In 2017, Toyota started the “Start Your Impossible” movement to metamorphose from an automobile company to a mobility service company. As part of the change, the company has developed the Sora fuel cell bus. Toyota will supply 100 buses during the Tokyo Olympics for ferrying visitors in order to make the technology accessible to all.
The Sora bus has a fuel cell system which is based on the system developed for the Mirae fuel cell car. Sora is an acronym for Sky, Ocean, River, Air, which represents the elements of the water cycle. The bus is 10,525 mm long, 2,490 mm wide and 3,350 mm tall. It has internal space for 79 people including the driver. The interior has self folding seats which go into “stowed” position automatically, thus releasing space for passengers in a wheel chair or with a baby stroller. It is supported by 12 cameras installed inside and around the bus which give the driver a 360 degree view of pedestrians or cyclists around the bus before he starts from a bus stop. There is an acceleration control system to make life easy for the standing passengers. This system prevents sudden acceleration and enables smooth starts from standstill.
The Sora fuel cell bus is not only a means of transport but also a source of emergency power in case of natural disasters. The bus is provided with a high output and a large capacity external power output device. This device can supply electric supply from the fuel cell, limited to 9 KW and 235 KW-H, for external consumption.
The Sora bus is powered by the Toyota FC Stack with solid polymer electrolyte. There are two stacks generating 155 PS of power, hence the total output from the propulsion plant is 310 PS. The bus is moved using two AC synchronous motors producing 154 PS of power and 335 N-m of torque each. The fuel (hydrogen) for the fuel cells is stored at a pressure of 70 MPa in 10 cylinders of 600 litres each.