November 19, 2002


Toyota to lease first fuel cell vehicles to California universities

Torrance, California – Toyota announced that it will deliver the first two Toyota FCHV hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles to the University of California, Irvine (UCI) and the University of California, Davis (UCD) at a press conference on Monday, December 2nd.

The vehicles will be leased to the universities for 30 months at a cost of approximately U.S.$10,000 per month. Both universities are at the forefront of hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle and infrastructure research, development and implementation.

The delivery of the cars will be in conjunction with a fuel cell vehicle program linking government, education and industry, and partner-providers of critical hydrogen refuelling infrastructure.

“The task of bringing practical fuel-cell powered vehicles to the mass market will require a considerable investment of time, resources, cooperation and patience,” said Jim Press, TMS executive vice president and COO. “This program marks a significant first step in the right direction.”

The Toyota FCHV is based on Toyota’s popular Highlander mid-size sport utility vehicle and represents advancement on the FCHV-4 hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle, which has undergone comprehensive real-world testing over the last 16 months in California and Japan. The Toyota FCHV also has a lighter body, roof, fenders and other components made of aluminum, one of the best aerodynamic performances in the world for an SUV-thanks to a flat underbody, and LED brake lights and taillights for minimum power consumption. And it comes with an environmentally considerate air conditioner originally developed for the FCHV-4 that uses CO2 (rather than CFC) as a coolant.

Earlier on Monday, Toyota Motor Corporation announced that it will initiate a lease program that will place four Toyota FCHVs with agencies of the Japan government on December 2nd.

At the December 2nd press conference in California, Toyota will announce complete details of its fuel-cell community program including specific information on infrastructure providers and how the vehicles – as well as additional resources to be provided by Toyota – will contribute to on-going research, development and implementation.

Toyota FCHV Specifications

  • Dimensions: 4,735(L) x 1,815(W) x 1,685(H) mm
  • Weight: 1,860 kg
  • Seating capacity: 5 persons
  • Cruising range: 300 km
  • Maximum speed: 155 km/h
  • Fuel cell stack: Polymer electrolyte fuel cell
  • Output: 90 kW
  • Motor Type: Permanent magnet
  • Maximum output: 80 kW (109PS)
  • Maximum torque: 260 N-m (26.5 kg-m)
  • Fuel Type: Pure hydrogen
  • Storage method: High-pressure hydrogen storage tanks
  • Max. storage pressure: 35 MPa
  • Secondary battery Type: Nickel-metal hydride battery
  • Lease price: 30-month lease/1.2 million yen per month

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