Toyota FCV Plus 1

Nestled in an interactive cave within the Toyota stand at the 2015 Tokyo Motor Show is the future, at least as envisioned by the world’s largest carmaker – the Toyota FCV Plus Concept. The concept shows the vast possibilities of the hydrogen fuel cell, providing more than just motive power for the car itself.

As futuristic as the FCV Plus looks – with its large glass area, slim head- and tail lights and faired-in rear wheels – there are some cues that link it to Toyota’s first production fuel cell vehicle, the Mirai. These include the large triangular air intakes at the front and bulging rear fenders.

Measuring 3,800 mm long, 1,750 mm wide and 1,540 mm tall, it’s quite a bit smaller than the Mirai (although its 3,000 mm-long wheelbase is considerably longer), and is in fact closer in size to the B-segment Yaris. The compact dimensions are certainly more in keeping with the urban environments it is expected to populate.

Toyota FCV Plus 10

The space age theme continues inside. There’s no dashboard – just a digital head-up display projected onto the expansive glass area – and the 3D skeletal structure improves rigidity whilst retaining the car’s light weight. This three-dimensional aesthetic is mirrored in the interior trim and the four seats.

Mechanically, the FCV Plus is fairly conventional by hydrogen-powered vehicle standards – there are four in-wheel electric motors powered by a downsized fuel cell stack in between the front wheels, siphoning energy from the hydrogen tank aft of the rear seats. Unfortunately, Toyota has yet to provide technical details regarding the powertrain, or the car’s range on a single tank of hydrogen.

However, its performance on the road is only half of the FCV Plus’ story – the vehicle can also be used as a generator. Aside from the hydrogen stored in its own tank, the car can also process hydrogen from external source when parked (through a port at the rear of the vehicle) and turn it into electricity.

The car can hook itself into the local infrastructure, supplying power to your home, office or local power grid, as well as charging other EVs through wireless inductive chargers underneath the car and covering the rear wheels. At the end of the car’s life, the fuel cell stack is also removable and reused as an power generator all by itself, contributing significantly to local communities. It’s all pretty neat, huh?