Toyota Fuel Cell Sedan

Toyota Fuel Cell Sedan

Toyota just announced the Fuel Cell Sedan, revealing exterior design of the production version and setting a sales date in Japan and the price. The concept version was first shown at last year’s Tokyo Motor Show.

The car, which still doesn't have name, is scheduled for launch in Japan before April 2015. A few months afterwards, sales should begin in Europe and North America, but will be limited by hydrogen refuelling infrastructure availability, so there won't be nationwide sales.

"The four-door saloon will be introduced first in Japan, before next April. Preparations are in hand for launches in the US and European markets in the summer of 2015."

In Japan, sales initially will be limited to: Saitama Prefecture, Chiba Prefecture, Tokyo Metropolis, Kanagawa Prefecture, Yamanashi Prefecture, Aichi Prefecture, Osaka Prefecture, Hyogo Prefecture, Yamaguchi Prefecture, and Fukuoka Prefecture.

Toyota Fuel Cell Sedan

Toyota Fuel Cell Sedan

The price in Japan is set for around seven million yen (MSRP; excludes consumption tax), which will be approximately $70,000. The Japanese manufacturer for now didn't offer comment on the expected price for  Europe and North America.

"In Japan the Fuel Cell Sedan will be sold at Toyota and Toyopet dealerships, priced at approximately seven million yen (about £40,450). Initially sales will be limited to those parts of the country where a hydrogen refuelling infrastructure is under development. Prices for Europe and the USA have not yet been decided. Detailed information such as final prices, specifications and sales expectations will also be announced later."

The range with a full tank is expected to about 700 km or 435 miles at JC08 test cycle (under which Nissan LEAF has range of 228 km or 142 miles).

"The fuel cell sedan Toyota revealed today, for example, features performance similar to a gasoline engine vehicle, with a cruising range2 of approximately 700 km (according to Toyota measurements taken under the Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism’s JC08 test cycle)"

Toyota Fuel Cell Sedan

Toyota Fuel Cell Sedan

Toyota has been developing fuel cells and fuel cell cars for more than 20 years.  The Japanese carmaker certainly would love to finally commercialize this technology, highlighting the advantages like three minutes refueling. Let's see what Toyota has to say:

"Toyota’s commitment to developing vehicles that are kinder to the environment is based on three principles: embracing diverse energy sources; securing low vehicle emissions; and driving positive environmental change by making these vehicles popular with customers."

"Hydrogen has great potential as an alternative fuel. It can be produced from a wide variety of primary energy sources, including solar and wind power; it is easy to store and transport; and when compressed, it has a higher energy density than batteries. It could also be used in a much wider range of applications beyond automotive and domestic use, including large-scale power generation."

"Toyota has been developing fuel cell vehicles in-house for more than 20 years. Its system includes a proprietary FC Stack, which generates electricity from the chemical reaction between hydrogen and oxygen, and high-pressure hydrogen tanks. The technology was featured in the Toyota FCHV (fuel cell hybrid vehicle), an SUV which was leased to customers on a limited basis in Japan and the USA from 2002."

<em>Toyota Fuel Cell Sedan</em>

Toyota Fuel Cell Sedan

"Since then, Toyota has significantly improved its FC system. The Fuel Cell Sedan revealed today, for example, delivers performance and a cruising range similar to that of a petrol-engined vehicle, and refuelling takes roughly three minutes. When driven, the car’s only tailpipe emission is water vapour, produced by the chemical reaction between the hydrogen and oxygen."

"Fuel cell vehicles contribute to the diversification of vehicle fuels. They emit no carbon dioxide or substances harmful to the environment when driven, but offer the convenience associated with petrol-powered vehicles. Toyota believes the technology has great potential in the development of vehicles that are kinder to the environment and ideal for helping deliver sustainable mobility."

"Toyota companies are also engaging in other hydrogen-related initiatives, such as developing and testing fuel cells for use in homes, and designing fuel cell forklifts and buses."

Toyota Fuel Cell Sedan

Toyota Fuel Cell Sedan

Karl Schlicht, Executive Vice President Toyota Motor Europe, stated:

“We are very excited by the arrival of fuel cell technology. Of course there are many challenges ahead, such as the availability of fuelling infrastructure and customer awareness. But our history with hybrid gives us all the experience we need to bring a new technology to the market.”

“In Europe we will be taking it step by step, gradually introducing the car in selected markets. But we are confident that hydrogen will become increasingly popular as a way of powering vehicles.”

Here are teasers and video from the presentation:

Broadcast live streaming video on Ustream