FuelCell – Toyota Group ramping development of fuel-cell vehicle, parts
The Toyota Group is ramping efforts in developing hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles and its parts to meet the global demand for eco-friendly cars.
Last month, Toyota Motor Corp. released its second-generation hydrogen-powered Mirai sedan, which is equipped with three tanks to hold hydrogen fuel, giving it a range of up to 850 kilometers, roughly 30 percent more than the first-generation’s.
The new Mirai’s longer-range was primarily due to a third tank developed by Toyoda Gosei Co., which manufactures rubber and resin parts for vehicles.
To allow the third tank to efficiently contain hydrogen fuel, Toyoda Gosei covered it with a unique resin material that can resist high pressures of about 70 megapascals.
Toyota Gosei invested ¥12 billion to build a new plant in Inabe, Mie Prefecture to mass-produce the tank.
According to Toyoda Gosei President Toru Koyama, the company is aiming to have its products used in other cars, such as commercial vehicles.
Meanwhile, Aichi Steel Corp., a Toyota affiliate that makes steel products for auto parts, has developed special stainless steel that can withstand high-pressure hydrogen as a material for Mirai components without using costly rare metals.
Toyota Industries Corp., which creates auto parts and assembles Toyota’s RAV4 sport-utility vehicles, came up with a new air compressor to effectively deliver air including oxygen to the Mirai’s generator.
Denso Corp., another Toyota group company, manufactures high-quality silicon carbide power semiconductors for the Mirai.