Toyota manufactured a zero-emission fuel-cell bus and is planning to take it for a week-long test drive on the streets of Tokyo, Japan. This public transportation vehicle is actually a blend of other existing technologies. The bones are based on a conventional Hino bus, which has a standard hybrid system, and then the people mover was retrofitted with a hydrogen fuel-cell setup similar to the one found in the Toyota Mirai. In order to begin evaluating the real world applications of this greener option, the bus will transport commuters on established routes around central Tokyo and the waterfront area for several days later this month.
Most public transport networks either draw from public power grids or rely on gasoline or diesel-burning vehicles. In order to address the need for environmentally-friendly public transportation, Toyota and Hino teamed up to manufacture zero-emission fuel cell buses that would aid in the transition to hydrogen-based technologies.
The first field tests will be carried out in Tokyo from July 24 to July 30, and will hopefully determine the practicality of the design and applicability in the public transport networks. The performance of the external power system during widespread power outages will also be evaluated. If the tests go well, perhaps Toyota will consider extending the trial of this greener public transportation option in Tokyo and other densely populated cities where air pollution concerns are of utmost importance.
Images via Toyota