Over the past few years, we have had quite a fair share of test hydrogen fuel buses at various locations around the world. Already back in 2009, keen developers of the technology introduced it in north-east China, closely followed by Mercedes-Benz Citaro FuelCELL hybrid bus that hit the streets of Hamburg later on the same year. Not long after, in 2010, Singapore and then London saw their first eight hydrogen fuel cell buses.
The new kid on the block is a product of the collaboration between the Japanese automaker Toyota and Hino Motors. The bus is powered by the same hydrogen fuel cell system that Toyota has put in their Toyota Mirai car. The system has two stacks of fuel cells and eight hydrogen tanks with storage capacity of 480 l (106 gal). Each of the two units can produce a maximum output of 114kW.
The buses are currently under testing in the Japanese capital Tokyo thanks to the cooperation of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government. From 24th until 30th of July, the vehicles will be covering public roads in the city center and the waterfront areas. The automakers from Toyota are hoping to gather enough information on performance of the vehicles, so that they can further improve the technology and make it perfect and fully ready for market launch.
The guys behind the technology would also like to assess the practicality of fuel cell buses for integration within the public transport system. In addition, they are hoping to assess whether the external power supply system can deliver in case of emergency and power outages.
Toyota and Hino hope that these new zero-emission fuel cell buses will bring us a step closer to an eco-friendly hydrogen-based society.
Image (c) Toyota