Toyota solves hydrogen logistics problem with new hydrogen canister
Hydrogen is the most abundant inter-terrestrial element we currently have. Every substance, whether it’s the laptop I’m typing on or the morning coffee you just sipped, contains hydrogen. However, while being the fundamental element of human life, it is incredibly flammable. That means it’s easy to get and burns well.
For decades, automakers have tried to find a safe and sustainable way to run cars and other electrical devices that require hydrogen. The first 4-wheeled vehicle was invented by a Swiss inventor in 1807 and used hydrogen to power its engine. Toyota tried to push the Mirai, their first hydrogen fuel cell vehicle.
On average, the cost of green hydrogen, which is a safer alternative to regular hydrogen, is around $61,051 per kilogram. Hydrogen is measured in kg because it is not a liquid but rather a gas. Now that’s extremely expensive and frankly, even if I got great hydrogen mileage, I still wouldn’t spend $17 on fuel. Granted, hydrogen cars get better mileage per quantum than gasoline cars.
A recent Toyota press release shows that with the help of their partner company Woven Planet, they plan to produce canister-shaped hydrogen cartridges that would be used to transport hydrogen. Judging by the photos, it looks like a huge water bottle or one of those old Trashcan Mac computers.
Toyota has listed some of the benefits of having hydrogen in canisters. Here are a few. One of the most important advantages is probably that these cartridges are interchangeable. So let’s say you power your home with hydrogen, just replace the hydrogen canister like an almost AA battery with a new one. It’s not only great for conserving natural resources, but we won’t have tons of these canisters littering our planet. Imagine if it peels off and they’re not reusable. The amount of waste would be unprecedented.
They also said that the cartridges would be quite affordable. How much we don’t know, but given Toyota’s desire to price everyone around, that’s good enough. Now the dimensions seem to be quite accessible. According to the article, “Prototype dimensions 400mm (16″) length x 180mm (7″) diameter.” It will also weigh around 11 pounds.
Toyota shared a photo of an array of applications for these canisters. Whether it’s charging your phone, powering your home, your motorcycle, or anything else, it looks like this canister isn’t going to discharge from a pipe rather than just slipping them into your car. Just like in some EV racing groups, teams are swapping out the easy-to-remove batteries so they can fit a new one without having to unscrew or disassemble anything.
According to the article, “The portable hydrogen cartridge prototype will be demonstrated at the Super Taikyu Series 2022 Round 2 at Fuji SpeedWay from June 3 to 5, 2022.” We’ll keep you posted on any new information regarding Toyota’s new hydrogen canisters.
What do you think? Is this something you see as the foreseeable future? Would you drive a hydrogen car? Let us know in the comments below.
Harutiun Hareyan reports Toyota news to Torque News. His automotive interests and extensive experience testing new cars give his stories a sense of authenticity and unique perspectives. Follow Harutiun on Twitter at @HareyanHarutiun for Toyota Daily News.