Toyota To Unveil FCV Plus At Tokyo Motor Show

OCT 18 2015 BY MARK KANE 66

Toyota Mirai

Toyota Mirai

Toyota, like most other Japanese brands, will be present at the 2015 Tokyo Motor Show with some kind of electric-drive technology concept (all-electric, plug-in hybrid or hydrogen fuel cells).

In the case of Toyota, which has vision of a hydrogen-based society, it’s the latter, hydrogen fuel cells, so the automaker will unveil the FCV Plus.

Toyota FCV Plus is some kind of “Mirai Junior” or maybe “Toyota Twizy”.

FCV Plus is AWD with in-wheel motors in all four wheels.

Toyota FCV Plus (world premiere)

Compressed hydrogen has a higher energy density than electricity, can be generated from a wide range of raw materials, and is easy to store, making it a promising future energy source. That’s why Toyota envisages a sustainable society in which hydrogen energy is in widespread use―a society embodied by this concept vehicle.

Toyota's Kirobo Mini

Toyota’s Kirobo Mini, “a new compact-sized communication partner” also present in Tokyo, approved the FCV Plus.

Clean generation of hydrogen from a wide range of primary energy sources will make local, self-sufficient power generation a global reality, and fuel cell vehicles will take on a new role as power sources within their communities. Toyota’s aim is to add an all-new sense of purpose to the automobile by turning fuel cell vehicles from eco-cars into energy-cars.

Generating electricity
In addition to the vehicle’s own hydrogen tank, the car can also generate electricity directly from hydrogen stored outside the vehicle. The vehicle can thus be transformed into a stable source of electric power for use at home or away.
Sharing generated power with others
When the car is not being used as a means of transport, it shares its power generation capabilities with communities as part of the local infrastructure.
Supporting future generations
The car’s fuel cell stack can be reused as an electricity generating device, transcending the traditional functions of cars. Put to versatile uses around the world, these stacks could contribute significantly to local communities.
  • The fuel cell stack is mounted between the front tires, and the hydrogen tank behind the rear seat. Together with the adoption of independent in-wheel motors in all four wheels, this allows for a spacious cabin despite the vehicle’s compact vehicle body. By concentrating functional parts at the front and the rear of the vehicle, this next-generation fuel cell vehicle package creates an optimal weight balance and a wide field of vision.
  • The exterior adopts a distinctive, sleek shape, while the frame structure of the interior ensures rigidity despite the light weight of the car. Altogether, the design conveys the vehicle’s advanced technology and outstanding environmental performance.
Vehicle nameLengthWidthHeightWheelbase
Toyota FCV Plus3,800 mm1,750 mm1,540 mm3,000 mm

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66 Comments on "Toyota To Unveil FCV Plus At Tokyo Motor Show"

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toyota has recently announced that they are going all-in on fuel cell technology, so this announcement is not surprising.

Have they solved the high cost of having hydrogen pumped into a vehicle? Preferably hydrogen not derived from stripping it out of hydrocarbons like fracked natural gas???

Have they solved the corrosive issues with hydrogen, making the drivetrain SAFE from valve leaks, pooling hydrogen gas in underhangs, sudden failures from fuel impurities, and metal embrittlement? How long is the drivetrain rated to last? Has Toyota requested a safety exemption for these, too?

Are they also using carbon fiber wound containment tanks pressurized at 10,000 psi for these vehicles?

all the questions associated with BEV technology haven’t been answered either. electric vehicles is still an evolving technology.

Battery electric vehicles don’t explode.

Neither do FCEVs. Perhaps it’s the titanium shield retrofitted to the bottom of each car, or something.

They just need an igniter.
ISIS can get those.

Toyota has not addressed any of the problems of FCEV.

They are high cost to manufacture and high cost to fuel.And if fueled cleanly they are extremely high cost to fuel.

Selling FCEV below cost, or heavily subsidized leasing plus giving away fuel for 3 years is not solving the problem.

i don’t know where *ev technology is going to lead, but i suppose in your mind tesla has “answered” the problem of long recharge times in BEVs by proposing a 1500v/480a level 3 charging station; but in the real world, that isn’t much of a solution. i mean, really, do you think that you would actually be allowed to use a charger that delivered 1500v to the head?

if my options were to use a 1500v charger for a BEV or a hydrogen refueling station for an FCEV, i’d rather take my chances with the hydrogen refueling station.

