‘DISASTER RESPONSE’ FUEL-CELL COASTER BUS ANNOUNCED

Photography by: courtesy Toyota Global


TO PROMOTE the use of hydrogen to achieve carbon neutrality and contribute to disaster response, the Japanese Red Cross Kumamoto Hospital and Toyota Motor Corporation (Toyota) have agreed to begin demonstrating the world's first fuel-cell EV mobile clinic by mid-to-late 2021.

‘DISASTER RESPONSE’ FUEL-CELL COASTER BUS ANNOUNCED
Toyota has developed the FCEV mobile clinic based on its Coaster minibus, with the power source using the Toyota fuel cell system*2 employed by the ‘Mirai’ FCEV, it confirms.

The organisations aim to use this ‘demonstration testing’ to confirm the effectiveness of a commercial fuel-cell electric vehicle (FCEV) in areas of medicine and disaster countermeasures, and to achieve carbon neutrality, they states. By building an operational model of an FCEV mobile clinic for use during normal times and times of disaster, they will also contribute to the reduction of CO2 emissions to help prevent global warming, they explain.

In Japan, presumably at least, typhoons, heavy rains and other natural disasters have increased in frequency over recent years, causing not only power outages for homes and evacuation centres, but also increasing the need for medical services in disaster-affected areas.

In light of this, Toyota has been working with Japanese Red Cross Kumamoto Hospital since around summer 2020 to look into how these issues could be addressed, they say.

This would be achieved with the world’s first*1 FCEV mobile clinic that could be used to deliver medical services during normal times, and could also be used to support disaster relief efforts during times of disaster, while supplying – and it must be said most cleverly - electricity in disaster-affected areas as part of a disaster response.

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THE BASIS

Toyota has developed the FCEV mobile clinic based on its Coaster minibus, with the power source using the Toyota fuel cell system*2 employed by the ‘Mirai’ FCEV, it confirms.

On the road it, "…exhibits a superior environmental performance with no CO2 emissions or substances of concern (SoC), while offering a low-noise, low-vibration driving experience," Toyota states.

With multiple 100 VAC accessory power outlets supplied not only inside the vehicle but also outside the cabin, the vehicle is able to supply electricity to a variety of electrical products, it confirms.

It is also equipped with an external DC electric power supply system that delivers a high-output, large-capacity supply of power*3 (9kW max output, approx. 90kWh supply capacity), the company explains.

Inside, the vehicle combines air conditioning with an exhaust system and HEPA*4 filter to improve infection control for occupants when working, it says.

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SOMETHING DIFFERENT

Japanese Red Cross Kumamoto Hospital and Toyota believe the FCEV mobile clinic has the ability to create new value not found in conventional mobile clinics.

Bringing their respective knowledge and technologies to the development and utilising the exceptional environmental performance that is unique to FCEVs, they aim to explore expanded applications for a mobile clinic that can reduce stress levels for both medical staff and patients, they state. Demonstration testing seeks to achieve a reassuring power supply during times of disaster with a view to effective utilisation of the vehicle's power supply capabilities in medical settings and disaster-affected areas, they add.

In addition to emergency transportation of patients, they believe the FCEV mobile clinic has the potential for a range of applications and developments in the healthcare field, including: supplying electricity to blood donation buses and medical examination vehicles; traveling to less-populated areas as a mobile clinic; and a mobile PCR testing vehicle.

CLARIFICATION

  • ·*1 - As of March 2021, according to Toyota Motor Corporation.
  • *2 - Fuel cell system installed in the first-generation Mirai.
  • *3 - The power that can be supplied and the power amount may differ, depending on the performance of the power supply unit, amount of hydrogen remaining, and power consumption. External power feeding devices are sold separately.
  • *4 - HEPA stands for High-Efficiency Particulate Air (filter). According to JIS standards, HEPA filters are defined as having a particle capture rate of at least 99.97 per cent of particles measuring 0.3m in diameter at a rated airflow, and an initial pressure loss of 245Pa or less.

Specs

MAKE: Toyota

MODEL: Coaster

DIMENSIONS: Length - 7,160mm, width - 2,105mm, height - 2,795mm

WEIGHT: GVM 5,670kg

SPEED: Approx. 100km/h (Max.)

RANGE: Cruising - 210km

FUEL CELL: Stack quantity – 1; Power: Maximum output - 114kW/155PS

MOTOR: Quantity – 1; Power: Maximum output - 134kW/182PS

TORQUE: Maximum - 300Nm (34.2kgf/m)

TANKS: 3x high-pressure hydrogen tanks; Hydrogen storage mass - 7.2kg

POWER SUPPLY: AC 100V, 9kW max; DC (CHAdeMO), 9kW max; Power supply amount - approx. 90kWh

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