has gained a government-approved status in Japan to build and inspect
high-pressure hydrogen tanks, thus reaching an important production staging
post in its programme to launch its first fuel cell vehicle.
has met a stringent criteria required by Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and
Industry – the first manufacturer to do so –whereby it can now increase
production of tanks that can be used for safe storage of hydrogen fuel at up to
70MPa (700bar) pressure. With this, the company is firmly on track for the
market introduction of its Fuel Cell Sedan in Japan, Europe and North America
to a press note from Toyota, Japanese law requires all pressurised gas
containers and accessories to be type-certified and made available for official
safety inspections during the manufacturing process. Until now, Toyota’s
hydrogen tanks also had to undergo a further inspection before being installed
in a vehicle. These inspections 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.
order to gain official approval (KHKS 0102) Toyota had to meet 194 requirements
and demonstrate an appropriate high level of quality management. It prepared a
quality manual 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.
Picture of a Toyota FCV showing the undercarriage