Toyota’s first production hydrogen fuel cell buses will begin hitting the streets of Tokyo, Japan, in early 2017, according to recent reports. The plan is for the new buses to enter into service initially as fixed-route buses in the country’s capital city before then being rolled out elsewhere.
More than 100 of the new Toyota hydrogen fuel cell buses are expected to be put into service in Tokyo before the 2020 Summer Olympics begin there. Eventually, more than 6,000 of the buses are expected to go into service.
An updated version of the bus is expected to begin deployment in 2018. The Toyota subsidiary Hino is producing the new buses.
As far as specs go, the system has a maximum output of 9 kilowatts (kW) and a total energy/fuel storage capacity of 235 kilowatt-hours (kWh). This fairly substantial energy storage capacity can reportedly be used as a backup power source in the case of emergencies.
The new buses use the Toyota Fuel Cell System, which was originally developed for use in the Toyota Mirai.
As some background, Toyota began testing of the current hydrogen fuel cell bus design last year. And reports are that they may have also begun testing hydrogen-fuel-cell semi-trucks.
It’ll be interesting to see how the buses do once in regular use/service. While personal hydrogen fuel cell vehicles are a technology that I’m very skeptical of, I think hydrogen fuel cell technologies could prove themselves useful in some niche applications and environments.
Source: The Japan Times