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Toyota will show fuel-cell bus, long-range passenger car in Tokyo

19 October 2017 - Autoblog

Toyota will show fuel-cell bus, long-range passenger car in Tokyo

Toyota may be playing catchup to other automakers on pure EVs, but it certainly has not given up its quest for fuel-cell vehicles.

On Wednesday, it previewed two models it will display at the Tokyo Motor Show.

One is a minivan. Or a crossover. Or a rolling conversation pit with six captain's chairs that all swivel toward the middle, a sure sign that it's not just hydrogen-powered but autonomous as well. Called the Fine-Comfort Ride, the eggplant-colored car has in-wheel motors to help maximize interior space. But its most notable feature: A stated range of 621 miles. That's a lot of opportunity to swivel in your captain's chair.

The other vehicle is a bus called the Sora (for "sky, ocean, river, air"). It can carry 79 people (56 of them straphangers), and it's more than a concept. Toyota will build 100 copies for use in Tokyo during the 2020 Olympics. It's sleek (for a bus), is equipped with hi-def cameras all around for spotting pedestrians and cyclists, has acceleration-control technology that keeps things smooth for passengers, and it can automatically steer and brake itself to get within an inch or two of a stop to make boarding and egress easier for those who are mobility impaired or pushing a stroller.

Its two fuel-cell stacks are akin to the system in the Toyota Mirai, and it has 10 (count 'em, 10!) high-pressure hydrogen tanks.

The Toyota Motor Show opens next week, on Oct. 25.

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