Toyota surprised everyone last year when they said they were testing a hydrogen-powered engine for racing. Yes, you read that right, Toyota actually took a 1.6-liter turbocharged engine derived from the GR Yaris, put it under the hood of a Corolla Sport hatchback, and took it to the track.
They’re so confident with the technology, Toyota president Akio Toyoda personally raced the hydrogen-powered Corolla Sport, proving that it’s possible to have clean motorsport racing without having to bid farewell to the internal combustion engine (ICE).
In the future, Toyota hopes to make hydrogen an alternative source to zero-emissions driving aside from battery-electric vehicles (BEVs). But does this mean Toyota will be the only automaker developing hydrogen-powered engines?
As it turns out, Renault is also busy working on hydrogen engines. Recently, the French automaker released a teaser image of a new crossover concept. While it looks stylish and sporty, it has a clever bit of technology under the hood; it’s powered by a hydrogen engine.
According to the automaker, the hydrogen-powered concept highlights the “decarbonization trajectory of the Group and the Renault brand”. In addition, it also previews the company’s plan of a circular economy - enabling the use of recycled and recyclable materials.
The Renault Megane E-Tech Electric
As for the concept’s design, its slim LED headlights, distinct grille, and illuminated logo lead us to believe the concept could be based on the Megane E-Tech Electric. However, the shadowy teaser does show a different set of LED daytime running lights (DRLs) and a unique front bumper. It also appears to lack glass side mirrors. Instead, it uses rear-facing cameras that act as the vehicle’s extra pair of eyes.
Other details regarding the concept car remain a mystery. However, Renault did say that they will fully unveil the hydrogen-powered concept in May 2022.
With ICEs facing an uncertain future thanks to the rise of electric vehicles (EVs), we’re glad to know that brands like Toyota and Renault are making strides in making ICEs cleaner. We’re hoping that both Toyota and Renault will be able to make it available to the market in the coming years as a cleaner alternative besides EVs and hybrids.