2015 toyota fcv plus – DOC649857
Toyota has just unveiled a handful of new concept vehicles at the 2015 Tokyo Motor Show. One such concept is the FCV Plus, the Japanese automaker’s newest take on a sustainable vehicle meant for the urban cities of tomorrow. The hydrogen-powered concept is all sorts of weird, but that’s to be expected for cars that make their debuts at the biennial auto event in Tokyo.
It’s hard not to get wrapped up on the FCV Plus’ design because it really is something else. But move past the car’s bizarre style and focus on its function. That’s where you’ll find the concept’s real purpose. See, Toyota’s getting on hydrogen-powered rides these days. The company got that ball rolling with the curiously designed Toyota Mirai. It may not be Toyota’s best-looking ride, but it is expected to redefine the industry as one of the world’s first hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles to be sold commercially.
Now, Toyota’s taking its focus on hydrogen-powered vehicles to a whole new level with the FCV Plus. The concept has its own hydrogen tank, and if that’s not enough, it can also generate electricity from the hydrogen stored outside the ride. This feature allows the FCV Plus to function as a source of power that can be used by local communities.
Don’t let the Jetsons-like looks fool you; the Toyota FCV Plus has a far bigger purpose than just being an eye candy at the 2015 Tokyo Motor Show. It’s meant to showcase the possibilities for future cars in a world powered by hydrogen.
Weird doesn’t even begin to describe the Toyota FCV Plus. Proportionally, it’s not really a car as it is a large, glass-covered cockpit with four stacks on its corners. The front section throws away the traditional look of a car in favor of a profile that puts the headlight strips on the wheel arches and an illuminating grille that has been integrated into the glass cockpit. The large intakes also have some kind of lighting function when the concept is in what Toyota calls “social mode.”
Toyota FCV Plus might as well be one of the weirdest-looking concept vehicles of the year
The one redeeming quality about the FCV Plus’ design is the glass-covered body that emits a nice blue hue to evoke a feeling of calm and serenity. Over to the side, the only thing I can make out are the large cut-aways that I can only assure to be the doors. I don’t know how those doors open or close and what purpose those extending lines have besides their aesthetic appeal.
Move to the rear and you’ll notice that the two rear wheel are completely hidden. That and the spider-like appearance of the section completes the design of what might as well be one of the weirdest-looking concept vehicles of the year.
Things get a little simpler in the cabin of the FCV Plus. It’s still not what you’d classify as a traditional-looking interior, but it does have two front seats and a stand-alone steering wheel with just two buttons in it. I assume one to be the ignition button while it’s clear that the other is the hazard button. Don’t ask me why the latter’s there; I’ve no clue myself. Meanwhile, there’s no dashboard, eliminating the idea of the cabin having any airbags. Instead, the front glass appears to act as a digital display.
At the back is a rather comfortable-looking, two-seater sofa that’s wrapped in some kind of web-like structure. As far as aesthetics are concerned, this sofa is the highlight of the FCV Plus.
At the heart of the Toyota FCV Plus is a hydrogen system that Toyota is developing with an eye towards a possible future use. The system itself was developed to fit into the concept and features electric hub motors found on all four corners of the careened a hydrogen-fuel-cell stack found between the front wheels and the compressed hydrogen tank just behind the rear seat. No mention was made on how much power the system can produce, although if you look at the Mirai’s own electric motor, that one is good for 153 horsepower.
The FCV Plus’ hydrogen system also has a variety of other functions, including the ability to actually produce electricity that can be sued to power non-automotive items. Yes, the FCV Plus can power an actual house after it’s been fed with hydrogen. That can be accomplished by hooking up an external hydrogen source into the concept vehicle.
It’s worth noting that Honda has made a similar proclamation with its production fuel-cell car, the identically named Honda FCV.
I understand why Toyota’s shooting for the stars with concept vehicles like the FCV Plus. The Japanese automaker is one of the most aggressive auto companies when it comes to pioneering automotive technology. We only need to look at the Toyota Prius and the upcoming Toyota Mirai for evidence. But the FCV Plus is still something else. The weird design is offset by the wondrous hybrid technology that it comes with so it’s silly to dismiss the concept as nothing more than a showpiece model.
Like everybody else, I don’t know if this concept will ever have a future as a production model. I for one don’t think it’s going to happen given the absence of any safety features it comes with. But that’s not the point of the FCV Plus. Toyota didn’t design this concept with the thought of bringing it to life in the future. What I’m particularly excited about is the hybrid technology and how the company can adapt it into its future vehicles outside of the Mirai.
If there ever comes a point that we see Toyota adapt more of this technology in the future, we can look back to the FCV Plus Concept as one of the many prototypes Toyota used to help develop that technology. So don’t judge this book by its cover. Chances are, the contents inside those pages will be far more valuable in the future, however long that’s going to be.
- Hydrogen fuel cell technology could be the future of the business
- Wouldn’t mind seeing that back seat sofa in a production model
- There’s some hints of Tron somewhere in there
- Only a concept
- It looks weird, to say the least
Compressed hydrogen has a higher energy density than electricity, can be generated from a wide range of raw materials, and is easy to store, making it a promising future energy source. That’s why Toyota envisages a sustainable society in which hydrogen energy is in widespread use―a society embodied by this concept vehicle.
Clean generation of hydrogen from a wide range of primary energy sources will make local, self-sufficient power generation a global reality, and fuel cell vehicles will take on a new role as power sources within their communities. Toyota’s aim is to add an all-new sense of purpose to the automobile by turning fuel cell vehicles from eco-cars into energy-cars.
In addition to the vehicle’s own hydrogen tank, the car can also generate electricity directly from hydrogen stored outside the vehicle. The vehicle can thus be transformed into a stable source of electric power for use at home or away.
Sharing generated power with others
When the car is not being used as a means of transport, it shares its power generation capabilities with communities as part of the local infrastructure.
Supporting future generations
The car’s fuel cell stack can be reused as an electricity generating device, transcending the traditional functions of cars. Put to versatile uses around the world, these stacks could contribute significantly to local communities.
The fuel cell stack is mounted between the front tires, and the hydrogen tank behind the rear seat. Together with the adoption of independent in-wheel motors in all four wheels, this allows for a spacious cabin despite the vehicle’s compact vehicle body. By concentrating functional parts at the front and the rear of the vehicle, this next-generation fuel cell vehicle package creates an optimal weight balance and a wide field of vision.
The exterior adopts a distinctive, sleek shape, while the frame structure of the interior ensures rigidity despite the light weight of the car. Altogether, the design conveys the vehicle’s advanced technology and outstanding environmental performance.