Toyota's environmental engines
From Optimal Drive and Hybrid Synergy Drive
To PHV, FCHV, FT-EV and field testing with EDF
Hybrid technology: tests are conducted in Japan, the
United States and
Europe on a new Toyota PHV.
Like most other automakers, Toyota's environmental
strategy is not restricted to one technology or another, but diversified,
as no one can really anticipate long in advance which technology will be
blessed by the necessary convergence of world politics, economics, stable
access to energy resources and other determining factors to favour it over
Since diversification is the name of the game, Toyota
is focusing first on the simultaneous development of the Optimal
Drive and Hybrid Synergy Drive, in
addition to other technologies.
Toyota's current and future plans are presented in the
following sections, based on the carmaker's own terminology and
They cover the Optimal
Drive and Hybrid Synergy Drive,
the Plug-in Hybrid Vehicle (PHV),
the Hydrogen Fuel Cell
Hybrid Vehicle (FCHV), the Future
Toyota Electric Vehicles (FT-EV) Concept and the new joint road-trials
in France with Electricité
de France (EDF), for testing Plug-in Hybrid Vehicles (PHVs) with an
advanced charging infrastructure.
Introduced at the 2008 Paris Motor Show, the Toyota
Optimal Drive approach concentrates on reducing petrol (gasoline) as
well as diesel engines weight and mechanical losses while enhancing
combustion efficiency to increase performance, fuel economy and lower
emissions, by focusing on three main angles:
- Reduction of powertrain weight through the use
of lightweight and compact engine components and transmissions. Toyota
says that thanks to its lightweight resin cylinder head cover and intake
manifold, the 1.33 litre petrol engine in the small Yaris weighs 13kg less
than the 1.4 VVT-i engine it replaces.
optimisation of valve timing and lift across the widest
possible engine revolution band.
- Minimisation of mechanical losses through the
reduction of friction. This aspect covers revised roller rocker technology
with new camshaft profiles for friction reduction in the valve gear,
enhanced bore circularity and lightweight, coated pistons reduce friction
in combustion chambers, increased engine block rigidity, the use of a
water jacket spacer as well as low-viscosity oil further reduce mechanical
The adoption of Valvematic is a further
development of VVT-i, (variable valve timing) with new roller rocker
technology, smaller and lighter pistons, low viscosity oil and new
six-speed manual and Multidrive transmissions.
- Maximisation of combustion efficiency is
achieved with high compression ratios (11.5:1 in petrol / gasoline
engines), refinement of intake port and combustion chamber design and the
introduction of oil jet piston cooling. All Verso diesel engines benefit
from an upgraded fuel injection system.
Newly developed Valvematic technology further
improves performance through the optimisation of valve timing and lift
across the widest possible engine revolution band. Toyota says its
Valvematic can reduce CO2 emissions by up to a quarter, whilst
generating 20% more power than VVT-i.
On the diesel side, Toyota’s D-4D common rail
technology reduces intake mixture temperature, allowing for a higher
compression ratio and the generation of increased torque. Every D-4D unit
in the Toyota range has now been upgraded with advanced Piezo
high-pressure injectors to further improve combustion efficiency.
Performance and fuel efficiency are further enhanced through a range of
advanced Multidrive and 6-speed manual transmissions.
Additionally, a newly refined Stop & Start
system automatically switches off the engine of some models
when the vehicle is stationary, reducing fuel consumption by up to 15%
under urban driving conditions.
As the name suggests, Hybrid Synergy Drive
technology represents Toyota's hybrid approach, and is due to become more
widely available across the Toyota product range. It provides full series/parallel
hybrid drive capability, allowing operation in either petrol or
electric modes alone, or in a combination of both. It gives the
energy-saving, zero emissions, quiet electric motor benefits of a series
hybrid, combined with the enhanced performance benefits of a parallel
Prius, the world’s
most widespread hybrid.
generation Prius features a revised Hybrid Synergy Drive powertrain,
which gives lower fuel consumption and CO2 emissions with
increased power. But beyond the Prius, Hybrid Synergy Drive will serve as
a core technology applicable to all future Toyota models.
The Hybrid Synergy Drive platform is adaptable for the
development of both a Plug-in
Hybrid Vehicle (PHV)
and a Hydrogen Fuel
Cell Hybrid Vehicle
Drive technology provides full series/ parallel hybrid
drive capability, allowing operation in either petrol or
electric modes alone, or in a combination of both.
With the launch of the Prius in 1997 (2000 in Europe),
Toyota introduced the world’s first mass-produced hybrid vehicle. Since
then, Toyota has sold more than 1.7 million hybrid vehicles globally
(including 1.2 million Prius, the world’s most widespread hybrid), with
more than 180,000 hybrid vehicles in Europe. European sales of the Prius
stand at almost 130,000, with sales of more than 41,000 in 2008 alone.
Already manufacturing hybrid vehicles in China and the
United States, Toyota intends to expand overseas production to include
Thailand and Australia, with the global target of selling one million
hybrid vehicles (all models) per year by the early 2010s..
Tests are currently being conducted in Japan, the
United States and Europe on a new Toyota Plug-in Hybrid Vehicle (PHV).
This plug-in hybrid functions as an electric vehicle on
short trips and as a conventional hybrid when travelling longer distances.
