Toyota bumps up hydrogen-powered car in US to 2015 (Update)

Jan 06, 2014 by Ryan Nakashima
Toyota FCV-R concept exhibited at the 2012 Washington Auto Show. Credit: Wikipedia

Toyota said Monday that a hydrogen-powered vehicle that emits only water vapor as exhaust will go on sale in the U.S. in 2015, a year earlier than it promised just two months ago.

The Japanese automaker made the announcement Monday at the International CES, the technology industry's annual gadget show. The shift came months after rival automakers Hyundai and Honda both said they'd start selling cars with that technology in the U.S. in 2015.

The electric car, which Toyota calls FCV for now, uses hydrogen as fuel for a battery. Toyota says it will have a range of 300 miles (480 kilometers), can accelerate from standstill to 60 miles per hour (96 kph) in 10 seconds, and can refuel its hydrogen tank in three to five minutes.

Toyota says it will focus on selling cars in California at first. Working with researchers at the University of California, Irvine, Toyota said the first 10,000 vehicles can be supported with only 68 refueling stations from San Francisco to San Diego. It noted that California has approved $200 million to build about 20 fueling stations by 2015, 40 by 2016 and 100 by 2024.

"This infrastructure thing is going to happen," said Bob Carter, senior vice president of automotive operations for Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc.

Carter said all the cars in California could be served with just 15 percent of the 10,000 gas stations in the state now if they were spaced correctly. Researchers estimated where likely FCV buyers would need hydrogen stations and planned to put them within six minutes of their home or work.

"We don't need a station on every corner," he said.

A Toyota fuel cell concept vehicle is displayed during press event at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center for the 2014 International CES on January 6, 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada

Carter added that the U.S. branch of Toyota had recently increased its request for vehicles. He said that a 95 percent cut in production costs from the initial prototype would help it make fuel cell cars that are "a reasonable price for a lot of people."

Toyota Motor Corp. has promised to sell its fuel cell cars for $50,000 to $100,000, aiming for the lower end of the range.

Explore further: Are electric cars greener? Depends on where you live

4.5 /5 (12 votes)
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Toyota vows fuel cell model by 2015 in green push

Nov 20, 2013

Toyota is promising a mass-produced fuel cell car by 2015 in the latest ambitious push to go green by an industry long skeptical about the super-clean technology that runs on hydrogen.

Toyota chairman calls for more hybrids in US

Sep 30, 2013

Toyota chairman Takeshi Uchiyamada challenged automakers Monday to step up sales of hybrids in the United States, calling them "a long bridge" into future vehicles.

Recommended for you

Are electric cars greener? Depends on where you live

19 hours ago

Long thought a thing of the future, electric cars are becoming mainstream. Sales in the United States of plug-in, electric vehicles nearly doubled last year. Credible forecasts see the number rising within ...

Building a better battery

20 hours ago

Imagine an electric car with the range of a Tesla Model S - 265 miles - but at one-fifth the $70,000 price of the luxury sedan. Or a battery able to provide many times more energy than today's technology ...

Researchers find way to turn sawdust into gasoline

Nov 25, 2014

Researchers at KU Leuven's Centre for Surface Chemistry and Catalysis have successfully converted sawdust into building blocks for gasoline. Using a new chemical process, they were able to convert the cellulose ...

Nanodot team aims to charge phones in less than a minute

Nov 25, 2014

The world of smartphone users, which is a very large base indeed, is ripe for better battery solutions and an Israel-based company has an attractive solution in store, in the form of nanodot batteries that ...

User comments : 6

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

ekim
5 / 5 (2) Jan 06, 2014
Toyota should also look into home refueling stations as well. While not quite as efficient as mass produced hydrogen, it would be convenient, especially if it were powered by solar panels.
AeroSR71
4 / 5 (1) Jan 06, 2014
But why?? Hydrogen has to be produced and stored, which requires energy. Why not just skip this step and use batteries and super capacitors that are charged via solar?? Not to mention the added weight, complexity, and inconvenience of finding a hydrogen fuel depot lol. Also, hydrogen fuel cells only have like max 70% efficiency. What's wrong with pure electric? And if you say driving range, I will find you, and I will kill you.

EDIT: btw, that 70% efficiency is the fuel cell itself. This doesn't take into account the losses in production, storage, and transportation.
ekim
not rated yet Jan 07, 2014
My only concern with batteries would be the materials they are produced from. Finding enough to supply all our needs might be difficult, and importing from other countries maybe necessary. Hydrogen could lead to energy independence. As far as super capacitors go, I'm unsure how advanced they have become, and if they are ready for commercialization.
dav_daddy
5 / 5 (1) Jan 07, 2014
@ekim You do know that "rare earths" are metals that don't form in veins right? Most of the ones used for batteries (lithium in particular) are quite abundant.
ekim
not rated yet Jan 07, 2014
@ekim You do know that "rare earths" are metals that don't form in veins right? Most of the ones used for batteries (lithium in particular) are quite abundant.

I just mention it because most of the known supplies of lithium are in other countries, much like the know supplies of oil. It is preferable to be self sufficient and energy independent.
Dharz
1 / 5 (1) Jan 21, 2014
The economy is starting to rebound, which means you have to get out there and purchase your car today. There are really good bargains because January is a slow season. You can go to a site I found and find the very best deals near you. It was really easy for me to get a new Toyota. With Sandy Springs Toyota you will get the best quality automotive purchasing experience achievable. Source: http://www.cardea...s-Toyota

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.