Advertisement

Could The 2015 Toyota Fuel-Cell Vehicle Cost $100,000? Perhaps Close

Follow Antony

Good news: Hydrogen fuel cell vehicles are getting cheaper to develop all the time.

Bad news: "Cheap" is a relative term, and when Toyota finally releases a production version of the car previewed by its FCV-R fuel-cell concept, it'll still cost anywhere in the region of $50,000-$100,000 to buy.

That, says Automotive News, is the prognosis of one of Chris Hostetter, Toyota USA's vice president for strategic planning.

It's certainly a step forward from the $1 million or so cost of earlier fuel cell vehicle prototypes.

Electric cars have also suffered to some degree from high pricing, but ultimately the technology involved in making a working fuel cell vehicle is hugely more complex than that of getting a battery-electric car to work. That's also the reason that fuel cell cars are taking so long to emerge in any meaningful quantity--despite several interested parties.

Toyota has shown its FCV-R concept at several motor shows. The styling paves the way for next generations of Toyota passenger cars, but the fuel cell technology beneath it has been in development at Toyota for some time.

Currently, Toyota uses a fleet of 100 fuel cell prototypes based on the Highlander SUV, but a production car will be much more similar to the sleek FCV-R. An updated FCV-R is expected at this year's Tokyo Auto Show.

The company recently said it would begin to share development on fuel cell vehicles with German automaker BMW, which has also dabbled in hydrogen on several occasions.

Toyota aims to release a production vehicle as soon as 2015--a few years before the triumvirate of Daimler, Ford and Renault-Nissan, who also recently signed a fuel cell development agreement.

With development work well underway at several major automakers, the real issue will be where to sell the vehicles once they're ready.

Many countries, the U.S. included, still have a poor network of hydrogen stations. Early sales would be confined to California and New York, where stations are most prevalent, but even more would be needed.

California is aiming for 70 statewide by 2016, but a rate of growth faster than 27 worldwide stations per year will be needed if demand even reaches the 2,000-units per year Toyota expects to sell in the U.S. in 2015.

+++++++++++

Follow GreenCarReports on Facebook and Twitter.

Advertisement
 
Follow Us

 

Have an opinion?

  • Posting indicates you have read this site's Privacy Policy and Terms of Use
  • Notify me when there are more comments
Comments (8)
  1. I'm not sure what to think of such a statement. Firstly, I'm no fan of hydrogen as a transportation fuel, but I think the statement has to be taken with a gain of salt.

    The cost of such vehicles clearly depend on volume. If Toyota is planning on low volume, then $100,000 each is easy to believe and a self-fulfilling prophecy.

    Secondly, this could just be posturing by Toyota that could be translated into "we really don't want to build Fuel Cell vehicles." We have seen this before with BEVs.

    All that said, he might be right.
     
    Post Reply
    +1
    Bad stuff?

     
  2. Platinum is pricey stuff, really pricey (and if they do build "volume", then likely to get pricier).
     
    Post Reply
    Vote
    Bad stuff?

     
  3. Yeah, you could never have that in every car..like if you needed it for that catalytic converter for every car, it would be like, impossible, man.
     
    Post Reply
    -1
    Bad stuff?

     
  4. Until some future break through (which might not even be possible), the quantity required is very different. Catalytic converts use around 1.5g of platinum, a fuel cell uses around 2.5g PER KW! So in a Nissan LEAF type vehicle that would be 200g of platinum costing around $10,000. That's just for the platinum at current prices.
     
    Post Reply
    +1
    Bad stuff?

     
  5. Bling bling!
    -1
    Bad stuff?

  6. Ha! Briggs got told
    -1
    Bad stuff?

  7. Fuel cell technology in cars may be a technological breakthrough and it will continue to get cheaper in time, but there is a problem with hydrogen: it is not a source of energy like gasoline is. 95% of available H2 is obtained by electrolysis of H2O or by overheating hydrocarbons. Both ways involve the burn of charcoal or fossil fuels. So, hydrogen does not reduce the CO2 footprint nor does it reduce the demand of hydrocarbons. Natural gas may sound like a solution but its combustion produces water vapor, which is the "greenest" of gases; by far greener than CO2 (green here means causing global warming). If nuclear energy cannot be a short term solution to produce electricity, "solar" may be the best way to go (IMHO). Go solar! ;-)
     
    Post Reply
    +3
    Bad stuff?

  8. Fuel cells are really silly. No infrastructure and hydrogen is very expensive and hard to get. Electric vehicles are the future, fuel cells are a fantasy. You look at technology and everything goes to batteries, not a system that requires fuel.
     
    Post Reply
    +2
    Bad stuff?

 

Have an opinion? Join the conversation!

Advertisement

Find Green Cars

Go!
Advertisement

Advertisement

 
© 2014 Green Car Reports. All Rights Reserved. Green Car Reports is published by High Gear Media. Send us feedback. Stock photography by Homestar, LLC.