May 14, 2003
Toyota leases six more fuel cell vehicles in Japan
Tokyo, Japan – Toyota announced that it will soon lease six of its hydrogen-powered fuel cell hybrid vehicles (FCHV) to two local governments and four private companies as part of the limited marketing of the FCHV, which was launched in December, 2002.
Toyota recently reached agreements with Aichi Prefecture, Nagoya City, Iwatani International Corporation, Nippon Oil Corporation, Tokyo Gas Co., Ltd. and Toho Gas Co., Ltd. for the first lease ever of fuel cell vehicles in Japan to local government bodies or private enterprises.
This will increase to 12 the number of FCHVs marketed so far, with 10 in Japan and two in the United States.
From the start of its fuel cell vehicle effort in 1992, Toyota has pursued development of its own fuel cell stack, the core component of any fuel cell vehicle. FCHV-4 prototypes have accumulated approximately 130,000 kilometers in trial runs, both on test tracks and public roads. By applying hybrid technologies, the FCHV regulates power flow from the fuel cell stack and hybrid (secondary) battery to achieve both high efficiency and car-like driving performance.
Last year, the FCHV become the first-ever market-ready fuel cell vehicle to be certified by Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport, making limited marketing possible. TMC has already leased four FCHVs in Japan (to the Cabinet Secretariat; the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry; the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transportation and the Ministry of the Environment) and two in the U.S. (to the University of California, Irvine and Davis campuses). TMC plans to lease a total of about 20 units of the FCHV in Japan and the U.S. by the end of this year, and is continuing with vehicle development and the creation of a vehicle support system.