“i’d rather take my chances with the hydrogen refueling station.”

Spoken like someone who truly doesn’t understand the significance of decompression from 10,000 psi. “explosive decompression” isn’t hyperbole, it’s quite descriptive.

…also spoken like someone who understands the dangers of handling 1500v – something that you apparently *don’t* understand.

He understands it perfectly. However, handling 1500V can be made a lot safer than handling 10,000 PSI can. Simply put, with correct safety measures: insulation, power cut-off unless charger is locked in, and adequate cooling, it’s a lot easier to make a safe 1500V charger than it is to make a safe mode transporting and storing ridiculously-compressed gas.

Haha! Your ignorance knows no bounds does it? The household wall outlet is at 110v, while a stun gun discharges at 15,000v. If the wall outlet can kill you, while the stun gun is designed not to, what’s the significance of 1500volts?

My 6 year old handles my 240volt/30amp evse every other day. Are you saying that I’m being negligent?

Do you know what holds back all those MEGAjoules of energy? A thin layer of rubber and plastic called “insulation” and Ohm’s Law. While the stuff holding back the pressure of an H2 tank is carbon fiber wrapped armor that’s the equivalent of 1-inch thick steel plates. An H2 tank by Toyota will deflect a bullet, not because of over-engineering, but because those are the magnitude of forces it has to contain.

Your own ignorance is pouring out too. There was a story right here few weeks ago of some supercharger worker dying of electric shock.
Have you not heard of accidents with high voltage lines over train lines? Go visit the developing countries.Here is one story to for you:
The world’s fastest and most horrible death

Electric Train High Tension Wire Shock dead One man in India Blames everyone standing on the roof of an express train, he demands something and blames them he will hold the High Voltage Electric Wire Running over the Train if his demand will not be accepted. Actually he was travelling in the Mahananda Express, en route from Delhi to Alipurduar. He had embarked upon the train from Aligarh.In his Procrastination he holds the wire and within fraction of second the High voltage passes his body and he dies with a huge sparks and fire. It is a worrying thing that people started using these kind of dangerous thing as a suicide medium. 🙁

Well then.. if the good safety-conscious people of India are grabbing high-voltage electric conductors and dying during their routine commutes to work ON TOP OF TRAINS we all better stop using electricity. Clearly, it’s dangerous, and we should take our chances with hydrogen instead.

Good point, foo! No one died of accidentally touching Hydrogen. The FUD spread here about Hydrogen is from the ignorant monkey crusaders (read; TROLLS) of St. Elon.

To Khai La: That thin insulator you mention is the problem. When it gets torn or cut, just a momentary touch is enough to kill. Make sure you routinely examine the charging cord.

There is a ghastly video also at the link. I don’t have the guts to see it. There is correctly a warning posted there: “Weak hearted Don’t see this please”.

Do you know what happen if you come into contact with cryogenic liquid hydrogen?

You’re the Edison of our time.

“See what AC power does to these poor cats!”

See Through:

My bet is that the H2 tank will embrittle well before my insulation wears down enough to expose any cabling. I have 50 year old electrical cabling in my house that are still usable. Other people have even older cabling. However, H2 tanks are required to be retired after no more than 14 years.

And your examples of electrical hazards says nothing about the hazards of using an EV charger. Those poor fellows failed to follow safety procedures, much like any poor soul in any other industry.

The folks dealing with H2 tanks will have to face this:

Note that video shows a CNG tank compressed to “only” 3500 psi. An H2 tank decompression will be 6x more explosive (WITHOUT catching fire). Granted that idiot was using a bad aftermarket regulator, but the tanks will decompress with any kind of breach regardless of the actual cause. These kinds of “accidents” can kill far more people than just the cheapskate idiot. Whereas an EV owner who buys cheap wiring can only electrocute himself.


