Toyota Motor Introduces New FCHV-4

August 21, 2001 by Jeff Shepard

Toyota Motor Corp. (Japan) demonstrated its new zero-emissions FCHV-4, a space-age fuel cell vehicle that generates its own on-board electricity with compressed hydrogen.

The new FCHV-4 was demonstrated at the Toyota Technical Center for the news media, environmental leaders and government officials. The FCHV (fuel cell hybrid vehicle) represents Toyota's next step in hybrid technology, which is available today in the Toyota Prius sedan.

Based on the new Highlander SUV, the FCHV-4 is the first Toyota fuel cell vehicle on US roads, and features a proprietary high-output 90kW Toyota FC Stack, which is no larger than a conventional gasoline engine. The fuel cell stack also works in tandem with a secondary nickel-metal hydride battery to give the vehicle regenerative braking and other attributes derived from its unique hybrid system. The FCHV-4 has a top speed of nearly 95mph and a cruising range of more than 155 miles.

The company began real-world testing with the vehicle at the end of July, in cooperation with the California Fuel Cell Partnership. Toyota is already conducting road tests in Japan with five FCHV-4s, which have accumulated more than 3,000 miles.