Toyota forms new hydrogen fuel cell joint venture with Chinese automakers – FutureCar.com
Author: FutureCar Staff
Japanese company Toyota Motor Corp doubles its commitment to the development of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. Automakers on Friday announced a new venture with Chinese automakers FAW Group, Dongfeng Motor, Beijing Automotive, GAC and hydrogen fuel cell developer Beijing SinoHytec.
The joint venture is named United Fuel Cell System R&D (Beijing) Co., Ltd. (FCRD). FCRD’s main activity will be the development of fuel cell systems for commercial vehicles in China.
Every company including Toyota Motor Corporation and Beijing SinoHytec Co., Ltd. will invest in the joint venture. The joint site will focus on the development of competitive, low-cost fuel cell systems and related components required for the widespread adoption of fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) for commercial applications.
Toyota’s total investment will be around 5.02 billion yen ($ 46 million). The company said in a statement that it will own 65% of the shares in the new joint venture.
“FCRD is a company of tremendous importance to Toyota’s global fuel cell strategies. the use of FCEVs in China, ”said Shigeki Terashi, Toyota COO.
Instead of relying on a rechargeable lithium-ion battery to power electric motors, FCEVs combine hydrogen in a fuel cell to generate electricity. Hydrogen travels to the fuel cell where it undergoes a chemical reaction with oxygen in the air, creating electricity.
The electricity produced in the fuel cell is used to power the vehicle’s electric motor (s). Hydrogen vehicles produce zero emissions – the only byproduct of the process is water.
In line with the 2016 technology roadmap for energy efficient and new energy vehicles announced by China, the government wants to register 50,000 new FCEVs for public transport by 2025 and up to 1 million FCEVs for the transit, commercial transportation and private use by 2030.
“FAW seeks to advance fuel cell technologies and collaborate with partners who share its vision to create win-win relationships with all stakeholders in accordance with the principle of making maximum effort to preserve the global environment. FAW Vice President Wang Guoqiang said.
The market for FCEVs in China, primarily for commercial vehicles, is growing at an unprecedented rate worldwide, Toyota said.
While most of the global automakers are focused on electrifying their model lines, Toyota has never completely abandoned its fuel cell projects for passenger vehicles. The company has been working on fuel cell technology since the 1990s. Toyota’s Hydrogen Mirai was released in 2014.
South Korean car manufacturer Hyundai also introduced a fuel cell vehicle called the NEXO which went on sale in 2019, Hyundai said it was the world’s first fuel cell SUV. Toyota’s rival Honda Motor Co also offers a fuel cell version of its Clarity sedan.
In January, Toyota unveiled the second generation of the Mirai sedan, which includes technical design improvements. The redesigned Mirai was first presented as a concept vehicle at the 2019 Tokyo Motor Show.
With the launch of the redesigned Mirai, Toyota is also supporting the development of hydrogen fuel infrastructure in major metropolitan areas around the world, so that drivers can recharge their FCEVs as easily as drivers of gasoline vehicles.
However, there are currently not many places where passenger vehicle drivers can refuel hydrogen, with the exception of California, where hydrogen filling stations are slowly adding to stations. -existing service. Honda rents the Clarity fuel cell sedan only to drivers living near hydrogen gas stations.
Many industry analysts believe FCEVs are better suited for commercial vehicles such as long haul trucks, as larger vehicles can store more hydrogen on board and hydrogen filling stations can be more easily installed. along busy road corridors.
Last summer, China opened the world’s largest hydrogen filling station in Shanghai. The station is the world’s largest hydrogen refueling station with enough capacity to fill 600 fuel cell cars per day.