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Toyota Corolla prototype powered by liquid hydrogen catches fire

Does just a few daysToyota announced its intention to compete in the resistance series Super Taikyuu 2023 with a GR Corolla equipped with an internal combustion engine fueled by hydrogen. However, the Japanese firm will finally be unable to participate in the first round of the championship, scheduled for this weekend, because the vehicle has suffered a fire.

Unlike previous prototypes, this unit burns liquid hydrogen, a solution that allows reducing the size of the bulky tanks required to store the fuel in gas form. To liquefy hydrogen, it is necessary to cool it to a temperature of -252.87 ºC.

The GR Corolla caught fire during its tests in the Fuji International Speedway due to a leak in the hydrogen fuel line. Although luckily the driver was able to escape, Toyota technicians will not have him ready for the first race of the Super Taikyu series, which will be held on March 19 in Suzuka.

the very Akio Toyoda he planned to participate as part of his drive to promote the use of hydrogen in the automotive sector. The president, who will leave his position as CEO of Toyota on April 1, has already competed on other occasions with prototypes equipped with thermal engines powered by compressed hydrogen.

Toyota GR Corolla

Toyota claims that the use of hydrogen was not the cause of the fire

The company claims that the incident was not related to the adoption of hydrogen as a fuel, as it was due to a joint loosened by the vibration of the vehicle. A sensor automatically cut off the supply, thereby preventing a larger fire. It is possible that this situation occurred in part because the drivetrain weighs about 300 kg more than the gaseous hydrogen system.

“What I want everyone to understand today is that hydrogen was not the cause of this problem.”has declared tomoya takahashipresident of Gazoo Racing. “Any fuel could have leaked and caught fire. It is not an accident or a serious problem. Is positive. We discovered something that was previously unknown. We are doing repeat tests to identify the problem.”

The manufacturer wants to have the car ready for the next race in the series, which will take place in May. Toyoda plans to get behind the wheel again. “He will continue to drive this vehicle because he is determined to demonstrate the safety of hydrogen.”

Source | Automotive News Europe

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