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Toyota presents innovative, compact and efficient combustion engines. Sustainable alternative with better thermal efficiency and new fuels

10 June 2024 to 18: 53
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Engine - Toyota - Fuels - fuel - hydrogen
Toyota presents innovative, compact and efficient combustion engines. Sustainable alternative with better thermal efficiency and new fuels

Discover how Toyota is saving the combustion engine with new fuel technologies. Efficiency, sustainability and innovation mark Toyota's new engines

Three years ago, Toyota presented a unique development: a car based on a hydrogen combustion engine. According to them, this project it offered a carbon-neutral alternative to electric cars thanks to virtually zero carbon dioxide emissions.

The problem was that the technology wasn't fully refined, and getting it to work properly was complex. Hydrogen burns faster than gasoline and generates more heat, so achieving the perfect balance involved, among other things, extremely precise control of the heat generated by the engine and fuel injection.

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Work on this project appears to be going very well, because Toyota officials have unveiled a new type of low-emission combustion engine. The company's CTO, Hiroki Nakajima, revealed some details at a conference in Tokyo on May 28th.

The engines developed by Toyota are between 10% and 20% smaller than conventional engines. Even so, they are capable of offering fuel efficiency as good or better than current ones. They can use special carbon-neutral fuels, such as synthetic fuels, biodiesel or hydrogen, but they can also use gasoline. Source: Toyota

A New Milestone in Engine Development

According to reports from Automotive News, previous experience in developing cars based on hydrogen as a fuel was crucial in reaching this new milestone. In fact, in the long term, the objective is that the future fuel for these cars will also be hydrogen.

The engines developed by Toyota are between 10% and 20% smaller than conventional engines. Even so, they are capable of offering fuel efficiency as good or better than current ones. They can use special carbon-neutral fuels, such as synthetic fuels, biodiesel or hydrogen, but they can also use gasoline.

The compact size contributes to presenting them as partners of hybrid systems with electric motors as travel companions. Nakajima is especially optimistic about the project: “This could be a revolutionary solution. The new engine has enormous room for maneuver.”

Efficiency and Sustainability

Toyota officials did not provide specific details in many areas, but they do highlight that the thermal efficiency of these engines is much better than that of their gasoline-based alternatives.

These engines are expected to reach the market taking advantage of the need to comply with Euro 7 regulations, which will come into force in 2027. According to Nakajima, “the engines will be completely different from today's conventional engines”.

Competition and Collaborations

Competitors such as Hyundai or Kia are already working on an engine of this type, but in addition, at the press conference in which Toyota participated, joint efforts by Subaru and Mazda in the same direction were announced.

Toyota wanted to demonstrate the possibilities of this technology on the Fuji Speedway circuit in a 24-hour endurance test. Akio Toyoda, president of the company founded by his grandfather, drove the latest version of the modified GR Corolla, which was based on this new engine.

Among the improvements to the new model were a new liquid hydrogen pump, as well as a larger hydrogen tank to increase autonomy by 50%.

Challenges and Confidence in the Future

The car, however, suffered significant problems with the ABS braking system and also with fuel pressure, which kept the GR Corolla stationary for nine of the 24 hours of the test.

Still, Toyota fully trusts this technology, and it may actually become a future alternative to the combustion engines that seemed condemned by most manufacturers. Some of them have already retreated and no longer plan strategies so focused on electric cars.

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