In a groundbreaking move, Toyota Motor Corp. has entered a liquid hydrogen-powered racing car into a 24-hour endurance race in central Japan, marking the world's first official participation of its kind. Toyota's endeavor aligns with its commitment to popularize hydrogen as a cleaner alternative to fossil fuel, particularly in light of tightening environmental regulations worldwide.
As the pioneer behind the world's first mass-produced fuel cell vehicle, the Mirai, Toyota has consistently advocated for a diverse range of green vehicles, including hybrids, to effectively reduce carbon footprints. The use of liquid hydrogen in racing cars underscores the growing popularity of hydrogen as an eco-friendly fuel in various industries. Kawasaki Motors Ltd. and three other major motorcycle manufacturers in Japan recently announced plans to jointly develop hydrogen-powered engines for two-wheelers.
The endurance race, taking place at Fuji Speedway in Shizuoka Prefecture, aims to test the capabilities of Toyota's liquid hydrogen car and address the challenges associated with this emerging technology, such as maintaining liquid hydrogen at extremely low temperatures. Toyota believes that using liquid hydrogen, rather than gaseous form, can double a car's mileage and enable the development of smaller hydrogen fueling stations. The automaker ultimately aims to commercialize hydrogen engine cars in the future.
Toyota had previously introduced a hydrogen engine car running on gaseous hydrogen in a race in May 2021. The plan to enter a liquid hydrogen vehicle in a race earlier this year was delayed due to a vehicle fire during a test run. By participating in endurance races, Toyota aims to enhance the functionality of liquid hydrogen technology and drive its wider adoption.
This significant step by Toyota highlights its commitment to advancing clean fuel technology and accelerating the transition to a sustainable future. The introduction of a liquid hydrogen-powered racing car sets a precedent in the automotive industry, showcasing the potential of hydrogen as a viable and eco-friendly alternative to traditional fossil fuels.