Toyota will launch a zero-emissions fuel cell sedan in the U.S. and European markets in the summer of 2015.
The Japanese automaker will launch the sedan a few months earlier in Japan. Sales of the car will be limited to regions in Japan where hydrogen refuelling infrastructure is being developed. The vehicle will be priced at approximately 7 million yen (just under 70,000 dollars). US and European prices have yet to be announced.
Toyota has been developing fuel cell vehicles in-house for more than 20 years. In 2002, Toyota began leasing the “Toyota FCHV”, a fuel cell SUV, on a limited basis in Japan and the US. The sedan that will go on sale in 2015 features a number of improvements to the 2002 fuel cell system: For example, it performs similar to a gasoline engine vehicle, with a cruising range of approximately 700 km and a refuelling time of roughly three minutes. When driven, it emits only the water vapour produced by the reaction between hydrogen and oxygen.
Hydrogen is a particularly promising alternative fuel since it can be produced using a wide variety of primary energy sources, including solar and wind power. When compressed, it has a higher energy density than batteries and is easier to store and transport.
Photo Credit: Toyota Motor Corporation