If you are concerned about reducing your carbon footprint and think an electric car isn’t green enough, Toyota’s hydrogen combustion engine might do the trick. The hydrogen combustion engine is part of Toyota’s plan to offer consumers a diverse line of alternative energy–driven vehicles that help car users choose how they want to reduce their carbon footprint and limit environmental damage.
The science and other stuff to know
Toyota was one of the first manufacturers to offer a mass-produced vehicle to reduce car exhaust emissions. The Prius was launched in 1997 and quickly became a favorite for people concerned about conventional diesel and petrol car emissions. Alongside a 1.5 petrol combustion engine, the Prius had a battery pack that supplied power at low speeds to help reduce emissions.
Twenty-five years on, Toyota is still at the top of the hybrid technology game. And while most prominent manufacturers are focusing their energies on developing technology platforms that help them transition to building all-electric vehicles, Toyota has taken the path less traveled and decided to offer multiple solutions aimed at a net zero emissions target.
Toyota’s hydrogen fuel cell vehicle technology has been in the market since 2014 in the guise of Toyota Mirai, but the new hydrogen combustion engine replaces traditional fuel in a conventional combustion engine with hydrogen. As a result, the exhaust from a hydrogen combustion engine only produces water instead of the harmful gases released from petrol and diesel combustion.
Toyota says the recipient of the tech, its Corolla Cross H2 prototype, will have a 1.6-liter three-cylinder with high-pressure hydrogen direct injection engine technology inspired by its motorsport engagements.
During this year’s WRC demonstration run in Belgium, Toyota has already showcased the engine’s ability.
The hydrogen combustion engine is a significant breakthrough by Toyota that is probably ahead of its time, just like the hybrid technology it launched in 1997.
Car emissions are one of the leading causes of pollution in the world, and technologies that can aid in limiting the harmful effects of these poisonous gases are a breath of fresh air. Climate and environmental degradation are worsening by the hour, leading to erratic weather patterns worldwide. From super floods to unprecedented floods, climate change is way faster than the global response, and manufacturers need innovations like Toyota’s to help the world take decisive action. The recent launch of Tesla’s semi-truck is a similar step in the same direction.
According to Toyota, a hydrogen combustion engine would considerably reduce the demand for limited supply elements like lithium and nickel.
Toyota says it is almost at the halfway mark concerning the “commercialization of products such as the Corolla Cross H2 Concept.” The company adds it was not sure at this point if the technology would “reach maturity for road cars, but there is, without doubt, a clear opportunity in motorsports.”
The company is currently conducting tests, and the vehicle will soon begin winter testing in northern Japan. Toyota seems pretty serious about offering technology that helps customers become conscious stakeholders in the fight toward net zero emissions. Its products include battery electric, fuel cell electric, plug-in hybrid electric, and hybrid electric vehicles that have the potential to bring the industry’s carbon footprint down, beginning immediately.
Toyota’s multiproduct strategy is undoubtedly a recipe for commercial success. We hope it becomes an environment preservation success story as well.