As with Hybrid Synergy Drive vehicles,
the PHV runs on both a petrol powered internal combustion engine and an
functions as an electric vehicle on short trips and as a
conventional hybrid when travelling longer distances.
What sets the plug-in apart from current hybrids is an increased
battery capacity that enables a longer electric-only cruising range,
and a battery charging function that allows users to fully recharge the
batteries externally, using an ordinary household electrical supply, in
less than two hours.
The Plug-in Hybrid’s enhanced EV mode offers
significant driver benefits. Compared to the Prius, the PHV is able to run
more often in petrol-free, electric only mode, thus reducing CO2
emissions even further. Targeting the fleet market in Japan, the United
States and Europe, Toyota will introduce a Plug-in Hybrid Vehicle equipped
with a lithium-ion battery by 2010.
Last Wednesday, Electricité de France (EDF) and Toyota
announced a major step forward in their joint road-trials in France,
involving Plug-in Hybrid Vehicles (PHVs) with an innovative charging
About one hundred units of a next generation PHV
equipped with lithium-ion batteries will be leased for three years to
selected companies and partners in the Strasbourg (East of France) area,
starting from the end of this year.
A Plug-in Hybrid
Vehicle uses hybrid technology but with a battery that can
be recharged using a standard electrical plug.
Toyota Plug-in Hybrid
started in France in the autumn of 2007 and were expanded
to the UK last year.
The project has received financial support via the
Research Fund managed by the French Environment and Energy Management
Agency ADEME, following a call for projects on low-emitting vehicles.
This programme is part of a global Toyota project that
will also be deployed in Japan and the USA from the end of 2009.
Toyota's objective is to investigate further the
technology and performance of Plug-in Hybrid Vehicles, while EDF's
objective is to evaluate different operational options for the
charging infrastructure. The joint goal is to broaden the general
public's understanding and acceptance, in preparation for broad
commercialisation in the future.
In the context of the EDF-Toyota partnership, European
road trials of Plug-in Hybrid Vehicles started in France in the autumn
of 2007 and were expanded to the UK last year.
The vehicles will use an innovative charging system
which is able to ensure safe charging, communication between the plug and
the vehicle, identification of the vehicle and invoicing of energy.
For this demonstration, EDF and its subsidiary
Electricité de Strasbourg (ES) will participate in a technical and
financial partnership with all stakeholders, which will set up several
hundred charging points at users' homes, at the facilities of partners, in
public parking lots and on public roads.
A Plug-in Hybrid Vehicle uses Toyota's hybrid
technology but with a battery that can be recharged using a standard
electrical plug. Toyota's PHV is practical for both short distances, as it
can be driven as an electric vehicle, and for longer distances, where the
PHV works as a conventional hybrid vehicle, providing the benefits of
hybrid technology, including low fuel consumption and emissions, with
efficient driving performance.
The EDF Group is the leading electricity producer in
Europe. In France, it has mainly nuclear and hydraulic production
facilities where 95% of the electricity output involves no CO2
emissions. The Group is involved in supplying energy and services to more
than 38 million customers around the world, including more than 28 million
Fuel cells produce electricity through a chemical
reaction between hydrogen (stored in the vehicle) and oxygen (from the
air), while emitting only water.
A fuel cell structure comprises electrodes and
polyelectrolyte films sandwiched between separators. When hundreds of
cells are stacked together, the result is a fuel cell ‘stack’, known
as an FC stack.
Toyota began work on FCHVs in 1992, developing its own
hydrogen fuel cells and high-pressure hydrogen storage tanks. The company
applies its own hybrid drive technology to FCHV development, replacing
petrol engines with fuel cells.
single-fill-up range of some 830 km (515 miles).
The world’s first production fuel cell vehicle, the
Toyota FCHV, was introduced to the market in 2002 and obtained type
certification in 2005. It was fitted with a fuel cell stack in place of
the petrol engine in the hybrid drive system.
Toyota’s next generation fuel cell hybrid, the FCHV-adv
(featuring a newly designed, high-performance Toyota FC Stack fuel cell),
received vehicle-type certification from Japan’s Ministry of Land,
Infrastructure and Transport on 3 June 2008.
FCHV-adv offers a 25% improvement in fuel
efficiency and, through the use of Toyota-developed, 70Mpa high-pressure
hydrogen storage tanks, has a single-fill-up cruising range (or autonomy)
of approximately 830 km (515 miles), which is more than twice the cruising
range of its predecessor, the Toyota FCHV.
Furthermore, the FCHV-adv can operate in –30 degrees
Celsius, greatly improving its cold weather performance.
Through the development of its hybrid, RAV4-EV and
e-com vehicles, Toyota has accumulated an important depth of knowledge and
engineering capability in the field of eco-vehicles.
The new FT-EV
concept is a fully electric vehicle based on the Toyota iQ’s
highly compact, 4-passenger platform.
The world's largest car manufacturer (since overtaking
General Motors to this position last year, with global sales of 8,972,000
units) expects demand for short distance commuter vehicles to increase in
the coming years, and the new FT-EV concept is a fully electric vehicle
based on the Toyota iQ’s highly compact, 4-passenger platform. Its
electric motor generates 45 kW and 160 Nm at 2690rpm, with a top speed of
110km/h, a range of 80 km before recharging and a zero emission rating.