Toyota's Sora fuel cell (FC) bus features a high-capacity external power output device. Sales began on March 7 of its fuel-cell bus, Sora, the first FC bus to receive vehicle type certification in Japan.
The Toyota Fuel Cell System (TFCS), which was developed for the company's Mirai fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV), has been leveraged to realize high environmental performance with no CO2 emissions or Substances of Concern (SoC) emitted when in operation, as well as quiet comfort with minimal vibration.
The Sora is equipped with a high-capacity external power output device, which can provide high output and a large capacity of electricity supply (9 kW maximum output, and electricity supply of 235 kWh2) and has potential use as an emergency power source following disasters.
The Sora has horizontal seats with an automatic storage mechanics The Sora's seats are automatically stored when not in use, improving comfort and convenience for passengers with strollers and wheelchairs as well as other passengers.
Eight high-definition cameras fitted inside and outside the vehicle detect pedestrians and bicyclists around the bus providing a field of vision support camera system. When at bus stops, the system warns the driver of surrounding pedestrians and bicyclists through sound notifications and images thereby improving safety.
Acceleration control function delivers improved safety. The acceleration control function suppresses sudden acceleration and enables smooth acceleration from complete stops in consideration of the safety of standing passengers. Also, as the bus is not motor operated, there is no gear shifting, resulting in minimal lurching.
The design pursues stereoscopic shaping that significantly differs from the hexahedron (box shape) of conventional buses. It also uses LED technology for the front and rear lights. Such design features make the FC bus instantly recognizable.
Toyota expects to introduce over 100 fuel cell buses, mainly within the Tokyo metropolitan area, ahead of the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020. As the number of FC buses in operation within the metropolitan area increases, Toyota anticipates greater awareness of the vehicle among the general public.