Toyota set to roll out fuel cell buses in 2017

Toyota Motor Corporation will begin to sell fuel hydrogen fuel cell buses under the Toyota brand from early next year. The buses have already undergone repeated field tests for practical use, the Bureau of Transportation of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government plans to utilise two of these FC buses, branded the Toyota FC Bus, as fixed-route buses.

The company has said that it will introduce over 100 FC buses mainly in the Tokyo area, in advance of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games. The FC buses will be sold for the first time in Japan in early 2017, so as to help increase the level of understanding by the general public of the utilisation of FC buses as a form of public transportation.

The Japanese automaker is already a global leader in sales of fuel cell automobiles. Fuel cells generate electricity via a chemical reaction between hydrogen and oxygen. Toyota aims to further develop the technology as the next generation of clean-energy vehicles.

In preparation for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games, the number of FC buses being introduced will increase steadily going forward. Together with this, the automaker says it aims to “engage continuously in the diligent development targeted at the expansion of the introduction of the new FC buses from 2018 so as to contribute to the realisation of a hydrogen-based society”.

The new fuel cell bus can be used as a power-supplying source in times of disasters. Toyota aims to expand the use of fuel cell buses as part of efforts to realize a hydrogen-based society, the automaker said.

The buses are expected to be priced around 100 million yen ($963,000), which will be partly subsidized by the transport ministry under an initiative to encourage the use of environmentally friendly vehicles across Japan.

The Toyota FC Bus was devel oped by Toyota, based on the company’s experience in developing FC buses together with Hino Motors, Ltd. (Hino). The Toyota Fuel Cell System (TFCS), which was developed for the Mirai fuel cell vehicle (FCV), has been adopted to provide better energy efficiency in comparison with internal combustion engines, as well as to deliver superior environmental performance with no CO2 emissions or substances of concern (SOCs) when driving.


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