Toyota plans to go hi-tech with hydrogen cars
Japanese automaker Toyota plans to make hydrogen-powered cars in Melbourne fuelled by brown coal from the Latrobe Valley in Melbourne, Australia, according to a recent news report.
News.com.au reported that the hi-tech car would require a new manufacturing plant and would create hundreds of jobs.
“One of the strengths of this country, especially in Victoria, is that you have an abundant resource of brown coal. This coal cannot be transported,” said Max Yasuda, Toyota Australia president.
How does a Hydrogen car work?
First, hydrogen cars are real, they just haven’t been fully developed yet.
Hydrogen cars utilize a fuel cell, which is responsible for electrolyzing water. That means that hydrogen and oxygen are separated by the use of direct electrical current. Fuel cells are installed in the engine and filled with water. Hydrogen cars can then work by simply refilling the tank with liquid hydrogen.
“However, like most new discoveries or inventions, there are still downsides to the use of hydrogen cars. For instance, if the car uses fuel cells, one needs to keep the electrical charge of the hydrogen generator to create the needed HHO gas. On the other hand, using liquid hydrogen entails the use of a fuel tank which is larger than a regular gas tank. Also, there is not much refilling stations for hydrogen cars using liquid hydrogen,” according to a report from AuthorityDirectory.com.
Toyota and Hydrogen Cars
While not fully developed quite yet, Toyota sees hydrogen as a bright potential for the future.
As described above, water is the by-product the fuel hydrogen cars, but for Toyota, in this case, the brown coal in Victoria, Australia would turn it into gas. While this is a good idea, it hasn’t detracted some environmentalists from pointing out the impact it makes on the carbon footprint.
“To solve the environmental problem, the hydrogen should be stripped from water — that would be 100 percent renewable and carbon neutral,” Dr. Akshat Tanksahel told the media organization.
Don’t expect these vehicles in the U.S. anytime soon. If and when the production plant goes up, Toyota only plans to export to Malaysia and Thailand.