Automotive

Toyota's latest fuel cell concept puts a new spin on people movers

Toyota's latest fuel cell conc...
Toyota is no stranger to forward-thinking, make that very forward-thinking concepts
Toyota is no stranger to forward-thinking, make that very forward-thinking concepts
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Toyota is no stranger to forward-thinking, make that very forward-thinking concepts
1/19
Toyota is no stranger to forward-thinking, make that very forward-thinking concepts
Toyota bills the Fine-Comfort Ride as a "premium saloon"
2/19
Toyota bills the Fine-Comfort Ride as a "premium saloon"
Toyota has been a very active player in the hydrogen fuel game
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Toyota has been a very active player in the hydrogen fuel game
Toyota's Fine-Comfort Ride will be on show at the 2017 Tokyo Motor Show
4/19
Toyota's Fine-Comfort Ride will be on show at the 2017 Tokyo Motor Show
Toyota bills the Fine-Comfort Ride as a "premium saloon"
5/19
Toyota bills the Fine-Comfort Ride as a "premium saloon"
Toyota's Fine-Comfort Ride will be on show at the 2017 Tokyo Motor Show
6/19
Toyota's Fine-Comfort Ride will be on show at the 2017 Tokyo Motor Show
Toyota is no stranger to forward-thinking, make that very forward-thinking concepts
7/19
Toyota is no stranger to forward-thinking, make that very forward-thinking concepts
Toyota has been a very active player in the hydrogen fuel game
8/19
Toyota has been a very active player in the hydrogen fuel game
Toyota bills the Fine-Comfort Ride as a "premium saloon"
9/19
Toyota bills the Fine-Comfort Ride as a "premium saloon"
Interior of Toyota's Fine-Comfort Ride
10/19
Interior of Toyota's Fine-Comfort Ride
Toyota is no stranger to forward-thinking, make that very forward-thinking concepts
11/19
Toyota is no stranger to forward-thinking, make that very forward-thinking concepts
Toyota has been a very active player in the hydrogen fuel game
12/19
Toyota has been a very active player in the hydrogen fuel game
Toyota bills the Fine-Comfort Ride as a "premium saloon"
13/19
Toyota bills the Fine-Comfort Ride as a "premium saloon"
Interior of Toyota's Fine-Comfort Ride
14/19
Interior of Toyota's Fine-Comfort Ride
Toyota is no stranger to forward-thinking, make that very forward-thinking concepts
15/19
Toyota is no stranger to forward-thinking, make that very forward-thinking concepts
Toyota has been a very active player in the hydrogen fuel game
16/19
Toyota has been a very active player in the hydrogen fuel game
Toyota's Fine-Comfort Ride will be on show at the 2017 Tokyo Motor Show
17/19
Toyota's Fine-Comfort Ride will be on show at the 2017 Tokyo Motor Show
Toyota bills the Fine-Comfort Ride as a "premium saloon"
18/19
Toyota bills the Fine-Comfort Ride as a "premium saloon"
Toyota is no stranger to forward-thinking, make that very forward-thinking concepts
19/19
Toyota is no stranger to forward-thinking, make that very forward-thinking concepts

Toyota has been a very active player in the hydrogen fuel game, previously opening up more than 5,000 fuel cell patents and putting the technology to the test in its Mirai sedan and Project Portal trucks. A potential future addition to this emission-free stable is being unveiled at the Tokyo Motor Show next week in the form of the Fine-Comfort Ride six-seater minivan concept.

Toyota bills the Fine-Comfort Ride as a "premium saloon," and a with a peek at the interior you can see what it's getting at. There is bench seating up back, but four plush arm-chaired seats swivel independently to convert the cabin into a meeting space, with the surrounding windows doubling as touch displays.

Toyota has been a very active player in the hydrogen fuel game
Toyota has been a very active player in the hydrogen fuel game

In-hub motors sit in each wheel, while a diamond-shaped cabin with a wider mid-section is designed to deliver both more space inside and better aerodynamics. Powered by a hydrogen fuel cell stack, Toyota says the concept is capable of a 1,000 km (600+ mi) range and can be refueled in around three minutes.

Toyota is no stranger to forward-thinking, make that very forward-thinking concepts
Toyota is no stranger to forward-thinking, make that very forward-thinking concepts

Toyota is no stranger to forward-thinking, make that very forward-thinking, concepts so we won't be expecting the Fine-Comfort Ride to go into production. But ideas around how traditional cabin space can be used for entertainment, business or other purposes is something we are seeing explored more and more as autonomous technologies edge closer to reality.

The Tokyo Motor Show kicks off on October 25 and there are sure to be more wildly futuristic concepts on show. New Atlas will be bringing you the best of them.

Source: Toyota

5 comments
Spod
Geez NA, enough of the pointless "it will never be built" Toyota FC concept cars. Anyone can churn out computer generated renderings of some imaginary vehicle, it isn't news. What would be news is if Toyota got with the program and actually produced a real, working EV that people could actually buy. Until then, give us a break from these "articles", huh?
Daishi
Wow I wasn't aware that fuel cells were complicated enough that Toyota alone could even own 5000 patents related to them but it's cool to see them open up the technology. Hybrids have been on the roads over 20 years and one of the huge factors holding up earlier adoption were the massive portfolios of patents for the technology and licensing required to use it. The main few patents held by Alex Severinsky of Paice have finally expired after a nearly 20 year legal battle with the auto industry but there is still a minefield of thousands of patents for newer generations of hybrid technologies automotive companies must license or navigate through to use the tech. GM's EV1 patents are old enough to be expired or close and Tesla being the first major company with EV's opening up their patents helped pave the way for companies to develop EV's without too much fear of billion dollar litigation battles. It seems like Toyota is aware that doing the same for fuel cell is necessary for adoption too.
JoJo Smith
It is interesting to see Toyota throwing such great sums of good money after bad. However, the math is brutally easy. To sell FCV's, you must be able to drive everywhere that other vehicles do. This means expanding the infrastructure to 'everywhere'. However, existing Hydrogen fueling stations are hemorrhaging money. So expanding the infrastructure will never happen (and no one is going to fork over 1/4 Trillion dollars to build up an infrastructure when there are no FCVs). Oh, they also need to be either cheaper to make, cheaper to operate, faster, as convenient as fueling at home, or at least 'better' in some way. However, there is no reason for anyone to consider one over an EV, Hybrid, or ICE. Sorry Charlie... errrr Toyota.
Robert in Vancouver
Why do most fuel cell, hybrid, or electric cars look so ugly? If that's the future look of cars, then I'll keep driving my 2004 BMW 325i till the wheels fall off.
Tom Lee Mullins
I think that is both cool and green. I think fuel cells can extend the range and add power to electric vehicles. I believe it is faster to refill a hydrogen tank than it is to charge the batteries. The only exhaust is water. I think a hydrogen fuel cell battery hybrid is the way to go.