Toyota FCV Plus Concept Car
This rather odd looking Toyota FCV Plus Concept Car is basically a car that creates its own power. It is a weird, wild, forward looking view at what Toyota thinks cars could become at some point in the future. The term FCV means that this is a Fuel Cell Vehicle. Fuel Cell vehicles are basically electric cars with a twist. The FCV car has a fuel tank, but instead of gasoline it contains pressurized hydrogen gas. The real difference is that instead of burning the hydrogen and needing to be refueld, the FCV vehicle fuses hydrogen with oxygen chemically from the air to make water. During that process, electricity is produced, which can drive an electric motor.
Odd Energy Source
The odd thing about the Toyota FCV Plus concept car is that the car produces electricity and water as a byproduct. The only waste product is pure, clean water and electricity! This means that not only can you use the hydrogen tank insde the car to power it, you could actually hook an auxilliary tank to it and use it as a generator. You could also remove the hydrogen tank to carry it with you down to the lake to go fishing. If you go camping, no need to find an RV camp with a hookup – simply plug your portable TV into the dashboard, or carry the hydrogen tank with you! The car does not need to be ‘running’ to do this. You can use it as a power source safely for long periods of time.
Small, But Usable
The vehicle is very small, which was done to conserve space and weight. The fuel efficiency of the vehicle is improved by smaller parts, aerodynamic designs, and lower weight. The car is well balanced front and rear, since there is no big cast iron engine to worry about. All 4 wheels have their own electric motors, and the odd design allows for panoramic views with no blind spots.
Unfortunately, although the concept works, the practical aspects mean the car won’t see the light of day for a decade or so. They are expecting to produce 30,000 of these in the next few years. Currently, the hefty price tag and limited range are preventing them from being common. The hope is that in 10 or 15 years, electric and hydrogen vehicles will be capable of the range and flexibility of gasoline cars. Until then, we can look at this space age car and wish we had it. I wonder how hard it would be to drive in a rain storm with those blue tinted windshields? Maybe they should be rose colored instead :).
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