Toyota Motor Corporation has begun sales of its first fuel cell bus, Sora, in Japan. Toyota expects to introduce over 100 fuel cell buses, mainly within the Tokyo metropolitan area, ahead of the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020. As the number of fuel cell buses in operation within the metropolitan area increases, Toyota anticipates greater awareness of the vehicle among the general public. In developing the Sora, Toyota has sought to design buses that provide customers with freedom of mobility.
The Toyota Fuel Cell System (TFCS) has been leveraged in the Sora for its environmental friendliness and ability to serve as a power source in the event of a disaster. The Toyota Fuel Cell System, which was developed for the Mirai fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV), has been leveraged to realize high environmental performance with no CO2 emissions or Substances of Concern (SoC) emitted when in operation, as well as quiet comfort with minimal vibration.
100 Fuel Cell buses will be used for the Olympic Games to be held in Tokyo in 2020
The Sora is equipped with a high-capacity external power output device, which can 9 kW maximum output, and electricity supply of 235 kWh and has potential use as an emergency power source following disasters.
The Sora's seats are automatically stored when not in use, improving comfort and convenience for passengers with strollers and wheelchairs as well as other passengers. Eight high-definition cameras fitted inside and outside the vehicle detect pedestrians and bicyclists around the bus providing a field of vision support camera system. When at a bus stops, the system warns the driver of surrounding pedestrians and bicyclists through sound notifications and images thereby improving safety.
8 HD Cameras detect movement around the Sora bus
The acceleration control function suppresses sudden acceleration and enables smooth acceleration from complete stops in consideration of the safety of standing passengers. Also, as the bus is not motor operated, there is no gear shifting, resulting in minimal lurching. The design pursues stereoscopic shaping that significantly differs from the box shape of conventional buses. It also uses LED technology for the front and rear lights. Such design features make the FC bus instantly recognizable.