Many, many appliance such as all the spark plugs on ICE car are currently between 10 000 and 30 000 volts!
The old CRT tube TV use also high voltage of 15 000 volts to excite electron beam.
It seems that has been handle easily.
On the other hand many fatality did occur with heavy trucking or equipment blasting tire at “only” 100 p.s.i.
Just to be sure that it is clear for everybody, which include M. No comment, 10 000 p.s.i, is 100 times that pressure that already need to be handle carefully.
So, high voltage is pretty dangerous if misuse as much as high pressure?
Beside your assumption that charging time is a BIG problem is pretty much overblown, over and over again but just doesn’t apply to 95% of BEV owners you have learn to live with the actual status pretty well.
And considering it will only disappear with longer range BEV and ever growing electrical infrastructure that hydrogen has not even start to built.

Its my understanding that the most effective way to produce hydrogen is from nuclear reactors, it is almost a by product of running them. For better or for worse, Japan at the highest levels of its government and industry, are committed to continuing its almost 100% reliance on its nuclear reactors to power its country, in part to avoid oil related trade deficits.

That’s an interesting approach. Nuclear’s reputation is undeserved, but, on the other hand, plants can be costly to run.

I would prefer to work with the problems of bev’s, mainly due to less complexity and greater efficiency in bev’s than fcv’s.

Of course there are a number of other problems with hydrogen all along the line, including production, storage, transport, distribution, and the numbers of stations that dispense it. A huge money pit. At least they did not go the route of VW, heavily betting on “clean” diesel.

you have to always take tesla statements with a grain of salt because they do have an economic interest in having you believe their line, but one area where you do have to give credit to tesla is that they are actively trying to answer the “questions”. for example, they have added a tool that give range estimates for a variety of speed and ambient temperature conditions, also factoring in the us of a/c or heat. tesla doesn’t give any information on the assumptions that produce the results but it does show that tesla is working on having a story to present to answer questions that might be raised.

I think VW will recover from its “clean diesel” fraud.

But as time goes on, I’m beginning to seriously question that Toyota is going to recover from a dedication to “fool cell” vehicles which seems to be getting stronger over time.

Major companies can make decisions that will eventually drive the company out of business. Eastman Kodak did that during the digital camera revolution. It may be too early to say Toyota will do the same, but it certainly will if it doesn’t change course.

I would write a letter to Toyota, if I were you: but be warned, unsolicited advice is usually taken only from those older, richer, more powerful, or more successful. You may want to proofread your resume one last time.

!) The Volt is a better car by 200%. Hydrogen Summary of Failure Hydrogen stations make excellent explosive terrorist targets. Hydrogen stations are very expensive, cost per station: $1.5 Million, who is going to be forced to pay for this? Hydrogen stations not pumping at the 10,000 psi required, you’re only getting Half Charges! Difficult to make hydrogen and store it.   Hydrogen isn’t a source of energy, you can’t mine it, you can convert something else to hydrogen, like methane, but then you lose energy in the process.   Hydrogen from water( in a global drought? ), is extremely inefficient.   Hydrogen from methane gives you No Help with global warming, it actually makes things worse.  As methane wells typically leak like sieves Hydrogen must be supercooled and compressed to 10,000 psi to store sufficient energy, which requires lots of energy. Burning it as a fuel is less than 50% efficient. The energy to do all this could be used to directly run an EV from a battery, and get you Twice as far. Hydrogen likes to leak. Hydrogen has a general problem of metal embrittlement, so you need special tanks. – Hydrogen tanks only certified for 15 years???… Read more »

Good Strategy Put the Hi-Pressure Hydrogen Tank(((Which is like a bomb))) Close to The Passengers …That Way There is a Severe Impact The passengers Have ZER0 Chance To survive it the fuel of the future ? or population control of the future ?

As the saying goes: “Hydrogen is the fuel of the future… and always will be.” 😉

Not to beat a dead horse, but I think that Toyota’s insistence on fcv’s as the wave of the future will turn out to be crumbling wave and far from the Tsunami they hope for.

In the future I think this will viewed as one of the great business mistakes made by a car company, on par with Detroit’s refusal to recognize the coming of the small car.

