Liquid Hydrogen-Powered GR Corolla Participates in Fuji 24 Hour Race



TORONTO, Ontario – May 29, 2023 – The #32 GR Corolla H2 Concept, entered by Toyota and running on liquid hydrogen, went all out at the 2023 Fuji 24 Hours of Super Taikyu ENEOS Series, which took place from May 27-28. It was the first time in the world that a vehicle raced with liquid hydrogen fuel.

Since May 2021, Toyota has been competing in Japan with a similar GR Corolla H2 Concept using hydrogen gas. The switch to liquid hydrogen is a big step forward in development, making the car more competitive.

Liquid hydrogen also makes pit stops faster and more efficient, as refueling can be done in the pits, like gasoline-powered vehicles. By using liquid hydrogen as fuel, equipment that was previously necessary to produce compressed gaseous hydrogen, such as compressors and pre-coolers for cooling hydrogen are no longer needed. As a result, the required station installation area can be a quarter the size of that for gaseous hydrogen stations, and fuel can be refilled in the pit area in the same way as for gasoline-powered vehicles. In addition, since there is no longer the need to pressurize when filling, multiple vehicles can be filled in succession.

We have also succeeded in reducing the vehicle weight by over 50 kg over the past two months, leading to it exceeding the lap times of the hydrogen engine-equipped Corolla when it first competed in May 2021 using gaseous hydrogen fuel.

We have continued development and made improvements with agility through our motorsports activities with the support of our many partners in taking on this challenge, and this has made it possible for us to enter the Fuji 24 Hours Race.

The vehicle’s fuel supply system has been changed to a liquid hydrogen system in conjunction with the change from gaseous to liquid hydrogen. However, the engine itself is the same engine as when the vehicle was running on gaseous hydrogen.

Since the energy density per volume is increased by changing the fuel to liquid hydrogen, the cruising range has doubled with the same filling time as before, approximately 1.5 minutes*2. We will strive to further improve engine performance, cruising range, and filling time throughout the year.

However, liquid hydrogen must be kept at temperatures lower than -253℃ during filling and storage. This poses unique challenges in areas such as developing fuel pump technology that can function in a low-temperature environment, preventing hydrogen from naturally evaporating from the tanks, and establishing regulations for vehicle-mounted hydrogen tanks. Toyota will continue to work on overcoming these challenges with the cooperation of its partners in the areas of producing, transporting, and using hydrogen.

Both gaseous and liquid hydrogen have unique advantages and challenges, with gaseous hydrogen having the advantage of having a simpler system configuration. Toyota will continue to focus on developing both gaseous and liquid hydrogen to increase fuel supply options and make the most of their unique characteristics.

Advantages of Liquid Hydrogen Challenges with Liquid Hydrogen
Increased energy density and cruising range Must be kept at temperatures lower than -253℃
Smaller hydrogen stations (can be filled in the pit) Preventing hydrogen from evaporating due to heat in the tank
Doesn’t need to be pressurized, allowing for multiple vehicles to be refilled in succession Fuel pump technology that can function at -253℃

Hydrogen is an important fuel to ensure a carbon-neutral future for top-level motorsport

At the Fuji Super Taikyu ENEOS 24 Hour Race, Toyota President Koji Sato and ACO President Pierre Fillon paved the way for a future carbon-neutral competition car category for legendary 24 hours of Le Mans. This exciting project will see hydrogen being used as a fuel in top-level motorsport – either in combination with a fuel cell system or via combustion engines like in the GR Corolla H2 Concept. According to Pierre Fillon, the objective is to run 100% of the premier category of Le Mans on hydrogen by 2030.

More details on these projects will be communicated during the next edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, which will take place on June 10 and 11.

Starting joint research with universities to further reduce the weight of hydrogen engines

Toyota is able to race in this year’s Fuji 24 Hours Race with the liquid hydrogen-powered GR Corolla H2 Concept thanks to the cooperation of its many partners. We will continue to conduct joint research with Kyoto University, the University of Tokyo, and Waseda University on technologies to reduce the weight of the engines and the size of liquid hydrogen systems in order to create ever-better cars going forward.

Joint Research Technology University
Superconducting motor technology for automotive use liquid hydrogen pumps Kyoto University, University of Tokyo, Waseda University
Centrifugal pump technology for automotive use liquid hydrogen Waseda University

Toyota will continue to work on further efforts with its partners, including not only corporations and local governments but universities as well, to realize a carbon-neutral society.

It will also continue to work with its partners to increase options based on its multi-pathway approach to meet the needs of customers around the world.

About Toyota Canada Inc.

Toyota Canada Inc. (TCI) is the exclusive Canadian distributor of Toyota and Lexus vehicles. Toyota has sold over six million vehicles in Canada through a national network of 287 Toyota and Lexus dealerships. Toyota is dedicated to bringing safety, quality, dependability and reliability to the vehicles Canadians drive and the service they receive. TCI’s head office is in Toronto, with regional offices in Vancouver, Calgary, Montreal and Halifax, and parts distribution centres in Clarington and Vancouver. Toyota also operates two manufacturing facilities in Canada. Having produced more than nine million vehicles, popular Canadian models built at these facilities include Toyota RAV4, Toyota RAV4 Hybrid, Lexus RX 350 and RX 450h hybrid, as well as Lexus NX 250, NX 350 and NX 350h hybrid. The company has sold more than 20 million electrified vehicles worldwide and is the number one seller of electrified vehicles in Canada.

Toyota Canada ” liquid hydrogen-powered GR Corolla participates in Fuji 24 hour race” accessed 6/12/23.