Hydrogen Program



Fuel Cell Hybrid Vehicle Program


NFCRC is currently leasing three Fuel Cell Hybrid Vehicles (FCHV) from Toyota Motor Sales, USA.  These FCHVs are then subleased to corporate partners who objectively evaluate their performance through regular daily operation in Orange County and surrounding areas.  The NFCRC program model provides an analysis opportunity for commercial use of the vehicles in a manner that facilitates objectivity (ordinary corporate drivers) yet is controlled enough to account for the special use, range and driver requirements of the vehicles.

Program Goals:

  • Catalyze the initiation of hydrogen infrastructure
  • Analyze driver behavior and public perceptions
  • Evaluate driving/fueling logistics
  • Address synergies between distributed power generation and the use of H2 as an automotive fuel
  • Develop supporting information technology

Fuel Cell Hybrid Vehicle photo
Toyota Fuel Cell Hybrid Vehicle

The Vehicle: The FCHV is built on the Toyota Highlander platform.  Key features include vehicle range of 290 kilometers (km); 155 km/hr [top of page] speed; 90 kW PEM fuel cell stack; 90 kW electric motor; 21 kW nickel-metal-hydride battery pack; 35 MPa (approximately 350 bar) hydrogen storage tanks; aluminum roof and fenders; and an air conditioning system that utilizes carbon dioxide as a refrigerant.

Program Accomplishments:

  • First fuel cell vehicle delivered ever to a paying customer
  • Approximately 20,000 hydrogen powered FCHV miles driven as of the end of April, 2006
  • Priceless, objective customer feedback regarding FCHV attributes provided to Toyota
  • Hundreds of  people educated about hydrogen and fuel cell powered automobiles at NFCRC meetings, conferences and open houses

Left to right: Atsushi Horiba, President, Horiba Ltd.
Scott Samuelsen, Director, National Fuel Cell Research Center, UC Irvine
Alan Lloyd, Secretary, Cal EPA
Jim Press, President, Toyota
"FCHV 3" delivered to Horiba Company

Gregg Kelly, President of Orthodyne Electronics, in "FCHV 1"
Gregg Kelly, President of Orthodyne Electronics, in "FCHV 1"


Irvine, CA Mayor: Beth Krom with FCHV 7
City of Irvine Mayor Beth Krom with "FCHV 7"




December 2002

FCHV 1 delivered to NFCRC - first fuel cell vehicle delivered to a paying customer

December 2002

FCHV 1 provided to Orthodyne Electronics - FCHV program is launched

January 2003

UCI Hydrogen Fueling Station commissioned to support FCHV Program

December 2003

FCHV 3 delivered to NFCRC

March 2004

FCHV 3 provided to Horiba Ltd. - FCHV Program is expanded

May 2005

FCHV 1 replaced with FCHV 6 (311) for evaluation of latest generation vehicle by Orthodyne Electronics

August 2005

FCHV 7 provided to City of Irvine - FCHV program is expanded to include a municipality and now includes three vehicles

November 2005

FCHV 16, first next generation FCHV, delivered to NFCRC

January 2006

FCHV 16 provided to City of Irvine

February 2006

FCHV 17, second next generation FCHV, delivered to NFCRC

April 2006

FCHV 17 provided to Horiba Ltd.

September 2006

FCHV 18 delivered to NFCRC

FCHV Program Milestones

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