Toyota Built a Hydrogen Race Car
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Motorsports, especially stock car racing, has been one of the most popular spectator sports in the U.S.—and all over the world—for several generations. However, now that many people are becoming aware of the effects of pollution on the environment, many racing enthusiasts worry about the future of motorsports.
While electric motors have helped cut down on the number of harmful pollutants produced by everyday cars, all-electric cars are not really practical for the racing circle.
Luckily, Toyota may have just come up with the perfect solution to ensure that motorsports can stick around for a long time while also cutting down on harmful emissions.
How the Clean Air Act Could Affect the Racing Industry
The racing industry has to get creative to reduce emissions
In the 1960s, the U.S. government created the Clean Air Act to help improve air quality. The purpose of this bill was to make companies take an active part in reducing harmful emissions that are released into the air. This law has been amended and revised several times since it was first written, but still remains one of the most comprehensive air quality laws ever created.
Since it was created, the Clean Air Act has played a major part in drastically reducing the number of harmful emissions that are produced by automobiles. However, because it limits the amount of emissions that a car is able to produce, many people are concerned with how the eco-friendly rules will affect the motorsports industry.
The Clean Air Act requires that most vehicles must go through an emissions test before they are allowed to be on the road. And this act makes no exceptions for the racing industry.
The reason why this is such a problem is that many race car drivers use mechanically and electronically enhanced parts, or “defeat devices,” to help make their cars go faster. And while these devices do help to make the car accelerate at heart-stopping speeds, it also produces more harmful exhausts. For this reason, the Environmental Protection Agency has stepped in and banned these devices in most cases.
With these performance enhancement products banned, the race car industry has had to get creative when it comes to finding eco-friendly enhancements.
Toyota Finds a Creative Eco-Friendly Solution
Back in 2015, Toyota made history when it announced that it had produced a vehicle that came equipped with a hydrogen fuel cell.
The Toyota Mirai was the first hydrogen-fueled car that Toyota produced. At first, the Japanese auto manufacturers had a hard time creating a hydrogen car that was able to produce enough power. But last year, the second-generation Mirai was unveiled, and it was an instant game-changer.
Instead of being powered by a gas-powered engine, the Mirai comes with a powerful electric motor that is powered by hydrogen fuel cells. The stack of fuel cells works together to chemically transform hydrogen and oxygen into electricity. This innovative powertrain is both efficient and fast and can produce up to 182 hp and 221 lb.-ft of torque.
Toyota’s Hydrogen Technology Enters the Racing World
Toyota recently surprised many racing fans at this year’s Fuji 24 Hours Endurance Race. Fans first saw a sporty Corolla making its way down the track, but upon closer inspection, they soon saw that this was no ordinary Corolla.
The Corolla that was featured in the 24 Hours Endurance Race was powered by hydrogen. Unlike the Mirai, the hydrogen-powered Corolla did not come with a fuel cell. Instead, this Corolla came equipped with a 1.6-liter 3-cylinder engine that had its ignition system, fuel delivery system, and fuel injectors modified to run completely on hydrogen.
According to AutoBlog, Toyota entered the hydrogen-fueled Corolla into the race to test how it would do at driving long distances. The driver that was driving the Corolla noted that the car had a few pros and cons.
For example, the car had a responsive throttle and drove like a normal car. However, because hydrogen burns quicker than gasoline, the car had to make more frequent stops to refuel.
There are obviously a few things that need to be improved on before the hydrogen Corolla is ready to win any races. However, this new hydrogen-fueled powertrain shows some real promise when it comes to creating a powerful and eco-friendly racing option.
Hydrogen-powered cars may not be ready for mass production just yet. But if you are looking for comprehensive car insurance on your eco-friendly car, visit Jerry today.