KIYOSU, Japan—Toyoda Gosei Co. Ltd. developed large plastic roof panels that will be used on a fuel cell bus to be launched by Toyota Motor Corp. in 2018.
More than 100 of these buses will be put into use in the Tokyo metropolitan region as it readies for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, according to a TG release.
Plastic panels have the advantage of being lighter than metal, but are not as strong. TG developed a plastic material that can be made thinner while also improving impact and heat resistance, making panels suitable for use on vehicle exteriors for lightweighting.
The roof panels will be installed above the fuel cell stacks and high pressure hydrogen tanks, with a structure that allows them to be opened and closed for inspections and other purposes.