Toyota’s hydrogen-powered Fuel Cell Vehicle (FCV) has been revealed in Japan, with pricing in Toyota’s home market to start from around seven million Yen plus on-road costs (AU$73,000).
The Japanese launch will be closely followed by launches in the US and Europe, scheduled at this stage for the northern summer next year, but prices for these markets are yet to be determined.
The FCV was first revealed as a concept at last year’s Tokyo Motor Show, itself a redesign of the FCV-R Concept from 2011.
And it’s the Prius that Toyota is looking to with the FCV, with deputy chief engineer Yoshikazu Tanaka saying last year he expects ‘Prius-like success’ from ‘the car for the next 100 years’.
“Toyota's commitment to environment-friendly vehicles is based on three basic principles; embracing diverse energy sources, developing efficient, low-emission vehicles, and driving real and positive environmental change by popularising these vehicles,” Toyota said in a statement.
Bringing a hydrogen vehicle to market has been 20 years in the making for Toyota.
The result of that development is seen in a claimed range of up to 700km for the FCV and a refuelling time of around three minutes.
Toyota is also developing fuel-cell technology for use in the home, along with fuel-cell-powered forklifts and buses.
As the first FCVs will be built in right-hand-drive, a future debut in Australia is not out of the question. However, the lack of hydrogen refuelling infrastructure – which will also be a problem initially in Japan – could rule the FCV out of Australian showrooms for quite a while.
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