Electric Avenue: An internal combustion engine that sips hydrogen? Toyota is on to something!

June 8, 2021

Put Toyota and Hydrogen together, and you visualise the hydrogen-powered Toyota Mirai, a hydrogen-electric car or FCEV (fuel-cell electric vehicle), which uses hydrogen fuel to convert electricity and power an onboard electric motor.

Yet Toyota President and Master Driver, Akio Toyoda has always insisted that carbon neutrality and internal combustion engines can exist together.

The end result car is a Corolla Hatchback fitted with a hydrogen-sipping internal combustion engine. It also has an all-wheel-drive system from the mythical Toyota GR Yaris hot hatch. Toyota claims the fuel is 100-percent hydrogen with zero gasoline content. With no fossil fuel to burn, Toyota’s innovative hydrogen engine emits nearly no CO2/ However, the car produces a certain amount of noxious gasses as the engine burns hydrogen and oxygen from the air. It’s not a zero-emissions vehicle like an all-electric vehicle (EV) or FCEV, but it significantly emits less toxic substances than a pure gasoline car.

As Mr Akio Toyoda put it, “Toyota has hydrogen-related environmental technology cultivated through the Mirai. It also has safety technology developed through the Yaris WRC. Thinking, as a member of the automobile industry, that it was important for motorsports to create a place where everyone could enjoy themselves even in a carbon-neutral era, I decided we should go with a hydrogen engine.”

Toyota fielded its hydrogen-sipping Toyota Corolla Hatchback in the 2021 Super Taikyu 24 Hour Endurance Series from May 21 to 23, 2021, with Toyota’s racing car bing the only entry with a hydrogen-burning internal combustion engine.

So some hope perhaps for the internal combustion engine?




by Anil George
Avid follower of all things tech. In between his quest for the ultimate gizmo, Anil fiddles with light meters, collects rare books and feeds his fetish for Jap horror movies. As Managing Editor of T3 Middle East for the GCC, Anil oversees content direction across print and digital. He was a CES 2020 Innovation Awards Judge, reprising his role as an Innovation Awards Judge at CES 2018, CES 2017, 2016 and 2015. Anil is also the Middle East's first Brand Ambassador for Ashdown Engineering. Reach him at: editor@t3me.com.