Hydrogen Infrastructure, Affordability Are Keys to Toyota Fuel Cell Vehicle, Company Says | Edmunds

Hydrogen Infrastructure, Affordability Are Keys to Toyota Fuel Cell Vehicle, Company Says


Just the Facts:
  • The Toyota FCV or Fuel Cell Vehicle concept made its first U.S. appearance at the 2014 International CES, with the company promising affordability when the car goes on sale here in 2015 and a better hydrogen infrastructure.
  • Toyota said the FCV will be launched initially in California.
  • The name of the vehicle, U.S. sales volume targets and performance data will be released later this year, Toyota said.

LAS VEGAS — The Toyota FCV or Fuel Cell Vehicle concept made its first U.S. appearance at the 2014 International CES, with the company promising affordability when the car goes on sale here in 2015 and a better hydrogen infrastructure.

Toyota said the FCV will be launched initially in California.

The name of the vehicle, U.S. sales volume targets and performance data will be released later this year, Toyota said.

While specific pricing was not announced on Monday, Toyota said the FCEV will be "reasonably priced."

The Toyota FCV was first shown at the 2013 Tokyo Auto Show last November.

At the time, Toyota said its fuel-cell vehicle is set for launch "around 2015." It has a driving range of approximately 300 miles, something the company reiterated again, along with a zero-60 acceleration of about 10 seconds, with no emissions, other than water vapor. Refueling of its hydrogen tanks takes 3-5 minutes.

Bob Carter, senior vice president of automotive operations for Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A., said there are "significant challenges" in bringing such a vehicle to market.

"The first is building the vehicle at a reasonable price for many people," he said. "The second is doing what we can to help kick-start the construction of a convenient hydrogen refueling infrastructure. We're doing a good job with both and we will launch in 2015."

Carter said Toyota estimates a 95 percent cost reduction in the powertrain and fuel tanks of the vehicle it will launch in 2015, compared to what it cost to build the original prototype in 2002.

The FCV has a wave-inspired exterior and looks something like the Toyota Corolla.

Toyota has been road-testing the FCV in North America.

Toyota predicts that California will have about 20 hydrogen fueling stations by 2015 and 40 by 2016, followed by as many as 100 by 2024.

"Stay tuned, because this infrastructure thing is going to happen," Carter said.

Edmunds says: In the near future, car shoppers may have a choice of several hydrogen fuel cell-powered vehicles. In addition to Toyota, Hyundai has announced a fuel-cell version of its Tucson SUV and Honda said there will be a new-generation successor to the FCX Clarity fuel-cell sedan. All are due next year.

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