With the cold brought along by the polar vortex comes many questions about new technologies and their abilities to fend off cold. How is it with fuel cell vehicles?
Toyota asked those driving a Toyota fuel cell hybrid vehicle to see how its test vehicles react. Connecticut-based Proton Onsite, which operates a fleet of ten Toyota FCHV-adv fuel cell vehicles, says that even in single digit temperatures, the FCHV-adv shows no signs of frostbite.
“We had another snow storm Tuesday night and this morning the temperature was 3 degrees,” said Mark Schiller, Proton vice president of business development. “I went out to my Toyota FCHV-adv and brushed off a foot of snow before starting the car right up. No problem.”
Toyota explained unlike pure battery electric vehicles that can see reductions in driving range in extreme temperatures, fuel cell vehicles’ performance stands up to freezing temperatures.
“I continue to get range of about 300 miles despite the cold and blasting the heater,” added Schiller. “The vehicle performed flawlessly.”
Toyota said Air Products in Allentown tells the same story.
“Our employees have driven it to community and business-related events during one of Pennsylvania’s worst winters in recent memory,” said Nick Mittica, Air Products’ commercial manager, hydrogen energy systems. “The FCHV-adv has had great performance.”
Toyota added this performance is by design. Over the last decade, the Toyota fuel cell fleet has logged millions of miles in some of the most extreme climates on the planet. Toyota brought the test vehicles in Yellowknife, Canada, where temperatures reach -30 degrees Celsius; fuel cell engineers spent weeks verifying cold weather start up, performance and durability.
They also did the complete opposite in Death Valley, they verifying that it also can beat the heat.
Toyota explained all this is being done so when its fuel cell vehicle hits the road in 2015, cold-weather customers can chill out about everything but bundling up!