Toyota FCV to Feature In Final Stage of 2014 Japanese Rally Championship

OCT 31 2014 BY MARK KANE 27

Toyota FCV rally zero car (2014 Japanese Rally Championship)

Toyota FCV rally zero car (2014 Japanese Rally Championship)

Toyota announced that its first fuel cell car scheduled for series production and sales will appear at the 2014 Japanese Rally Championship.

Sadly, the Toyota FCV won’t race against other cars, but just appear as a “zero car.”

“A Toyota fuel cell vehicle (FCV) will be put through its paces in the final installment in this year’s Japanese Rally Championship: the 285 km Shinshiro Rally, held in Aichi Prefecture on November 1 and 2. Before the race starts, the FCV, specially tuned and outfitted for rally racing (as pictured below), will check the safety of the roads as a zero car―while emitting zero CO2 or harmful substances.”

We are getting closer to the launch the Toyota’s FCV sedan in Japan – by the end of March 2015 and later in the U.S. and Europe.

“Toyota has been developing fuel cell vehicles for more than 20 years. The company’s commitment to environment-friendly vehicles is based on three basic principles: embracing diverse energy sources; developing efficient, low-emission vehicles; and driving real and positive environmental change by popularizing these vehicles.”

Toyota FCV rally zero car (2014 Japanese Rally Championship)

Toyota FCV rally zero car (2014 Japanese Rally Championship)

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27 Comments on "Toyota FCV to Feature In Final Stage of 2014 Japanese Rally Championship"

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awesome! Next year will be interesting.

Boy that car is awkward looking, makes my Imiev look decent.

Yeah, I’m amazed how ugly they made the car. But I would still probably rank it above the Jellybean iMiEV.

Of course, I’d rather buy the iMiEV . . . and you could probably buy 2 and half iMiEVs for the price of that Toyota FCV.

I think u can buy at least 3 before tax credit.

maybe 5 if Toyota doesn’t kick in $50K in ZEV credits costs.

Do those 2 big triangular holes in the front serve any functional purpose?

They help make it look like Darth Vader.

Yeah. Fuel cells run at a lot lower temperature than combustion engines, and Toyota have switched from pumping the air in to natural flow to save energy, so they use big air vents.

Hyundai manage perfectly well without anything like them though, so it is obviously not inherent to fuel cells but a peculiarity of their design approach, thank goodness.

As a former I-MiEV driver, I admit that I too am surprised at how unattractive Toyota made the FCV. And that’s quite an admission, considering the generally low opinion most people had of the I-MiEV’s looks. As confused as I am by Toyota’s position on FCV’s vs EV’s, I am still looking forward to watching how FCV’s are brought to market, etc. Their higher price will drop over time, but how are the FCV makers going to counter the simple ease of just plugging in every night, and never having to visit a filling station? Plus, how much will the car cost to be refilled? Battery costs for EV’s will be falling, and when that mythical sweet spot of range(whatever that is)is reached in BEV’s, I don’t know why anyone would want an FCV. Then again, a lot of people don’t have easy access to charging their cars so FCV’s are viable alternatives, I guess.


Lots of things are viable if cost is no object.

VW plan PHEV FCEV’s,likely showing a prototype in November, so that people can plug in as usual but on a longer run will still be pollution free at point of use, and have the benefits of low NVH instead of an ICE firing up.

They can fit the needed fuel cell stack and hydrogen tanks in instead of the engine and transmission.

It will look like a Golf.

Perhaps I should add that it is probably the Golf GTE with the same battery etc but a fuel stack and so on instead of the ICE.

I’m very happy to hear this development from VW. This is what makes complete sense for FCEVs.

Then, the people on this forum and the EV proponents will also be all smiles, as it will have a ‘plug’ and you can ‘plug it in’.

I think, Toyota FCV should also add a fake plug somewhere, to win over these people.

I am curious to see how many kilowatts they need in the stack since it is a plug in.

I would have thought around 30kw should do it, as that should provide enough for cruising.

The stack itself would only weigh around 10-15kgs then, although of course there is a lot of other stuff too.

They might want to put in a bigger battery than the usual PHEV one however to give it enough poke with such a small stack.

Um, second thoughts fuel cells don’t like being run flat out, so maybe the rating might be more like 50-60kw.

It is all so new and there are so many combinations possible that it is difficult to guess.


(cont)…Toyota have spoken highly of PHEV FCEVs in the past, but no doubt wanted to keep their first model as simple as possible.

That makes a whole lot more sense to me than this Toyota. I thought the Honda Clarity was attractive but I am not seeing it in this one. Maybe I am affected by the anti-EV sentiment from Toyota marketing staff. Looking forward to the VW in November.

Really? A FCEV *rally* car? Racy graphics make a race car?

Uh huh.

It is not a race car.
It is going to be the service car for the rally.

I am not saying that this car will be fast but from a technical perspective there is no reason the a fuel cell battery hybrid vehicle couldn’t be as powerful as a bev and significantly lighter. A 700 bar h2 tank is probably in excess of 1000 wh per kg. A lot depends on if Toyota actually want to make it fast.

From memory when I did the calculations a while back the whole caboodle which is not common to BEVs too – ie the electric motor – comes in at 1,500Wh/kg

Maybe the qualified physicist who headed up the Prius project and is currently Chairman of the Board at Toyota, Uchiyamada, is not totally dumb and unable to add up after all.

Toyota of course continue to vigorously pursue battery research, but in their opinion we don’t have anything to touch fuel cells at the moment for an economic long range fast refuel ZEV.

It can’t because of the fuel cell power limit. The energy density is not the issue, it’s the power density (and $/kW cost). A battery pack that can output 500kW+ continuously is readily available and for reasonable cost (see A123 pack in the Spark EV and Karma).

A fuel-cell of the same power (even peak power, not continuous power) will cost 5x as much as the one in this FCV and take up 5x the weight and space. Yes, you can use a buffer battery/super-capacitor, but there’s only so much that can do compared to a full sized battery. That’s why FCVs won’t be performance vehicles, esp. for the same price as a BEV.

Toyota will do what it can to give them a better image no doubt but since there is no upsides to hydrogen the $ multi billion question (in subsidies) remains: who is going to buy them?

Don’t think parading them on a race track is going to do much to change the well deserved negative perception of HFCVs.

One to watch out for is what BMW do with the Toyota fuel cell stack which they are likely to use:

‘According to Motoring, Toyota USA’s advanced vehicle boss, Craig Scott “intimated strongly” that the i3 would be recipient of Toyota’s fuel-cell tech.

“We know… where they’re headed” said Scott of Toyota’s partnership with BMW.

He adds that crash test regulations will play a large part in whether BMW can package the Toyota-developed fuel-cell technology into a car like the i3.
…………..Depending on the adaptability of Toyota’s fuel-cell system, the cell itself and the car’s hydrogen tanks could feasibly be stowed within the i3’s chassis–but this remains to be seen.’

So much of “depending”, “if”, “could”, “maybe”, “probably”, “heading to”.
Not convincing at all.
If FCEV were such a superior alternative, nobody would discuss those speculative tought and it wouldn’t be much to complain about.

Sadly, I had to LOL at the press release:

” Toyota announced that its first fuel cell car scheduled for series production and sales will appear at the 2014 Japanese Rally Championship.

Sadly, the Toyota FCV won’t race against other cars, but just appear as a “zero car.” ”

I think you could only add:

“won’t race against other cars, or much of Anything, really..

to make is more pitiful..