This may be a turning point in the energy and mobility transition that Toyota is about to tackle. The manufacturer is developing a clever system of hydrogen cartridges compatible with many applications.
Having a clean source of energy … at hand: that’s what Toyota has been working on for a while now. We know that the manufacturer is very involved in the energy transition and in the search for alternatives to our current lifestyles. This is true for the automobile of course – the brand was a pioneer in hybrids – but also for our (future) cities. With its subsidiary Woven Planet , Toyota is indeed working on a connected city project and, of course, zero carbon . This experimental living space makes it possible to test a whole series of domestic technologies.
It is in this context that Toyota has just presented a clever invention : a portable hydrogen cartridge which would constitute the source of energy for a myriad of applications in daily life. This cartridge filled with green hydrogen (obviously) could thus power our laptops and our telephones. Its main advantage is that it is transportable and rechargeable, which greatly facilitates operations and the freedom of users.
“The design of this cartridge will facilitate the everyday transportation and supply of hydrogen to power a wide range of everyday life applications inside and outside the home,” Toyota’s statement said. The advantage is that this capsule will also be compatible with fuel cell electric cars , motorcycles , etc. It could therefore be used for our daily mobility, while allowing us to refuel even faster than at present.
The prototype comes in the form of a 40 cm long cartridge , with a diameter of 18 hp and a weight of 5 kg , which makes it a priori usable by (almost) everyone. And even if this is not the case, Toyota also imagines other versions of this cartridge, smaller, lighter, etc. Everything seems possible.
Naturally, due to its small size, this hydrogen cartridge could be used at home and supply a fuel cell energy system that is completely autonomous and easy to implement in very remote places since it would no longer require a connection to a communal infrastructure . It would then suffice to set up a reserve of cartridges or to call a delivery service to be able to be resupplied.
Toyota, whose objective is to achieve carbon neutrality by 2035 , believes that this type of cartridge would promote the development of hydrogen as an energy carrier , all with total respect for the environment since hydrogen would be produced from renewable energy sources. So simple and brilliant that we wonder why we didn’t think of it sooner.
Of course, this hydrogen cartridge is still only a prototype , but, as it is, it can already operate a microwave oven for 3 to 4 hours – one wonders who would have the need to operate this type of oven for such a long time. The energy capacity of a single cartridge is 3.3 kWh , which of course is still less than one liter of fuel (about 10 kWh). That said, research is well underway and it’s a safe bet that these cartridges will soon have a lot more to offer. Especially if they are, for example, combined with the Belgian discovery that makes it possible to produce hydrogen from the sun,all in the space occupied by a simple photovoltaic panel.
For Toyota, the experiments in Woven City aim “to achieve a carbon-neutral society where everyone can access clean energy , first in Japan and then around the world. These real-life experiences will help us learn how best to transform hydrogen into a familiar, well-used and appreciated form of energy. The presentation of this cartridge is, let’s face it, a nice surprise and it could overcome the current problem of hydrogen, which is its transportability. This discovery could clearly facilitate the imposition of this energy vector which is believed to be one of the best – if not the best – for the climate future.