World's First Hybrid Fuel Cell Minicar Approved by Japan's Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport

Jan. 15, 2003

Daihatsu Motor Co., Ltd. announced today that the Move FCV-K-2 has become the first fuel cell minicar (by Japanese categorization) approved by Japan's Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport for use on public roads.

The fuel cell hybrid system, which is powered by high-pressure hydrogen, was developed jointly by Daihatsu and Toyota Motor Corporation (Toyota). The two companies intend to continue their joint research and development of fuel cell vehicles.

Daihatsu first began development of a fuel cell vehicle in 1972 and has undertaken full-scale R&D since 1996. In 1999 the company exhibited the Move EV-FC, a fuel cell vehicle using a methanol reformer, at the Tokyo Motor Show. Daihatsu began technical collaboration with Toyota in 1999 and exhibited the Move FCV-K-2 at the 2001 Tokyo Motor Show while continuing with in-house road tests. The two Move FCV-K-2 models approved by the Japanese government for use on public roads are refined versions of the model originally shown at the Tokyo show.

Daihatsu will soon begin road-testing the two government-approved cars in Japan. The company will especially focus on collecting various driving data related to the FCV-K-2's potential use as a vehicle for city commuters, and conducting further development toward future applications.

Daihatsu is undertaking a series of environmental-protective efforts encompassing all stages of the product life cycle, from development to disposal. In a March 2002 report, the company announced that it is working to promote advanced technologies that can help create a recycling-oriented society in which people live in closer harmony with the natural environment. Under a corporate slogan of "We make it COMPACT," Daihatsu is researching and developing a host of environment-related products and technologies, including electric vehicles, alternative-fuel vehicles (CNG vehicles), low-emission petrol vehicles (Topaz direct-injection engines, intelligent catalysts), and hybrid vehicles. The Move FCV-K-2 fuel cell hybrid vehicle is a part of these efforts.

[Features of the Move FCV-K-2]

The Move FCV-K-2 uses fuel cells efficiently thanks to a hybrid configuration that combines a nickel metal hydride battery in which many of Daihatsu's accumulated hybrid technologies are applied. To further improve system efficiency, the energy generated by braking is used to recharge the battery.

The car is equipped with "Toyota FC Stack" high-performance fuel cells.

A CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission) makes greater use of the motor's most efficient operating zone to improve system efficiency, and helps assure an outstanding driving performance.

The entire fuel cell system, including fuel cells, high-pressure hydrogen tank, and other fuel supply components, is integrated into a single cartridge-type frame. This modular system is positioned under the rear floor panel to save space.

[Outline of the Move FCV-K-2]

Vehicle Name Daihatsu Move FCV-K-2
Overall length/overall width
/overall height (mm)
Maximum speed (km/h) 105
Seating capacity (persons) 4
Driving range(km) 120
Fuel cell Name Toyota FC Stack
Type Polymer electrolyte
Output (kW) 30
Motor Type Permanent magnet synchronous motor
Maximum output (kW (PS)) 32(44)
Maximum torque (N-m) 65
Fuel Type Compressed hydrogen gas
Storage system High-pressure hydrogen tank
Maximum filling pressure (MPa) 25
Secondary battery Type Nickel metal hydride