The cars will be used by SunHydro to serve the solar-powered hydrogen fueling station installed at Proton Energy Systems’ HQ in Wallingford, Connecticut. The ten vehicles are also part of Toyota's fuel cell demonstration program which will see 100 such vehicles deployed across the US in the next three years in the service of universities, private companies and government agencies.
Toyota has big plans for fuel cell technology, as it plans to bring it into mass production in 2015. As you already know, such vehicles only emit water vapor as the only byproduct.
The Advanced Fuel Cell Hybrid Vehicles are in fact reconverted Highlanders, who use the same hybrid synergy drive (HSD) technology found on the Prius. The difference is that the Highlanders add four compressed hydrogen fuel tanks instead of the gas fuel tanks.
According to Toyota, last year these vehicles managed to achieve a range of 431 miles (693 km) on a full of hydrogen, with an estimated 68.3 miles/kg (about 250 mpg).
“This is a big step for Connecticut, our country, and the overall evolution of alternative fuels in the U.S.,” said Tom Sullivan, SunHydro founder and at the same time owner of Proton Energy Systems. “We are very excited to partner with Toyota on this initiative, which will help connect people with hydrogen fuel cell technology.”