• By The Financial District

Toyota Testing Hydrogen Combustion Engines In Race Cars

Toyota said Monday it is testing hydrogen combustion engines in race cars as it works toward using the technology in commercial products, Mainichi Japan reported.

Photo Insert: One of Toyota's current racing cars, the GR010 HYBRID Hypercar

Such engines burn hydrogen as fuel instead of gasoline, much like rockets, and the Japanese automaker said testing the technology in race cars will allow it to collect data and try to fix problems on-site.

Earlier, Toyota said earlier that it was developing a hydrogen combustion engine, which Ford Motor Co. and other automakers have also developed. Vehicles powered by such engines are different from fuel cell vehicles that use hydrogen to create electricity, and from electric or hybrid vehicles, the Associated Press (AP) also reported.

"We want to propose multiple options to meet regional needs," Naoyuki Sakamoto, chief engineer of the hydrogen-powered engine Corolla model, said in an online news conference.

Sakamoto declined to say when the hydrogen combustion engine may become a commercial product, acknowledging further development is needed to address its so far limited driving range. Infrastructure for fueling such vehicles is another obstacle. Toyota has not released the range or mileage for the technology.

All the news: Business man in suit and tie smiling and reading a newspaper near the financial district.

One advantage of hydrogen engines is that minimal adjustments are needed from regular internal combustion engines, except for the fuel piping and injection systems. The use of hydrogen as fuel comes with some risk concerns, but hydrogen fueling stations are operating across Japan, with no major accidents so far.

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