Toyoda Gosei Co., Ltd. has made large plastic roof panels. These panels are ideal for use on a fuel cell bus that will be launched by Toyota Motor Corporation in 2018. Over 100 such buses are scheduled to be deployed in the Tokyo metropolitan region as the city prepares for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics.
When compared to metal panels, plastic panels are lighter, but they have less strength than metal panels. This is where Toyoda Gosei came up with an innovation that could offset the weakness of plastic panels. The team came up with a plastic material that can be made thinner while exhibiting superior impact and heat resistance. This made the panels suitable for use on vehicle exteriors while contributing to the reduction of weight.
In addition to using the new material, Toyoda Gosei also leveraged its technological expertise and used high precision molding for giving consistent thickness to large parts. The plastic roof panels will be used above the fuel cell stacks and high pressure hydrogen tanks, and will have a structure that makes it possible for them to be opened and closed for inspections and other purposes.
Toyoda Gosei has earlier developed and produced many different large precision plastic parts, like radiator grilles. With electric and fuel cell vehicles expected to become more popular in the future and growing demand for longer range, such vehicles will need to be lighter and more fuel-efficient. Toyoda Gosei will take advantage of its expertise in plastic material and molding technologies to cater to this demand.
Established in 1949, Toyoda Gosei is a leading specialty manufacturer of rubber and plastic automotive parts and LEDs.
Hamid Moaref has always been fascinated by cars and the automotive industry. His family has a longstanding association with the industry and has been in the tire business for the past 35 years. Raised in Dubai, Hamid attended Capilano University in Vancouver where he graduated with a BBA in marketing before attending an intensive course in magazine publishing in 2005. He has been the publisher and chief editor of Tires & Parts magazine for the past ten years.
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