During the Toyota press conference two vehicles were debuted exhibiting the new fuel cell powertrain, first presented at the Consumer Electronic Show. The first vehicle presented was the FCV concept which showed what the four-door midsize sedan would look like in Radiant Blue. The camouflage-taped prototype followed exhibiting its comprehensive and extreme on-road testing in North America for more than a year.
Over the past twenty years, Toyota has invested massive amounts of time and money into fuel cell research and development. Since 2002, Toyota has been developing and testing a prototype series in North America. In the past eleven years Toyota has managed to greatly reduce the cost of building a fuel cell powertrain. Toyota projects that the launch of the 2015 FCV will result in a estimated 95 percent cost reduction in powertrain and fuel tanks.
The FCV have consistently delivered a 300 mile driving range, zero-to-sixty acceleration in 10 seconds with zero emissions other than water vapor. Additionally, the refueling of hydrogen tank only takes an impressive 3-5 minutes. Engineers are also seeking to develop an external power supply device with the capabilities to power an entire household for a week.
With this new technology there is an increased demand for hydrogen fueling stations. In order to meet these needs California has approved more than two hundred million dollars in funding to build twenty new fueling stations by 2015, fourty by 2016, and by 2024 a total of one hundred hydrogen fueling stations.
To help guide the constructions of the new stations the APEP model is being used by:
- the California Energy Commission,
- the Governor’s Zero Emission Vehicle Initiative,
- the California Air Resources Board,
- the U.S. Department of Energy
- and the California Fuel Cell Partnership.
Photo Credit: Toyota