Six hundred liters of hydrogen gives the buses a range over 124 miles.
Toyota's hydrogen fuel cell technology will make the jump from the boldly styled Mirai sedan to the mass transit market in early 2017 because the Japanese brand will begin selling the powertrain in buses. They won't be cheap with prices estimated at around 100 million yen ($961,000 at current exchange rates), according to the Asahi Shimbun. Toyota will keep the green vehicle's sales goals realistic, though. The automaker will aim to sell 100 or more hydrogen-fueled buses before the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo. Two of them will start driving routes in the city next year.
The Toyota Fuel Cell Bus will essentially use a version of the Mirai's powertrain, but it will be on a much larger scale. Ten tanks will carry 600 liters of hydrogen, and that will give the vehicles a range over 124 miles (200 kilometers), the Asahi Shimbun reports. Refueling will only take around 10 minutes. Two on-board fuel cell stack will power a pair of electric motors with a total system output of 306 horsepower (228 kilowatts) and 494 pound-feet (670 Newton-meters).
The system will have an energy capacity of 235 kilowatt-hours. During emergencies like natural disasters, evacuation sites can harness the powertrain for keeping the lights on. For reference, the average household in the United States uses 901 kWh per month. So these buses should be able to keep things running for at least a couple days.
Toyota is putting a huge investment into the future of hydrogen fuel cells, and we should see more of them on the road from the company, soon. Rumors hint that the range-topping version of the next-gen Lexus LS could use the tech. As further evidence towards that offering, the LF-FC concept, which previewed the upcoming luxury sedan, used the H2 drivetrain.
Honda is also joining the segment with its Clarity Fuel Cell sedan. It has a range of over 300 miles, but the model is only currently available in California – like the Mirai. The lack of a hydrogen refueling infrastructure in the U.S still makes nationwide sales practically impossible.
Source: Toyota, Asahi Shimbun