Toyota will roll out a fleet of their fuel cell vehicles (FCV) into a trial programme between Narita International Airport and other destinations starting on January 29.
This is not something new for Toyota. Under the same project, Toyota has been providing a fuel cell hybrid bus for use on a commercial route between central Tokyo and Tokyo International Airport since December 2010.
The taxis will be used to collect data on usage of the FCHV-adv, including both city-style and highway driving durability, along with efficiency and consumption.
Toyota launched the Highlander-based FCHV-adv for testing worldwide in 2008. Currently, the FCHV-adv has a top speed of 96 mph. An aluminum roof, fenders and other components, make the body shell of the Highlander FCHV lighter than a conventional hybrid. The FCHV is one of the world’s most aerodynamic SUVs, according to Toyota, thanks to its flat, well-sealed underbody. This new model is capable to cover 431 miles on one 6-kilogram tank. If we do the math we get an average fuel economy of 68.3 miles/kg (approximate mpg equivalent).
Currently, hydrogen gas pricing is not fixed, but DOE targets future pricing at $2 to $3 per kilogram. Therefore, the FCHV-adv is estimated to travel approximately 68 miles at a projected cost of about $2.50 – more than double the range of the Highlander Hybrid, at equal or lesser cost, while producing zero emissions.