Toyota on Wednesday announced it has agreed to start demonstration testing of what it claims is the world's first fuel-cell electric vehicle mobile clinic which is powered by hydrogen. The auto company and the Japanese Red Cross Kumamoto Hospital will together begin the tests to assess the effectiveness of a commercial fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV) in areas of medicine and disaster countermeasures.
The need for a fuel-cell electric vehicle mobile clinic in Japan may be coming from the fact that the country repeatedly sees typhoons, heavy rains and other natural disasters which often results in power outages. The need to provide swift medical services and/or ensure speedy evacuation processes has made Toyota partner Japanese Red Cross Kumamoto Hospital to address some of the common yet very serious concerns.
The FCEV mobile unit, as such, could not only be put into service during regular times but has the potential of being of enormous help during emergency times and to areas where electricity supply may be affected.
With multiple 100 VAC accessory power outlets supplied in the cabin as well as on the body of the mobile clinic which is based on Toyota's Coaster minibus, the automaker's fuel-cell system(2) is at the core of it all. It is touted that not only does the vehicle have zero emissions but can power a wide variety of electrical equipment that may be used for medical or emergency rescue purposes.
Inside, the vehicle combines air conditioning with an exhaust system and HEPA filter(4) to improve infection control for occupants when working.
In a press statement issued by Toyota, it is stated that the FCEV mobile clinic has the potential for a wide range of applications and developments in the healthcare field, including supplying electricity to blood donation buses and medical examination vehicles, traveling to less-populated areas as a mobile clinic, and a mobile PCR testing vehicle.