(Motorsport-Total.com) – The premiere of the Toyota Corolla liquid hydrogen-powered vehicle planned for this weekend has been cancelled! As the Japanese officially announced, the car was damaged by a fire in the engine compartment during a test drive in Fuji.
Toyota has to phase out the hydrogen Corolla for now
“During a private test drive at Fuji International Speedway on March 8, a fire broke out in the car due to a hydrogen leak from a hydrogen line in the engine compartment. The car could not be recovered in time and participation in the race had to be cancelled,” Toyota said in a press release.
And further: “We apologize for the inconvenience this caused to the many people who were looking forward to seeing a hydrogen-powered Corolla on the racetrack.” But how could a hydrogen leak happen in a car in the first place?
Toyota sees the cause of the leak in the fact that the pipe joint broke due to strong vibrations. Only then can H2 escape and ignite in the engine compartment. Significant damage was prevented by a leak sensor in the vehicle. This hit and halted the hydrogen supply.
Toyota Corolla: what does switching to H2 fluid bring
Toyota is now frantically working on a solution. “We will review the construction of the lines that caused the hydrogen leak this time to continue developing safe vehicles,” the Japanese confirmed.
Toyota converted its Corolla hydrogen last fall: Instead of gaseous H2, the car has been running on liquid hydrogen since October. This has several advantages: on the one hand, H2 fluid requires less storage space, and on the other hand, the range of the vehicle increases.
The main disadvantage of conversion is that hydrogen only reaches a liquid state at -253°C. According to TÜV Süd, suitable cryogenic tanks with high insulating properties are required for storage. They keep the losses due to heating, i.e. evaporation losses, low.
Toyota plans to debut the liquid-hydrogen Corolla this weekend in Suzuka, where the 2023 season opener of Japan’s Super Taikyu series takes place. Now the first use after conversion will take place at the second Super Taikyu race of the year, the 24 Hours of Fuji.
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