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Hydrogen energy requires “couple extra years” of growth, says Toyota WRC boss

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Toyota is among the many pioneers of hydrogen energy in motorsport having invested closely into growing the gasoline as a future environmentally sustainable energy supply.

Final 12 months the Japanese marque entered a hydrogen powered GR Corolla into the Fuji 24 Hours, which was pushed by then-Toyota CEO and president Akio Toyoda and Latvala.

Toyota additionally used the hydrogen powertrain it has developed in an upgraded GR Yaris, which took on a choice of World Rally Championship levels at Ypres Rally Belgium and Rally Japan.

The GR Yaris H2 relies on a street going model of the automotive, fitted with upgraded suspension, and powered by a hydrogen-fuelled inside combustion engine. Consequently, the automotive’s solely emissions are water, whereas the automobile seems and sounds virtually equivalent to its petrol powered by-product.

Whereas growth into hydrogen energy has made fast progress, Latvala believes there are nonetheless hurdles to beat earlier than it might emerge as a real various propulsion methodology for the long run.

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“For me, hydrogen is one thing actually actually attention-grabbing. It will be nice to have in motorsport,” Latvala informed Autosport.

“I believe having it tomorrow is a bit too early. There are a few issues nonetheless the place we have to work.

“One of many issues with hydrogen is you might be solely in a position to go a sure distance. However already we are able to use the inner combustion engines, which we have already got, so we wouldn’t want to vary the engine.

“It’s simply the necessity to have the ability to get an extended distance utilizing the gasoline. There are two measures. You may have pressurised gasoline or a liquid model.

Toyota Yaris H2

Photograph by: Toyota Racing

“The liquid model could possibly be actually one thing, but it surely wants a bit extra time. We’d like time. I believe we would wish a pair extra years of growth.

“That [range] is the most important factor. There may be in fact the protection tanks. It’s good to have large tanks but additionally on the identical time we have already got the hybrid containers additionally within the [WRC] vehicles at the moment, so I don’t suppose that may be a downside. I believe we are able to type out having the protection tanks within the automotive.

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“As soon as we resolve the space it is going to be nearly having stations all around the nation to do the refuelling.”

Latvala is eying a return to Japan later this 12 months to participate in one other 24 hour race, driving the hydrogen powered GR Corolla.

“I’m hoping to go to Japan this 12 months for a 24 hour race to maintain going the GR Corolla which we drove final 12 months,” he added.

“They’re growing this automotive all the time for this season. On a regular basis the method is happening so I believe they need to do one other step with it this 12 months, so it’s attention-grabbing to see as a result of for me the good factor with hydrogen is it has the identical feeling as the conventional inside combustion engine and also you get the sound.

“You may see that one thing is coming from the exhaust however it’s type of invisible and it’s clear.”

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