Automotive

Testing of fuel cell bus as mobile power source for disaster relief begins

Testing of fuel cell bus as mo...
When a hurricane or other natural disaster causes a blackout, the Charging Station bus can roll into town and provide emergency power
When a hurricane or other natural disaster causes a blackout, the Charging Station bus can roll into town and provide emergency power
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The Charging Station fuel cell bus will transport portable power units and batteries to disaster zones
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The Charging Station fuel cell bus will transport portable power units and batteries to disaster zones
The Charging Station bus will provide emergency power during blackouts, support humanitarian relief and can even be used for pop-up events such as outdoor concerts
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The Charging Station bus will provide emergency power during blackouts, support humanitarian relief and can even be used for pop-up events such as outdoor concerts
When the power units and batteries are deployed, the Charging Station bus can be used for emergency shelter
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When the power units and batteries are deployed, the Charging Station bus can be used for emergency shelter
The interior of the Charging Bus packed with batteries and mobile power units
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The interior of the Charging Bus packed with batteries and mobile power units
Toyota and Honda begin real-world testing of the Charging Station bus in September, 2020
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Toyota and Honda begin real-world testing of the Charging Station bus in September, 2020
When a hurricane or other natural disaster causes a blackout, the Charging Station bus can roll into town and provide emergency power
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When a hurricane or other natural disaster causes a blackout, the Charging Station bus can roll into town and provide emergency power
View gallery - 6 images

When disaster strikes, the power often goes out, and it may be a good while before it's restored. Toyota and Honda start testing the Moving e system this month, a fuel cell bus designed to serve as a mobile power source to help meet a community's emergency electricity needs.

The Moving e mobile power generation/output system is made up of a fuel cell bus from Toyota that's able to carry twice the amount of hydrogen as the FC Bus its based on, two Power Exporter 9000 portable power units from Honda, 20 LiB-AID E500 and 36 Honda Mobile Power Pack portable batteries, and charger/dischargers for the Mobile Power Packs. All in, the demonstrator is expected to generate 454 kWh and output 18 kW.

During the testing period, the fully-loaded Charging Station bus will be driven out to real-world locations within 100 km (62 mi) of a hydrogen refueling station. Toyota and Honda will then put the mobile power source through its paces in various use case scenarios, to make sure it all works as expected.

If the bus is subsequently put into service, and neither company has revealed any production plans, it's expected to power appliances and equipment in disaster zones, provide electricity to such things as evacuation centers, and could even serve as temporary shelter for those in need. Between missions, the bus could also be deployed to power outdoor events such as concerts, fetes, parties and more.

Sources: Toyota, Honda

View gallery - 6 images
3 comments
paul314
That's a lot of power if you use it wisely. And certainly less disruptive all round than a containerized diesel generator running 24/7.
Smokey_Bear
Good idea. I think the BEV bus would make more sense, no seats, basically a giant battery on wheels, and solar panels on the roof, and have them slide out as well, so the surface area triples when parked.
buzzclick
Questions: How quickly can it be dispatched to a disaster zone? How many hydrogen refueling stations are there? Would this require buses distributed worldwide to serve these outcomes? What is the difference in weight of a battery bus and this hydrogen fuelie? Modern diesel generators are easier to refuel and relatively quiet and common today, so is this setup a viable option for disasters?