At the Geneva Auto Show this week, Didier Leroy, head of Toyota’s European operations said, “We are preparing to be able to produce tens of thousands per year in the 2020s.” Toyota is also showcasing their super-secret pinky swear hydrogen fuel cell FCV-R concept car of which they have released few details.
In December 2011, at the Tokyo Motor Show, Engadget stated, “Hence the above cool-looking FCV-R, an actual functional hydrogen car featuring a multi-LCD panel dashboard along with a driving range of around 700km or 435 miles. Alas, interested buyers will have to wait until around 2015 before Toyota launches its first fuel cell car, which is currently projected to cost around $125,000.”
I’ve read a few other resources that confirm that Toyota has stated that the FCV-R will have a range of around 435 miles. But, the projected cost of around $125,000 seems outdated unless Toyota is being cagey which is a real possibility.
For instance, Toyota has consistently stated since the year 2010 that they will come to market with a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle for around $50,000. So, if the Toyota FCV-R concept car is not to be this vehicle then what is? For the past 5or more years Toyota has been showing off various iterations of the FCHV (the most current version is the FCHV-adv) which is basically a converted Highlander.
But, Toyota has not stated that this vehicle will come to market with a price tag of $50,000 either. If Toyota expects to come to market with some form of hydrogen car by 2015 for around $50,000 and sell any significant number of them then they might just want to start hyping it now. And if they expect to sell tens of thousands of hydrogen cars in the 2020s then they’ll want to be aiming for the $20,000 to $30,000 price range (if not below).
What would help right now, however, is if Toyota came out with the specs for the FCV-R concept car and started announcing results of the field trials that are presumably going on in private right now. And one more thing, Toyota, is the FCV-R the car you expect to sell in 2015 for around $50,000? Inquiring minds want to know.