Toyota Motor Corporation on Friday said it would start selling fuel cell buses under the Toyota brand from early 2017.

Having already undergone repeated field tests for practical use, the Bureau of Transportation of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government plans to use two of these fuel cell buses as fixed-route buses.

Toyota plans to introduce over 100 fuel cell buses mainly in the Tokyo area, ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games. In view of this, the fuel cell buses will be sold for the first time in Japan in early 2017, to help increase the level of understanding by the public of the use of fuel cell buses as a form of public transportation.

Moreover, in preparation for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games, the number of fuel cell buses being introduced will increase steadily.

Together with this, Toyota aims to engage continuously in “diligent development” targeted at the expansion of the introduction of the new fuel cell buses from 2018 to contribute to the realisation of a hydrogen-based society.

The Toyota fuel cell bus is based on the company’s experience in developing such buses in partnership with Hino Motors. The Toyota fuel cell system, which was developed for the Mirai fuel cell vehicle, has been adopted to provide better energy efficiency in comparison with internal combustion engines, as well as to deliver superior environmental performance with no carbon dioxide emissions or substances of concern when driving.

The bus also uses a high-capacity external power supply system. With a power supply capable of a 9 kW maximum output, and a large capacity of electricity supply at 235 kWh, the fuel cell bus can be used as a power source in the event of disasters, such as at evacuation sites or at school gymnasiums.

Its electricity supply can also be harnessed for home electric appliance use.

Toyota Group considers the use of hydrogen to be a powerful source of energy for the future. Toyota has released the Mirai fuel cell vehicle, while also engaging in the technological and product development of fuel cell buses, fuel cell forklifts and stationary fuel cells for use in homes.