In 2019, Toyota and the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) appear affairs for a hydrogen fuel-cell lunar rover, to barrage after in the decade. Now the agent has a name—Toyota Lunar Cruiser.
The name is a advertence to the Toyota Land Cruiser SUV, which has congenital up a acceptability over several decades for off-road prowess. The Lunar Cruiser’s grille additionally looks afflicted by the archetypal FJ-Series Land Cruiser. But this lunar departer is advised to angrily go area no Land Cruiser has gone before.
While the accepted Land Cruiser can bench up to seven people, the Lunar Cruiser will alone accept allowance for two astronauts. They will get a added adequate ride than their predecessors, however. Unlike the rovers acclimated during the Apollo lunar missions, the Lunar Cruiser will accept an enclosed, pressurized, cabin, so astronauts can drive it after amplitude suits.
When the activity was aboriginal appear in March 2019, Toyota said the departer would be able to accomplish on the moon for up to six weeks, with a ambit of 1,000 kilometers (about 621 miles) per catchbasin of hydrogen. Solar panels will accommodate added electricity.
Toyota ahead said a fuel-cell powertrain was the appropriate best because it would be one fifth the accumulation and about 20% abate in aggregate than a commensurable battery-electric powertrain—an important application back aggregate needs to be launched to the moon via rocket. As an added benefit, baptize produced by the ammunition beef can be acclimated for cooling accessories or drinking, Toyota has said.
In its 2019 proposal, Toyota said hydrogen and oxygen for the ammunition beef would initially be brought to the moon from Earth. Later, baptize begin on the moon could be acclimated to aftermath hydrogen through electrolysis, with solar panels accouterment the electricity, the automaker said.
Toyota Lunar Departer concept
The Lunar Cruiser is an acute archetype of how automakers are attractive to aggrandize use of ammunition beef above commuter cars.
Hyundai has been attractive at means it can booty its fuel-cell technology above vehicles, as it looks at a bigger-picture hydrogen economy.
Toyota has experimented with fuel-cell trucks and buses, and its next Mirai charcoal on the way—although little has been said about the archetypal in about a year.
Meanwhile Hyperion, which is acquisitive to arrange fuel-cell tech beyond assorted modes, showed the XP-1 supercar aftermost month.
Hydrogen could accept affiance as a approaching aircraft fuel—perhaps with a complete redesign of commuter and burden planes about the limitations of hydrogen storage.
Just don’t apprehend this activity to piggyback annihilation from Tesla or SpaceX. Elon Musk has said that hydrogen ability be advantageous for the aboriginal date of rockets, but annihilation more.