Toyota Motor Corporation, East Japan Railway Company and Hitachi, Ltd. have entered into an agreement to collaborate on the development of test railway vehicles equipped with hybrid systems that use hydrogen powered fuel cells and storage batteries as their source of electricity.
Combining Hitachi’s railway hybrid drive system technologies developed with JR East, and Toyota’s technologies acquired through development of the Mirai fuel cell electric vehicle and the SORA fuel cell bus, the three companies will adapt the fuel cells used in automobiles for railway applications.
The partnership is called HYBARI (HYdrogen-HYBrid Advanced Rail for Innovation). Testing will begin in March, 2022 in Japan.
In a press release, Toyota states: ‘Hydrogen ensures minimal environmental impact as it does not emit any carbon dioxide when used as an energy source and it can be produced from various raw materials using renewable energy’.
It adds: ‘The development of innovative rolling stock powered by hydrogen will therefore contribute to the development of a low-carbon society as it helps to curb global warming and diversify energy sources’.
The HYBARI logo of the test vehicles was designed to ‘represent the introduction of new energy for vehicles like a breath of spring onto the land’.