Toyota has unveiled its new hydrogen-powered Fuel Cell Vehicle in final production form.
Despite the popularity of the Prius - the Japanese manufacturer’s electric-petrol hybrid - the company has said that it doesn’t believe fully electric vehicles are the future (despite the fim investing in Tesla). Instead, Toyota has spent the last 20 years developing fuel cell technology, and the fruits of that labour will go on sale in Japan in April 2015 (introduction to the U.S. and European markets will be revealed later).
The Toyota FCV Sedan works by generating electricity through the chemical reaction between oxygen and hydrogen stored in high-pressure tanks, with water being the only waste product. The cruising range is approximately 430 miles and refills take less than three minutes - two distinct advantages over current battery tech.
One of the biggest stumbling blocks for Toyota is the hydrogen refuelling infrastructure. The Japanese government has heavily invested in refuelling stations, as has California in the States, but the widespread construction of stations is a long way off.
The FCV will be priced at 7m yen (£40,500, $69,000), meaning it’ll be going head-to-head price-wise with the Tesla Model S. It might take a lot to convince people to turn their backs on the cool Tesla brand in favour of a car based on future infrastructure changes, but hydrogen-powered vehicles are certainly an interesting alternative to EVs.