While we’re waiting for the Toyota FCV (fuel cell vehicle) to make it to our showroom here at Wondries Toyota sometime next year, Toyota is tiding us over with plenty of exciting green technology news. Most recently, we’ve been excited about the new Free Piston Engine Linear Generator, a new technology that allows an engine to efficiently convert gasoline into electricity. The new technology will make powertrains for plug-in hybrid vehicles even better.
As a Fox News article explains, “Instead of connecting a separate generator to the crankcase of an internal combustion engine, the linear generator turns the piston itself into a generator, reducing the overall size and mechanical complexity of the machine.” Thus, a smaller engine will make a lighter, more fuel efficient car overall—especially when you tack plug-in hybrid capability on top of that.
While there’s no news on when we’ll get a chance to see the Free Piston Engine Linear Generator at work in a production vehicle, it’s actually a possibility that it would first show up in the Toyota FCV, as the new technology can be catered to work with any fuel source.