Toyota’s mistake was made in the past as to which road to take has lead them into this treacherous course. Their refusal to rectify
this by abandoning fcv’s, at least for passenger cars, is a dead end.

toyota is going to have a lot of company in that event because just about every company that is producing an electric vehicle is also investigating fcev technology. what fcev’s do is to answer the questions to which bev’s don’t provide a good answer at present and they answer the questions of zero emissions that are not addressed in phev’s.

or course there are some *big* questions that fcev’s raise…

sorry but how many situations are there that BEV’s will be unable to solve? You can battery up buses, trucks, all sorts. Okay, maybe planes are a long way off going full electric-batteries aren’t good enough for that – and maybe tanks. But ambulances, fire engines, garbage trucks, double decker buses, these are all within reasonable scope of doing decent all-electric range by 2030.

pretty sure bev and erev can solve 99.5% of our tire on blacktop transport needs in this country.

Pretty sure that BEVS won’t work for decades for the large vehicles, like:
– SUVs
– pick up trucks
– 18 wheelers
– vehicles that are constantly on the road, or need to travel long distance every day!

OMG! That ended up being 50% of the fuel consumption, not 0.5% as you said.

The Toyota RAV 4 EV (which I own) is a small SUV that is fully electric. And it is fantastic! I particularly like that my “tank” is full every morning from the “fuel station” in my garage, and refilled in part by the solar panels on my roof.

The moment Nissan gets a larger EV van in full production, I will be replacing my business fleet of aging Chevy Astro vans. This will save my company significant sums of money over 10 years.

I will never go back to gasoline engines or move over to hydrogen. It makes no business sense at all.

See Through, you should tell your bosses at Toyota that they should have worked on developing more cars like the RAV 4 EV.

That opens another can of worms as in I think the decision to scrap the Rav 4 was a bad one.

It really makes sense to convert to an ev posture for fleets, slowly replacing them over time, or even all at once, depending on circumstances.

SUV not possible? See the Audi Q6 etron! Around same range as a tesla. Start of sales around 2018.

And how much will it tow? How much will it cost?

I think you have a point with 18 wheelers. They will probably go mostly to cng.

Yeah, the CNG refueling stations already exist along US highways. Unfortunately, it is not promoted by the government. No incentives, I guess.

Can you provide an accurate cost/weight trend line for li-ion batteries to show that it can’t happen? Because I’m seeing prices below 20 cents/watt-hour being discussed now, as low as 14 cents; back in 2011 it was more like 50 cents. Density has gone from 80 to 120 watt-hours/pound. So this will come down to the oil culture around SUVs and pickups (the actual, needed commercial vehicles are a product of a country that refuses to take freight rail as seriously as our competitors).

“…just about every company that is producing an electric vehicle is also investigating fcev technology.”

There’s nothing wrong with experimenting with FCEV tech. I applaud any company willing to do basic science & tech research. We need more of that, not less. Nothing at all wrong with building prototype FCEV cars.

What is wrong is developing a prototype, noting that the tech cannot possibly compete with current tech, having your engineers tell you that there’s no hope for future improvement, because hydrogen is about the worst possible choice for a fuel, and knowing the physical/chemical characteristics of hydrogen cannot ever be changed… yet ignoring your engineers, going ahead and putting the car into production, while putting out PR statements claiming that your company thinks a dead-end technology is “the wave of the future”.

1998 called. They want to remind us that not everything has to look like the original iMac anymore. Rowena nods in agreement.

Gasp! I just realized! What if the Apple car looks like this?! OR IS THIS!?

“…the car can also generate electricity directly from hydrogen stored outside the vehicle. The vehicle can thus be transformed into a stable source of electric power for use at home or away.”

Just when you thought the “hydrogen economy” concept couldn’t get any more idiotic, or any further from reality… Now Toyota is suggesting people have a storage tank for hydrogen fuel at home!?!?

That’s…. that’s… words fail me.

Over 100,000 Japanese households already do. It is reassuring to see that your fundamentalist zeal burns as hot as ever.

As a company, Toyota can waste its money on FCVs if it wants to. As a taxpayer, what I regret is government wasting my tax money on subsidizing hydrogen stations that don’t make sense and never will. I doubt its FCV misadventure will ruin Toyota, as once PHEVs and EVs gain 5-10% of the overall market, it will have time to design and build EVs before it loses too much market share.

Are the back wheels casters? Not going to be a very smooth ride with tiny wheels like that. More examples of ignoring physics and employing fantasy to get their Once and (Always) Future Hydrogen car. OK a concept car, but still.

“Are the back wheels casters?”

