Toyota is going to release a new hydrogen fuel cell vehicle in 2015, and the manufacturer just gave the world a preview of it at the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Toyota brought two fuel cell vehicles to the show, the FCV concept and a fuel-cell powered prototype that has been used for extensive and extreme on-road testing in North America for more than a year.
“We aren’t trying to re-invent the wheel; just everything necessary to make them turn,” said Bob Carter, senior vice president of automotive operations for Toyota Motor Sales (TMS), U.S.A. Inc., at the opening of CES, the world’s largest trade show. “Fuel cell electric vehicles will be in our future sooner than many people believe, and in much greater numbers than anyone expected.”
While we don’t know what the fuel cell vehicle will be called, Toyota says that the FCV concept is a preview of what the mid-size fuel cell sedan will look like when it arrives next year. After testing the prototype on North American roads for more than a year, Toyota says that it consistently delivers a driving range of about 300 miles and only takes three to five minutes to refuel the hydrogen tank. The best part is that it only emits water vapor into the atmosphere.
When the Toyota fuel cell vehicle launches next year, it will initially be launched in California. Toyota is currently partnering with University of California Irvine’s Advanced Power and Energy Program (APEP) to help map out potential locations for new hydrogen fueling stations. California has already approved more than $200 million in funding to build about 20 new stations by 2015, a total of 40 by 2016, and as many as 100 by 2024.