Hydrogen Powered Cars Will Catch On Real Fast, Says Toyota
|   Sunday, January 12, 2014
Toyota is just one year away from launching a series vehicles powered by hydrogen. Although it will not be the first manufacturer to launch such a car on the market, being overtaken by Honda in this regard with their Clarity FCV, Toyota's representatives are proud of their future model and are making optimistic marketing statements.

More specifically, Toyota's head of United States sales, Bob Carter, says that hydrogen fueled vehicles will hit the market and will become popular faster than any analyst expected.
His statement came during the presentation of the Toyota FCV concept at CES 2014, the first event that ran this year in the gadget world. However, the Toyota representatives have been reluctant to disclose sales expectations for these hydrogen powered vehicles.

He also said that the division which he leads requested an increase of allotted units in 2015, a sign that the revised sales plans provide a greater number of customers. California will be the only US state that will see the commercialization of hydrogen powered vehicle from Toyota, as was also the case with the Honda FCX Clarity, its equivalent from rival Honda. In both cases, FCV is the abbreviation for Fuel Cell Vehicle and represents the first step towards series production of cars using this propulsion method.

"Fuel cell electric vehicles will be in our future sooner than many people believe, and in much greater numbers than anyone expected. For years, the use of hydrogen gas to power an electric vehicle has been seen by many smart people as a foolish quest. Yes, there are significant challenges. The first is building the vehicle at a reasonable price for many people. The second is doing what we can to help kick-start the construction of convenient hydrogen refuelling infrastructure. We're doing a good job with both and we will launch in 2015", stated Bob Carter.

Toyota has not announced what the price will be for the series production version of the FCV. But the representatives the brand explained that the drivetrain price has decreased by 95 percent compared to the prototype introduced in 2002. The prototype presented in 2013 was 4,870 mm long, 1,810 mm wide and 1,535 mm high. With a wheelbase of 2,780 mm, the Toyota FCV is positioned in the upper middle segment, offering interior space for four passengers.

Among the main problems faced by a vehicle fueled by hydrogen are production costs and the final selling price, along with the charging stations infrastructure with hydrogen that is poorly developed or nonexistent, due to its requiring special pumps which operate at high pressure and under strict temperature.

To solve this problem of the hydrogen fuel stations, Toyota is collaborating with the University of California Irvine's Advanced Power and Energy Program (APEP). This collaboration aims at mapping and strategically placing these stations.

More than 200 million dollars are allotted in the state of California to build 20 new stations by 2015, for a total of 40 by 2016, and the number may increase to 100 by 2024.




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