Report: Toyota Hydrogen Fuel Cell Electric Sedan On Sale 2015 Summer

Today Toyota announced their sales plan for their hydrogen fuel cell vehicle, the Toyota FCV.

Hydrogen fuel cell is a new kind of energy source that powers the electric motor. It accelerates exactly the same way as other electric cars; the difference is when you refuel, the FCV just need 3 to 5 minutes to fill up the hydrogen tank, so you do not need to wait half an hour or several hour to recharge, which is required for other pure battery-powered electric cars such as the Tesla Model S.



According to Toyota, the FCV can go for 300 miles on a single fill-up (as mentioned above, it only takes 3 – 5 minutes). Compared to the Tesla Model S: when you are using the Tesla Supercharger, it takes 30 minutes to charge your battery to the extent that you can go for another 170 miles.

Obviously: if there are enough quantity of hydrogen fuel station build in the country, and Toyota had build some RWD hydrogen fuel cell luxury sedan (using the Lexus brand), the Tesla Model S sales will face very strong headwind. This is because the hydrogen fuel cell car has advantages on both sides of the gasoline engine cars and electric cars: it refuels as fast as a gas engine car, and also get the zero-rpm instant maximum torque from the electric motor.

Below is the drivetrain illustration of the Toyota FCV, you can see the hydrogen tank and the electric motor.


The current Japanese domestic market FCV carries a MSRP equivalent to USD 68,000, we do not know the actual price when it arrives the US market, but our guess is it will be much more expensive than the Toyota Camry, and may even priced higher than some Lexus models.

Below is the official press release.

Toyota Hydrogen Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle Will be Shown at 2014 Aspen Ideas Festival
Zero emission vehicle part of demonstration of Toyota’s vision for future mobility

June 25, 2014
TORRANCE, Calif., (June 25, 2014) – Toyota’s first commercial zero-emission hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicle (FCV) is coming to the 2014 Aspen Ideas Festival. First unveiled in Japan on Wednesday afternoon, the vehicle will make its North American debut at the annual conference on Friday, June 27.

In a press conference in Japan, company officials revealed the exterior design of the FCV pre-production prototype. Interior features, along with the vehicle’s name, volume, and full specifications will be released later. Toyota also announced that the FCV will go on sale in the Japan domestic market before April 2015, and then summer 2015 in Europe and the state of California. The sedan will be priced in the Japan domestic market at approximately 7 million yen, or at more than $68,000 based on current exchange rates. Pricing in other markets has not yet been set.

“This is a zero-emission electric-drive, mid-size four-door sedan” said Bob Carter, senior vice president of automotive operations for Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A. “It produces sufficient electrical power to spin the electric motor for about 300 miles on a single fill-up which takes three to five minutes. This is going to be a very special vehicle. And we believe we can bring it in at a very reasonable price for a lot of people.”

Today’s announcement builds on Toyota’s existing efforts to provide customers with access to hydrogen refueling stations when the vehicle arrives in California. In May, the company announced a financial relationship with First Element Fuels to support the long-term operation and maintenance of 19 new hydrogen refueling stations across the state.

“The success of fuel cell technology will depend less on the genius of the car, than on the ownership experience,” said Carter. “Stay tuned, because this infrastructure thing is going to happen.”

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