hybrid SUV Test Drive ~ Hybrid Car Review
Hybrid Car Review: Toyota Fuel Cell Hybrid SUV Test Drive

Friday, August 07, 2009

Toyota Fuel Cell Hybrid SUV Test Drive

Toyota, in a real world test drive, estimated they could travel for 431 miles on one tank of gas, showing fuel cell cars are getting closer to reality. They estimate the 431 miles relates to 68.3 miles/kg (approximate mpg equivalent).

All this was done in 'real world' testing. The Toyota Highlander Fuel Cell Hybrid Vehicle Advanced (FCHV-adv) was driven down the southern California coast and back.

The Test Drive Was a Tuesday
On Tuesday, June 30, two fuel cell vehicles, two Toyota Technical Center engineers, an SRNL engineer and a NREL engineer completed a 331.5 mile extended round trip drive between Torrance, California and San Diego.

"This evaluation of the FCHV-adv demonstrates not only the rapid advances in fuel cell technology, but also the viability of this technology for the future," said Jared Farnsworth, Toyota Technical Center advanced powertrain engineer.

The test drive began in Torrance at the TMS headquarters and went north to Santa Monica. Then the test drivers turned south to San Deigo and then headed back home to Torrance. The route included high speed highway driving, moderate highway driving and stop and go traffic on surface streets.

Both vehicles were outfitted with a data collection system that captured vehicle speed, distance traveled, hydrogen consumed, hydrogen tank pressure, temperature and internal tank volume. The average fuel economy was calculated by SRNL and NREL engineers.

Test Drive Results
Toyota compared the Highlander Hybrid, which gets 26 mpg with full-tank range of 450 miles. They estimate the current cost to drive (using Premium gasoline at $3.25) to travel 26 miles. They then looked at the fuel cell hybrid highlander and estimated the cost (at a projected $2 to $3 per kilogram) to travel 68 miles would cost the driver $2.50.

That means you're getting twice as far for less money and no emissions.

"Toyota’s hydrogen fuel cell technology has advanced rapidly over the last two years," said Irv Miller, TMS group vice president, environmental and public affairs. "In 2015, our plan is to bring to market a reliable and durable fuel cell vehicle with exceptional fuel economy and zero emissions, at an affordable price."

The results are being compiled by SRNL and NREL and will be presented to the Dept. of Energy (DOE). This report will assist regulators and government research programs to accurately assess the status of the fuel cell industry and viability of the current technology.

Cost is Very High
Toyota is currently leasing the FCHV-adv to the Japanese government for 30 months at 840,000 yen a month ($7,772). If that's an indication of how much it costs to buy the fuel cell hybrid SUV, then saving a few dollars on gas is not going to make up for the up front cost of purchase.

But then, it's all a matter of scale. With more hybrids being purchased, Toyota, Ford and Honda have cut costs dramatically on their hybrid electric vehicles, making them profitable. So, once fuel cells become more widespread, won't the same eventually come true?

Get Four Free Price Quotes From Yahoo! Autos Hybrid Research and Pricing at

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments posted on Hybrid Car Review will be moderated. Please avoid dropping links just for the sake of links. The comment will be deleted shortly after. Keep comments on topic and non-abusive. Thanks!

Automotive Parts

E-Bay Motors


  © Link to Privacy Policy

Back to TOP