Toyota is pushing ahead with plans to offer a hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle to consumers in 2015, but it looks like you’ll have to be among the 1 percent to buy one.
For all the love being lavished upon hybrids and electrics these days, hydrogen remains very much alive, with Toyota, Honda and Daimler among those insisting it is the best way to mend our fuelish ways. The world’s largest automaker told Automotive News it plans to sell just a few thousand fuel cell cars worldwide, due largely to the fact they’ll carry six-figure price tags.
“We could expect a fuel cell vehicle to retail at about 100,000 euros ($138,000) in Europe,” Alain Uyttenhoven, Toyota Europe v.p. for product planning and marketing, told Automotive News.
That’s far more than the $50,000 or so that Toyota cited last year when it first announced plans to offer a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle to consumers by 2015. Toyota said at the time it had slashed costs by using one-third the amount of platinum typically found in a fuel cell and reducing the cost of the polymer-electrolyte membrane used in the cell. It also said scaling up production would cut costs further.
Beyond the dearth of hydrogen fueling stations, the exorbitant cost of fuel cells has been among the technology’s greatest hurdles. Still, Toyota, Honda, Daimler and Hyundai are among the automakers who hope to have hydrogen fuel cell vehicles on the road by 2015.
Toyota’s latest-generation fuel cell vehicle (pictured) has a range of 431 miles. The automaker plans to place 100 vehicles with demonstration partners by 2013.