According to Toyota, their 2015 model year hydrogen vehicle, which has not been unveiled yet, will have a fuel cell system that is 1/20th the cost of the one in their FCHV-adv model.
Toyota lists several reasons for being able to reduce the costs according to Nikkei Technology, “Toyota made the following efforts to lower the cost of the fuel cell system. It (1) eliminated a humidifying module, (2) reduced the number of tanks from four to two, (3) employed low-price, mass-produced parts such as a motor for hybrid vehicles, (4) simplified the system structure by reviewing the structures of a fuel cell stack, high-pressure hydrogen tank, etc,
“(5) reduced the size and improved the performance of the fuel cell stack by improving its output density by more than 100% to 3.0kW/L, (6) reduced the amount of platinum catalyst used in the fuel cell stack by more than 50%, (7) reduced the amount and cost of carbon fiber used for the high-pressure hydrogen tank and (8) improved manufacturing methods (high-speed handling of electrolyte film, automated cell stacking, high-speed fiber winding for the high-pressure tank, etc).”
Toyota has hinted that it expects the cost of their first mass-produced consumer model fuel cell vehicle to be in the range of $50,000 – $100,000 and that over time the price should come down below the $50,000 mark.