Toyota Encouraged by Early FCHV Feedback from Universities
Two Toyota FCHV fuel cell vehicles are receiving good grades in early on-road tests at two California universities.The two zero-emission vehicles were delivered December 2, 2002, to the University of California, Irvine (UCI) and the University of California, Davis (UCD) as the first step towards establishing a California fuel cell "community" partnership of government, business and higher education that will tackle product, infrastructure and consumer-acceptance challenges. Additional Toyota FCHV models will be delivered before the end of 2003 and each vehicle will be leased for a total of 30 months.The automaker said there are still product, operational, and logistical issues to be addressed, but called the early results at UCI and UCD “promising.”Toyota is working with both universities to establish fully functional, fuel cell-friendly model communities in Northern (UCD) and Southern (UCI) California. Also involved in the efforts to develop and expand a hydrogen-refueling infrastructure are the California Air Resources Board (CARB) and South Coast Air Quality Management Board (SCAQMD), along with corporations such as Stuart Energy and Air Products. Plans are on track for the model communities to have a network of six refueling stations up-and-running by mid-2003, including a new station at Toyota’s U.S. headquarters in Torrance, 40 miles northwest of the UCI campus.