VIDEO: Hear Toyota’s hydrogen combustion engine in action – sound and feel of ICE without the emissions

If you missed it last week, Toyota is developing a hydrogen engine. What so unusual about hydrogen power, you ask. Well, fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) aren’t new, and Toyota itself is a pioneer in this, with the Mirai into the second generation now.

Note the engine in hydrogen engine. This is an internal combustion engine we’re talking about, but using compressed hydrogen as fuel instead of petrol/diesel. FCEVs like the Mirai use a fuel cell in which hydrogen chemically reacts with oxygen in the air to produce electricity, which powers an electric motor. Hydrogen engines generate power through the combustion of hydrogen using fuel supply and injection systems that have been modified from a petrol-powered ICE.

Toyota says that except for the combustion of minute amounts of engine oil during driving, which is also the case with gasoline engines by the way, hydrogen engines emit zero CO2 when in use.

So, it’s still eco-friendly, but the hydrogen engine is sweet music to car enthusiasts. Toyota says that combustion in hydrogen engines occurs at a faster rate than in gasoline engines, resulting in good responsiveness. While being great for the environment, hydrogen engines also have “the potential to relay the fun of driving” including through the familiar sounds and vibrations that we love.

This is no mere concept, and the innovative powerplant has been installed in a race car based on the Corolla Sport. The racer will compete under the ORC Rookie Racing banner starting with the Super Taikyu Series 2021 Round 3 NAPAC Fuji Super TEC 24 Hours Race in May.

In the video above, the compressed hydrogen-powered Corolla Sport race car is being tested on track, and we can hear the sound from the 1.6L three-cylinder turbocharged engine clearly. There’s also a rather strange looking mesh on the central exhaust tip.

“It’s not as different as I had expected. It feels like a normal engine,” said test driver Hiroaki Ishiura, who also drives in the Super GT series with Toyota Gazoo Racing Team Zent Cerumo. If he was not told that the engine is powered by hydrogen “I’d probably think this is a normal engine,” he commented.

While electric sources for EVs are often from non-renewable energy sources such as coal (which ironically is not good for the environment), hydrogen is abundant in the air and like battery electric vehicles, nothing comes out from the tailpipe other than water in FCEVs. If electricity is generated purely from renewable sources such as wind or solar, then using an EV would truly be zero-emissions throughout the chain.

If this hydrogen engine concept takes off, we could be having our cake and eating the delicious thing – all that’s good about ICE is maintained, with full eco credentials. What do you think? Surely this idea is worth cheering on.

The post VIDEO: Hear Toyota’s hydrogen combustion engine in action – sound and feel of ICE without the emissions appeared first on Paul Tan's Automotive News.

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