Toyota has finally given a name – Sora – to its fuel cell bus concept, along with a sleeker new design. The Japanese company plans to introduce over 100 fully functioning units to operate within the Tokyo metropolitan area before the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

It’s a zero-emissions fuel cell bus that embodies Toyota’s commitment to build environmentally-friendly vehicles for the world. As implied, it’s powered by the same propulsion technology found in the Mirai and Fine-Comfort Ride concept. Under the skin are 10 tanks (with a nominal working pressure of 70 MPa) carrying 600 litres of hydrogen, enough for a fuel cell range of 200 km.

Refuelling all tanks takes about 10 minutes, and the system will have an energy capacity of 235 kWh. The hydrogen then gets fed to two on-board fuel cell stacks that power a pair of electric motors. Combined, the system produces 226 kW (308 PS) and 670 Nm. The bus also doubles as a power generator in the event of disasters. Acceleration is deliberately tweaked to be smoother – gone are the days of lurching in a stop/go situation, because there’s no need for gear shifting as well.

What’s new this time around are the horizontal seats, which feature an automatic storage mechanism (pictured above), providing passengers more space for large items like strollers or wheelchairs. This is the first in Japan, according to Toyota. There are also eight HD cameras fitted inside and outside of the bus for pedestrian and bicycle detection, allowing the driver to safely navigate through busy city streets. The cameras help provide better peripheral monitoring, and visibility is aided by LED headlamps and LED tail lamps as well.

Sora will also get ITS Connect, which utilises vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communications to facilitate safe driving. This works together with systems that support bus convoys and provide priority at traffic signals (PTPS5).

For dimensions, the bus is 10,525 mm long, 2,490 mm wide and 3,340 mm tall; large enough to ferry 79 individuals (22 seated, 56 standing) including the driver. The Sora FC bus concept will make its debut at the upcoming Tokyo Motor Show, alongside the Fine-Comfort Ride concept.