Japanese Red Cross Kumamoto Hospital and Toyota Motor Corporation have agreed to begin demonstration testing of the world’s first fuel cell electric vehicle mobile clinic (FCEV mobile clinic) that uses hydrogen to generate electricity, by the summer of 2021.
The two organisations aim to use this demonstration testing to confirm the effectiveness of a commercial fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV) in areas of medicine and disaster countermeasures, and to achieve carbon neutrality.
Toyota has developed the FCEV mobile clinic based on its Coaster minibus, with the power source using the Toyota fuel cell system employed by the Mirai FCEV. On the road, it exhibits a ‘superior environmental performance with no CO2 emissions or substances of concern (SoC), while offering a low-noise, low-vibration driving experience’.
It is also equipped with an external DC electric power supply system that delivers a high-output, large-capacity supply of power (9 kW max output, approx. 90 kWh supply capacity). Inside, the vehicle combines air conditioning with an exhaust system and HEPA filter to improve infection control for occupants when working.
In a press statement, Toyota says: ‘Bringing their respective knowledge and technologies to the development. and utilizing the exceptional environmental performance that is unique to FCEVs, they aim to explore expanded applications for a mobile clinic that can reduce stress levels for both medical staff and patients. Demonstration testing seeks to achieve a reassuring power supply during times of disaster with a view to effective utilization of the vehicle’s power supply capabilities in medical settings and disaster-affected areas’.
It adds: ‘In addition to emergency transportation of patients, they believe the FCEV mobile clinic has the potential for a wide range of applications and developments in the healthcare field, including supplying electricity to blood donation buses and medical examination vehicles, traveling to less-populated areas as a mobile clinic, and a mobile PCR testing vehicle’.
Toyota has been working with Japanese Red Cross Kumamoto Hospital since the summer of 2020 to look into how the issues of typhoons, heavy rains and other natural disasters, could be addressed.