We’ve been saying it for years that Toyota, along with several other automakers, will launch a hydrogen fuel cell car in 2015. Two years ago, you heard it from Toyota’s Chief Engineer Satoishi Ogiso. A month ago, Toyota’s America-chief Jim Lentz promised that “the first fuel cell sedan is coming to the U.S. in 2015.” Now, Bloomberg says that “at the Tokyo Motor Show in November, Toyota plans to show a hydrogen-powered sedan that would be sold as a 2015 model.”
Bloomberg did not unearth anything you would not already know: The 2015 fuel cell model will be expensive. Two years ago, amounts in the neighborhood of $100,000 had been mentioned, but Ogiso wanted to bring the price down. Now, Bloomberg says the fuel cell car “could be available in U.S. dealerships as soon next year for a price comparable to a mid-size BMW or Tesla Model S.”
Bloomberg says “a mass-market for hydrogen cars may be a decade or more away,” but Ogiso wanted to start going mainstream by 2020.
One company will miss the hydrogen year of 2015, and that’s Volkswagen, R&D chief Ulrich Hackenberg told TTAC last week in Wolfsburg:
“We are concentrating on diesel. Fuel cell technology faces an infrastructure problem. The gas must be transported refrigerated. The total CO2 balance sheet is not so good, local emissions are quite nice. Range is also good.”
Hackenberg said that Volkswagen continues to work on fuel cell technologies, that MQB is ready is ready for it. Volkswagen focuses on diesel and thinks CNG has a future in Europe, and that hybrid seems the way to go in the U.S. and China.