Toyota approved to self-inspect hydrogen fuel tanks
Toyota is moving ahead with its fuel cell sedan plans, having been given approval in Japan to self-inspect high-pressure hydrogen fuel tanks.
According to a statement, Toyota has met the “stringent criteria required by Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry – the first manufacturer to do so – Toyota can now increase production of tanks that can be used for safe storage of hydrogen fuel at up to 70MPa (700bar) pressure (KHKS 0102 – the relevant certification number). This keeps the company firmly on track for the market introduction of its Fuel Cell Sedan in Japan, Europe and North America in 2015″.
Until receiving this approval, all high-pressure hydrogen tanks and accessories used or produced by Toyota had to be type-certified and made available to relevant authorities for inspection during the manufacturing process – Toyota says its hydrogen tanks had to undergo further inspections before being fitted into a vehicle. According to the company, “The inspection schedules had a direct impact on its inventory control and the manufacturing timetable for Toyota’s FCV prototypes”.
“By being able to self-inspect the tanks it makes, Toyota can now streamline its FCV manufacturing process, while maintaining the highest quality and safety standards. As well as improving efficiency and productivity, this is also expected to help reduce the cost of FCVs,” a statement read.
Before Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry would grant Toyota with approval to self-inspect its hydrogen fuel tanks, it had to meet 194 requirements. It also had to a handbook and a set of inspection rules to provide a fully documented hydrogen tank quality management system that goes beyond its own operation to include affiliated parts suppliers.