Toyota Reveals Corolla Cross Hydrogen Concept

Toyota has revealed the Corolla Cross Hydrogen Concept in a bid to focus on multiple zero-emission solutions. However, unlike fuel cells, which convert hydrogen gas into electricity for propulsion, the Corolla Cross Hybrid does hydrogen combustion instead.

The Corolla Cross Hybrid uses the 1.6L turbocharged inline 3-cylinder combustion engine from the GR Corolla, which has been modified to use compressed hydrogen instead of gasoline. So, it still follows the same combustion cycle as a gasoline engine– fuel and air enter the cylinder, the mixture is compressed, then ignited, then removed – just with a different fuel.

While this is Toyota’s first foray into this technology for road cars, it’s not the automaker’s first time using compressed hydrogen as a combustion fuel. Toyota already has a hydrogen-combustion engine in use in Japan’s Super Taikyu endurance racing series. Using the hydrogen tank packaging know-how from the Toyota Mirai, the Corolla Cross Hydrogen Concept is able to accommodate five passengers and their luggage. Currently, real-world evaluation is being carried out on the Corolla Cross Hydrogen Concept alongside ongoing digital development, with the vehicle expected to begin winter testing in northern Japan.

Related: NamX HUV Concept with Swappable Hydrogen Capsules

Burning hydrogen doesn’t result in the same noxious emissions as burning gasoline, and ditching electric propulsion means skipping over expensive materials such as lithium and nickel. Toyota believes this tech could actually speed up zero-emissions adoption for these reasons.

Toyota claims that it is 40% along the path to commercialization of products such as the Corolla Cross Hydrogen Concept. The Japanese automaker has recently secured funding from UK govt to develop a hydrogen-powered Toyota Hilux prototype, while earlier it also showcased a hydrogen-powered GR Yaris as an experimental powertrain project.

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