Proposal to Develop Future Toyota Mirai (Solar + Fuel Cell Vehicle)

Proposal to Develop Future Toyota Mirai (Solar + Fuel Cell Vehicle)

Introduction

Toyota has been a leading automobile company with its roots in Japan. The company has been in the market and performed competitively well based on innovation and sales. However, the future seems even challenging due to an increase in demand for more efficient energy sources. In this manner, there have been raised concerns over the availability and application of fossil fuels used to run most cars. Fossil fuels such as coal and petroleum have been associated with emissions of gases such as carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide is a major greenhouse gas that contributes to the global warming effect and its resultant climate changes. Due to environmental concerns, different technologies have been emphasized, and the future is on renewable sources of energy. In this context, the Toyota company has developed several innovations, such as the fuel cell car called Toyota Mirai. The current version of the vehicle runs on hydrogen as the main fuel. Therefore, the car is environmentally friendly since it doesn’t emit gases. Instead of carbon dioxide, the car emits only water (Yoshida, Toshihiko, and Kojima).

This proposal seeks to improve the current version of the Toyota Mirai to use hydrogen fuel cells and solar energy. The project will aim at production of a new car that will have a lower consumption of energy, lower emission of water vapor, and higher performance than the current model. The combination of the two energy sources will enhance performance and save on the cost of fuel.

Problem Statement

Although the current model of Toyota Mirai is efficient environmental friendliness, its emission of water will still affect the environment. Water vapor is a greenhouse gas, but its effect is not as adverse as carbon dioxide and methane. Therefore, an increase in water vapor in the atmosphere causes water vapor feedback that increases the warming effect of other gases such as carbon dioxide. The new model of Toyota Mirai will use both hydrogen fuel cells and solar energy. Therefore, the new car will cut on the water vapor emission and the cost of fuel. The car will also have enhanced performance due to the increased supply of electricity.

Goals/Objectives

  1. To lower the cost of fuel/ fuel consumption of the vehicle.
  2. To lower the water vapor emission from the car.
  3. To enhance the performance of the car.

Need Statement

The first objective of the new model will be lowering the cost of fuel/ fuel consumption. The current model of the vehicle uses hydrogen gas. Therefore, hydrogen gas cylinders are fitted in the car to provide the fuel. The processes of manufacturing hydrogen gas are expensive. Therefore, the cost of hydrogen fuel is high. Incorporating solar energy that is free from the sun would supplement the cost of fuel and fuel consumption.

The current model of the car uses hydrogen fuel cells as the source of energy. The end product of fuel consumption is water. Water vapor doesn’t have much environmental concern. However, an increase in water vapor in the atmosphere contributes to amplifying the warming effect from greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide. For this reason, the incorporation of solar energy in the car would reduce the demand for hydrogen energy and its consumption. In this case, the amount of water vapor produced by the car would be reduced. The performance of the vehicle will be improved by the provision of additional power source from solar energy.

Project Plan

Figure 1. Current Model of Toyota Mirai. The car uses the hydrogen fuel cell to provide the electricity that runs the electric motor.

Figure 2. Proposed Model of Toyota Mirai. The car will use both solar energy and the fuel cell.

In addition to the hydrogen fuel cell, the new car model will have the solar panels that will collect the solar energy for use in the car. Solar energy will be used to recharge the batteries. The photovoltaic cells will be applied in conversion of solar energy to electrical energy. The electrical energy will be used to supplement the electrical energy from the fuel cell and used to power the electric motor. The amount of hydrogen fuel used in the new model is expected to be lower than is the current model. The extra electric power provided by the solar panels will reduce the consumption of hydrogen in the fuel cell to produce electricity.

Research

The project will start with advanced research on various parts of the project. The research will include the development of the prototypes, simulations, as well as market surveys for the future product. Research will assist in identifying the strengths and weaknesses of the model and how to improve the model. Research will also be essential in deification of risk factors that would affect the performance of the new model.

Pilot project

The pilot project will deal with assemblage of the first car from the new model. The car will be used to improve on the research and the performance will be evaluated before commercializing the project.

Evaluation

The evaluation will include analyzing data collected from the tests such as fuel consumption, efficiency, performance, and market demands. Such data will be analyzed to find out the viability of the project. The data will also be used to improve on the shortcomings of the project.

Large scale production

After confirmation of the viability of the project, large scale manufacturing of the new car will be carried out. The new car will be manufactured with the patent and rights of the Toyota company unless the company wishes to sell the copyright or work in partnership.

Environmental Impacts

The project will contribute to different types of wastes. The wastes will be recycled to prevent environmental pollution. Non-recyclable wastes will be reused to enhance environmental protection. The new model will not cut the emission of water vapor by 100%. Therefore, the new model will still contribute to emission of water vapor to the atmosphere but at a lower level than in the current model.

Social Impacts

The project will require different personnel from different places. Therefore, the project will enhance interaction between different people and contribute to sharing of different cultures and technology. The project is expected to improve the living standards of its employees by provision of income to support their lives. Other social impact would include the development of social amenities such as roads for better accessibility to raw materials.

Economic impacts

The project is expected to employ a large number of people. The project would require engineers, researchers, marketers, and other personnel. By provision of employment opportunities, the project will improve livelihood and economic development. The company will also grow its sales and profit from the project. The project is expected to reduce the demand for non-renewable energy sources such as petroleum and gasoline. Therefore, the need for production of solar panels and hydrogen fuel cells will increase.

Any of a class of hydrocarbons that consist of terpenes attached to an oxygen-containing group. Terpenoids are widely found in plants, and can form cyclic structures such as sterols.

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