This an interesting piece of news. Toyota is developing a new internal combustion engine, replacing petrol with hydrogen as fuel.

The candidate chosen for the development of this new engine is the 1.6-litre three-cylinder turbocharged unit found in the beloved Toyota GR Yaris.   

The fuel delivery system, and of course the obvious fuel injectors will be modified to use compressed hydrogen. Toyota further adds that the combustion of hydrogen gases emits zero CO2, one of the many solutions that can achieve carbon neutrality as outlined by Toyota.

Combustion in hydrogen engines occurs at a faster rate than in petrol engines, resulting in a characteristic of good responsiveness.

The modified three-cylinder engine and fuel system will be tested continuously and at full pace in a 24-hour Super Taikyu endurance race. A specially modified Toyota Corolla Sport, perhaps due to its larger cabin space, under the Rookie Racing banner will be fitted with the above-mentioned Toyota GR Yaris engine and all the hydrogen fuel hardware.

Example of pressurised hydrogen storage tanks in the Toyota Mirai.

As for the hydrogen fuel, it is being produced at the Fukushima Hydrogen Energy Research Field in Namie Town, Fukushima Prefecture. While aiming to expand hydrogen infrastructure by promoting hydrogen use, Toyota intends to continue advancing efforts for economic recovery and revitalisation of the Tohoku region together with all parties concerned.

By further refining its hydrogen-engine technologies through harsh environments of motorsports, Toyota intends to aim for the realisation of an even better hydrogen-based society. Toyota currently offers the Mirai hydrogen fuel-cell electric vehicle (FCEV) that uses hydrogen gas and ambient air as “fuel” to generate electricity which then drives the electric motors.

On a related note, Porsche is doing developing synthetic fuels to be used in their existing engines, with the technology looking to be as clean as electric vehicles in terms of carbon emissions.