Toyota is on track to mass-produce its first hydrogen fuel cell vehicle in 2015, the Japanese automaker announced ahead of 2013 Frankfurt Auto Show.
The fact that the Prius maker strongly believes HFCV is the future is evident in the FCV-R concept. With a power density of 3.0 kilowatts per liter, it serves as the best “solution to the challenges of energy sources and emissions, with hydrogen as an ideal, ultra-clean fuel,” according to the company.
The Hybrid Synergy Drive technology found in the Prius and its offshoots forms the basis powertrain in the FCHVs similar to FCV-R, fully replacing the petrol engine with a fuel cell and the conventional fuel tank with high-pressure hydrogen tanks.
The FCHV uses the same electrical parts as a full hybrid powertrain while adding a 21 kilowatt battery to store energy recovered by its regenerative braking system. The twin fuel tanks and the fuel cell stack are located beneath the vehicle floor, increasing safety. The car has a maximum driving range of 420 miles with zero emissions and produces only water vapor from its hydrogen fuel cell.
The FCV-R is on track for production and sales in the U.S. and Europe in 2015. Toyota expects FCHVs to reach full production during the 2020s.
Currently the projected price is approximately £70,000 but Toyota hopes to lower it significantly ahead of market launch.
Photo Credit: Toyota