Underlining its commitment to achieving a carbon-neutral mobility society, Toyota Motor Corporation (Toyota) has announced that it is developing a new hydrogen engine. The engine has been installed on a racing vehicle based on Toyota's Corolla Sport, which will participate in competitive motorsports under the ORC ROOKIE Racing banner.
The vehicle is powered by a 1.6 liter in-line 3-cylinder turbo engine that uses compressed hydrogen as its fuel source. Its first race event will be the Round 3 NAPAC Fuji Super TEC 24 Hours Race, which takes place on May 21-23 as part of the Super Taikyu Series 2021 Powered by Hankook. By honing its hydrogen engine in the challenging environment of motorsports, Toyota aims to contribute to the realization of a sustainable and prosperous mobility society.
“We are excited to put our new hydrogen engine technologies to the test during this year’s Super Taikyu Series,” commented Kei Fujita, Chief Representative, Middle East and Central Asia Representative Office, Toyota Motor Corporation. “Our participation underlines Toyota’s commitment to achieving carbon-neutral mobility by exploring diverse technology options. I am especially excited as I believe there is a huge opportunity for the uptake of hydrogen in the Middle East. The region has a strong potential to produce clean hydrogen from both renewable energy and fossil fuel through the technology of Carbon Capture, Utilization, and Storage (CCUS).”
Fuel Cell Electrified Vehicles (FCEVs) such as Toyota's Mirai use a fuel cell in which hydrogen chemically reacts with oxygen in the air to produce electricity that powers the motor. Meanwhile, hydrogen engines generate power through the combustion of hydrogen using fuel supply and injection systems that have been modified from those used with gasoline engines, emitting zero CO2 in the process.
Combustion in hydrogen engines occurs at a faster rate than in gasoline engines, resulting in a characteristic of good responsiveness. While having excellent environmental performance, hydrogen engines also have the potential to relay the fun of driving, including through sounds and vibrations.
Toyota has long engaged in the innovation of engine technology and is applying the technologies that it has continued to refine through its participation in motorsports in production vehicles, with the GR Yaris launched last September being one example. In addition, Toyota intends to apply the safety technologies and know-how that it has accumulated through the development of fuel cell vehicles and the commercialization of the Mirai.
The hydrogen-powered race vehicle will be fueled using hydrogen produced at the Fukushima Hydrogen Energy Research Field in Namie Town, Fukushima Prefecture. Toyota has been strengthening its efforts toward achieving carbon neutrality by promoting the use of hydrogen through the popularization of FCEVs and numerous other fuel-cell-powered products. By further refining its hydrogen-engine technologies through motorsports, Toyota is targeting the realization of an even better hydrogen-based society.