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Toyota to Have Affordable Hydrogen FCVs by 2015

A couple of weeks ago I had talked about how Toyota has said it will rollout 100 hydrogen fuel cell vehicles for testing by 2013. Now, at the 2010 Detroit Auto Show, Toyota has said they will make “affordable” hydrogen FCVs available to the public by 2015.

According to Toyota North America spokesman, Irv Miller, “We plan to come to market in 2015, or earlier, with a vehicle that will be reliable and durable, with exceptional fuel economy and zero emissions, at an affordable price.”

The one caveat and it’s a big one is that Toyota says it will rollout these affordable vehicles if there is a hydrogen refueling infrastructure in place to support them. Now, this statement could have several meanings.

First, it could simply be that Toyota is blowing smoke since it knows that no nationwide H2 infrastructure will possibly in place by 2015, so this is simply a stall tactic. Second, if Toyota carries through with this promise it will put pressure on business and government to start in earnest building the needed infrastructure since the cars are ready.

Third, Toyota may mean a limited low production rollout of affordable hydrogen vehicles in fueling station cluster areas such as Los Angeles and New York. This scenario would make the most sense, because it would require the least investment by Toyota, would still put pressure on business and government and will still have the effect of showcasing its vehicles in two of the largest population centers in the U. S.

Toyota will most likely not make a profit on these vehicles. They will be “loss leader” items that will keep their name in the news and stimulate sales of their other vehicles. But, that’s Okay with hydrogen advocates such as myself. Whatever means the automakers can use to push H2 progress forward will appreciated by environmental advocates in the near term and profitable for the carmakers in the long-term.

About Hydro Kevin Kantola

Hydro Kevin Kantola
I'm a hydrogen car blogger, editor and publisher interested in documenting the history and the progression of hydrogen cars, vehicles and infrastructure worldwide.

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4 comments

  1. Michael C. Robinson

    I think what isn’t highlighted enough, especially if hydrogen can be produced using artificial leaves (coolness), is that hydrogen is completely clean. I question the notion that battery only electric cars are clean. Are they really efficient if millions of people try to quick charge them all at once? Electricity is a scarce resource where replacing Oil overnight with electricity will not happen. On the other hand, replacing OIL with hydrogen seems very possible. I am really excited about storing hydrogen at very high pressure in water and being able to transport that water in standard containers. On the are the batteries clean issue, what happens when they wear out? Will it be cost effective to repair these batteries? When a fuel cell breaks down, what will be the cost of repair?

    I think if Obama and Chu were out of the way that a forward thinking president and energy secretary could push to have federal funds enlisted to promote projects that will produce a hydrogen refueling infrastructure. I think when the
    realization occurs that hydrogen cars are ready or soon to be ready that there
    will be political pressure from the people.

  2. I am amazed at how uninformed everyone is about h2 and fuelcells.At the moment there are hundreds of refueling station in the U.S.,Japan and Europe.With plans to add hundreds,mostly in heavily populated cities then working outward.Hydrogen and fuelcells are also going to make our electrical grid more efficient.Every auto manufacture has an H2 program in developement and are nearly ready for market.H2 is a secondary energy and can be manufactured from a vast variety of resources from industrial off gases to off peak nuclear to the trash we throw away.Get educated everyone.

  3. Also G.M. is on their 4th generation FCV and have had 100 Chev Equinoxes on the road for 2 years now.These are available for any one to test drive for free if you live in certain cities and your application is accepted.It is called Project Driveway.Buy American please!

  4. Also I would like to tell everyone that what they called bailout money to G.M. was not a bailout at all it was a loan for new more efficient vehicle technolgies(namely retooling their factories for the mass production of FCV’s)That the Dept.of Energy has set deadlines for the introduction of this tech.which is 2015.G.M. is leading and Toyota is following.

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