‘Sooner Than Many People Believe, and in Much Greater Numbers’
Toyota is promoting hydrogen fuel cell technology at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week, promising that new details about a zero-emission car will be revealed in the coming weeks and months, and that sales will commence in California in 2015.
Toyota is displaying its FCV concept at CES, “showing what the four-door mid-size sedan will look like in Radiant Blue,” as well as an engineering prototype it says has been used “for extensive and extreme on-road testing in North America for more than a year.”
“We aren’t trying to re-invent the wheel,” Toyota senior VP of automotive operations Bob Carter said in a release – “just everything necessary to make them turn.”
“Fuel cell electric vehicles will be in our future sooner than many people believe,” Carter said, “and in much greater numbers than anyone expected.”
The FCV prototype has consistently delivered a driving range of about 300 miles and zero-to-sixty acceleration of about 10 seconds, Toyota says, with no emissions other than water vapor. Compressed hydrogen fueling takes three to five minutes.
“Hydrogen works beautifully with oxygen to create water and electricity and nothing more,” Carter said. “For years, the use of hydrogen gas to power an electric vehicle has been seen by many smart people as a foolish quest. Yes, there are significant challenges. The first is building the vehicle at a reasonable price for many people.”
Costs Have Fallen Dramatically
Toyota says that its 20-year investment in fuel cell R&D has been “massive,” and that since 200, it has been testing and developing a series of prototypes in North America. In those 11 years, Toyota says, it estimates a 95% 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.
Information to be released soon, Toyota says, will include U.S. sales volume targets, the name of the fuel cell vehicle, and comprehensive specifications and performance data.
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Source: Toyota Motor Sales USA with Fleets & Fuels follow-up