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Toyota FCV concept revives fuel cell research (pictures)

At CES 2014, Toyota will show off its latest Fuel Cell Vehicle concept, a car that converts hydrogen to electricity.

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Wayne Cunningham

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Toyota showed off this new Fuel Cell Vehicle concept for the first time at last year's Tokyo Motor Show. It will get its North American debut during CES 2014. Toyota plans on putting a production fuel cell vehicle on the road in 2015.
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The design of this Fuel Cell Vehicle concept is supposed to convey the idea of air turning into water, the key process underlying a fuel cell stack. In a fuel cell, hydrogen combines with air to produce water, with electricity as a byproduct of the reaction.
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The front of the concept, with its oversized air intakes and floating hood, looks clumsy, but makes some sense when thought of in the context of air.
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Using two tanks storing hydrogen at 10,000 psi, the Fuel Cell Vehicle concept can go 310 miles. Refilling the tanks takes 3 minutes, according to Toyota.
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As the car's fuel cells create electricity, water vapor comes out as a waste product of the process. Toyota gave this concept a pointed rear, meant to reflect the cruiser-style stern used in ship building, and to evoke the idea of water.
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Toyota notes that it increased the power output from its fuel cell stack, letting it use a smaller, more efficient drive motor. With full tanks, the system produces 10 kilowatt-hours of electricity.

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