Toyota Developing Hydrogen Combustion Engine

Toyota announced that it is using its motorsports activities in Japan to develop a hydrogen internal combustion engine. The engine will be used in a race car based on the Toyota Corolla Hatchback that will compete in Japan’s Super Taikyu Series. This represents a big step for Toyota as it continues to pursue alternative fuels such as hydrogen to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions from motor vehicles.Hydrogen_Engine_20210422

While the Toyota Mirai already uses hydrogen fuel cell technology, a hydrogen internal combustion engine (HICE) is much more similar to a conventional gasoline engine. With appropriate tuning a HICE can result in a virtually zero-carbon-emissions vehicle without having to convert the hydrogen into electrical energy and then drive an electric motor. A hydrogen internal combustion engine also maintains the sound, vibration, and feeling of a gasoline engine, which provides more enjoyment to the driver.

No plans have been announced to bring this technology to a production vehicle, but it is possible that this is a first step towards that goal. Toyota already has experience mitigating the unique safety issues of hydrogen power because it has produced and sold the Mirai for many years, so a production HICE vehicle is certainly feasible.

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