Yeah, I bet one will always get stuck and drag along as you’re trying to go down the aisle at the supermarket.

Or you get the one that wobbles all over the place or squeaks.

Why do so many know-it-alls insist that the science is settled? If T thinks it can commercialize FCVs why not just stfu and see what happens? Your opinion is worthless.

“Your opinion is worthless”

So why did you express your opinion on other people expressing theirs? Bit hypocritical of you I think!

it is a fact that your opinion is worthless.

Actually our opinions do count when the state government of CA alone is spending $50 million in grants for hydrogen infrastructure. Why in the hell should the taxpayers play any part in Toyota’s little science project?

Meanwhile Tesla is building their own infrastructure on their own dime and already has 532 stations with thousands of charging points across the country’s interstates.

Why won’t Toyota do the same? I’ll tell you why. Because if they put in as many hydrogen stations as Tesla has put in Supercharger stations then Toyota would have had to already plunked down about $800 million for the same 532 hydrogen stations at $1.5 million each.

Toyota rather someone else do that for them.

Because its cheaper to lobby and buy politicians, which is in essence what lobbying is, than to finance it all yourself.

Califorlonia and Governor Moonbeam are an entirely separate issue from T technology initiatives. Why engage in political confusion to discuss a question of logic?

‘Compressed hydrogen has a higher energy density than electricity’

Surely they mean batteries. What is the energy density of ‘electricity’?

Also, the car runs on electricity so I’m extra confused 😉

“Compressed hydrogen has a higher energy density than electricity”

Does that even make any sense? Mind you from a company that continues to refer to hydrogen as a source of energy rather than a carrier it’s probably not surpising.

Yeah, it’s just total marketing bull**it. Is Toyota talking about gravimetric density, volumetric density or both? FIRST VOLUMETRIC DENSITY: From “The energy densities of hydrogen, for gas at 700 bar or liquid, are similarly calculated as 1.55 kWh/L and 2.8 kWh/L respectively.” Tesla’s Panasonic batteries are somewhere currently near the range of .8 kWh/L. So on the surface it appears hydrogen does have more volumetric density over the current battery tech. But when you look at the efficiency of the fuel cell vs. a battery/electric motor the FCV is not better because its EFFECTIVE volumetric density is the same. From DOE: “Hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, which use electric motors, are much more energy efficient and use 40-60 percent of the fuel’s energy”. So let’s say the FCV has a 50% efficiency from tank through fuel cell and then a 95% efficiency from electric motor with regen to road. That’s an efficiency of 47.5%. Then an EV is about a total of 95% efficient from battery to electric motor with regen to road. So the EV has half the volumetric energy density but is twice as efficient with its energy used to propel the car so they come out to… Read more »

“then the weight difference between drivetrains would be around 600 lbs.”

meant to say wouldn’t be 600 lbs. Appears to be 600 lbs. because of the heavier electric motors and larger body size of the Model S. More like apples to apples of 300-400 lbs.

But the energy contained in 1 kg of hydrogen will forever be the same while the energy of 1 kg of battery will keep growing for many years to come.

Until the tank starts to leak…

And this is what Toyota refused/failed to see when they cast their lot with fcev technology.

So basically the Model 3 will be the same size as the Mirai, and when that arrives that will be the basis for comparison. I think we already know which will win a performance contest.

I would like to know what day to day maintenance is required for a hydrogen vehicle and the new Hydrogen service stations. Are most of these going to be Reformers (whether either steam, or some more modern technology), or are they going to tanker-truck the stuff in from a factory? The current cost of the Fork Lift Fuel Cells was $9.10 / kg of H2. Is this price likely to go up, stay the same, or go down (unlikely). Without heavy subsidies, I don’t see why John Q. Public is going to bother with H2 vehicles, unless apartment and condo owners want them. As several articles have shown, either resourcefulness of landlords, and/or flexibility of them and hoa’s along with reasonableness of ev owners seems to solve many otherwise ‘insurmountable’ problems with EV’s. I feel FCV’s will sell only in places with confiscatory electric rates, or no spare electricity at all. But then they will be competing against gasoline, as EV’s already are. Can someone please explain why any large number of people will put up with the bother of FCV’s? If you didn’t have any choice, I’d grant that FCV’s would sell. But the only thing holding back EV… Read more »