While most of Toyota's focus for fuel efficiency remains on its growing lineup of Prius dedicated hybrids, the company said almost two years ago that it would launch a hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle in 2015.
Its latest concept vehicle designed around fuel-cell technology is the FCV-R, which it unveiled in November at the Tokyo Motor Show. That concept was also on display at the Detroit Auto Show.
The company didn't mention its hydrogen-fueled concept car during its press conference, however, focusing instead on the launch of its 2012 Toyota Prius C subcompact hybrid and the unveiling of the NS4 mid-size plug-in hybrid concept car.
Toyota says the FCV-R has a smaller and more efficient fuel-cell stack, fed by hydrogen stored in high-pressure cylinders. Toyota's information about the car was fairly minimal, but the fuel cell is located "under the body" of the four-seat concept.
The Toyota FCV-R concept is said to provide a range of up to 435 miles (700 km). If it goes on sale in 2015 as scheduled, Toyota says the price is likely to be around $50,000
Just as the NS4 concept unveiled yesterday points either to a next-generation Camry or a new dedicated line of plug-in hybrid vehicles, the FCV-R is most likely a preview of the hydrogen-powered sedan Toyota plans to launch in 2015.
That vehicle may or may not make it to the United States. While a handful of hydrogen fueling stations exist in places like California, it remains to be seen whether fuel-cell-powered passenger vehicles have much of a future here.
In a country where every driver has electricity within a few feet of the family vehicle, the electric grid provides a distribution network for electricity, which may be one of the fuels of the future.
Source: John Voelcker, Green Car Report