Given the increased awareness of the environment, the gradual phase-out of gasoline powered engines in Europe and parts of Asia, as well as the most recent fiasco of sky-high gasoline prices, it’s no surprise that automakers are scrambling to develop electric powertrains and engines that run on alternative fuels. Hydrogen has been in the picture for many years now, and Toyota seems to be on the cusp of a breakthrough.
What you see in the image above may look like a fancy battery pack, but it’s what Toyota envisions the future to be full of. These portable hydrogen canisters are hoped to be the new way of powering devices across a wide range of applications. Designed specifically to be used on a daily basis, Toyota’s hydrogen canisters work in a similar fashion as propane tanks do, and according to Toyota, can supply enough energy to run a household microwave for three to four hours.
To come up with the concept, Toyota partnered up with Woven Planet Holdings. Each canister measures around 16 inches in length, and seven inches in width, and is expected to weigh around 11 pounds. Given its size, you could very well carry one around with you as handily as a large water bottle, and you’d have enough juice to charge up your gadgets for at least a couple of days.
What’s more interesting though, and the reason why this story is being posted on RideApart, is the fact that the canister can be used on motorcycles. Well, in theory, at least. Given the fact that Toyota states the hydrogen canisters can be used across a multitude of applications, it won’t be surprising if, sooner or later, the Japanese automaker would partner up with a motorcycle manufacturer with plans of using hydrogen in the future. I don’t know about you, but I do know that a certain Japanese motorcycle maker whose favorite color just so happens to be green, has had previous exploits with hydrogen power.
While all this is undeniably an interesting prospect, there’s no doubt that Toyota still has a few hurdles that need crossing. At present, most hydrogen is generated in conjunction with fossil fuels, and is often used as a refining agent for petroleum products—not exactly the level of sustainability that’s up to par with modern standards. Toyota believes, however, that in the future, hydrogen will be virtually carbon-free, and will definitely be a much cleaner and more sustainable alternative to fossil fuels.