Toyota Alone In Bed With Hydrogen As EVs Take Control
Toyota is more and more alone in the hydrogen fuel cell camp, as other manufacturers turn towards battery electric vehicles.
The Japanese automaker spent tons of cash and time (since the early 1990s) on the research and development of FCVs. Today, it must continue to decide whether to invest even more in both the infrastructure roll-out and vehicle development.
Performance of hydrogen-powered vehicles is less than desirable, while prices are extremely expensive. Added to this, there is no refueling infrastructure for mass-adoption.
Keep in mind that Toyota’s Mirai has outsold all other players in the FCV camp. It’s reported that Honda shipped less than 700 Clarity Hydrogen Fuel Cell (in about a year) and Hyundai has sold around 900 Tucson Fuel Cell (since 2013).
Toyota’s goal to achieve sales of 30,000 FCVs annually by 2020 is highly doubtful (BEV targets for single models already exceed 100,000+).
Toyota is really the only automaker still banking on the tech. Honda CEO Takahiro Hachigo expects that near-term EVs will proliferate faster. Hyundai Executive Vice President Lee Kwang-guk called EVs the “mainstay” of the lineup, and VW CEO Matthias Mueller didn’t put much emphasis on FCVs when describing Volkswagen Group’s future electrification strategy.
Plug-in cars — battery-electric in particular — are easier to introduce both on side of car manufacturer (though some are faring better than others), as well as in terms of available infrastructure, which is growing rapidly. Meanwhile, there are only 91 hydrogen stations in Japan and around 30 in California. Studies show that consumers are also beginning to show much more interest in plug-in vehicles, and the numbers don’t lie.
Source: Automotive News