By on December 12, 2013

Toyota FCV Concept

Toyota believes fuel cells are the future, becoming a competitive technology up against other zero-emission compliance tech by 2030 at the latest. In fact, the automaker plans to hedge their bets in the near future by setting an annual sales goal of 5,000 to 10,000 fuel-cell powered machines beginning in 2015.

Part of this push is due to falling costs in fuel cell technology; when the above-pictured FCV enters showrooms in early 2015, just over half the $99,000 price tag will come from its smaller fuel cell, down from just over $1 million in 2007 when the tech debuted in the first of many concepts. Component sharing also helps to maintain a lower cost of entry, though Toyota says the FCV won’t be underpinned by the Prius due to differing structures between the two.

The automaker hopes sales of the FCV and other future fuel cell vehicles will rise to tens of thousands of units by the start of the 2020s, no doubt helped by a push to reduce costs through R&D to one-fifth of what a fuel cell costs to make at this point in time.

The FCV won’t be alone in this march toward progress; Honda plans to deliver a successor the FCX Clarity in the same year as the former’s debut, while Hyundai will lease 1,000 Tucsons fitted with fuel cells worldwide in 2014.

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36 Comments on “Toyota Aiming For Modest Annual Sales Of Fuel Cell Cars...”


  • avatar

    So long as your “alternative energy” vehicles cost roughly the same or LESS than the equivalent I.C.E vehicle – they have a chance.

    But the simple fact is that alternative energy fuel is NOT as cheap as I.C.E simply because fossil fuels are generated by photosynthesis and can exceed peak production while wind, solar and hydroelectric CAN’T. You cannot make the sun shine brighter or longer and you can’t make the wind blow harder or longer when you need more power. Face it, I.C.E is the forseeable future and the only way this LIBERAL, GREENER NONSENSE has ANY CHANCE WHATSOEVER is by tax subsidies.

    Human energy demands only rise. Until you force people to use nothing but LED bulbs, nothing but low-power consumption electronics and cut human population growth, energy demands will only continue to grow.

    As for “saving the planet” – we are currently in a GAP BETWEEN ICE AGES. The world is NOT getting warmer. It’s getting colder. Science is finding volcanism in Antartica and more than likely, that is responsible for the ice melting – far moreso than man-made CO2 – which by the way IS NOT A POLLUTANT.

    • 0 avatar
      mcs

      There is a lot research into green gasoline that doesn’t seem to get a lot of attention. Real ASTM 91 octane gasoline obtained through modern bio-engineering technology – not ethanol.

      http://goo.gl/6U0sak

    • 0 avatar
      KixStart

      BTSR,

      CO2 has an effect which can be demonstrated in the lab. The basic physics is well understood and goes back over 150 years. Projections of warming were made over 100 years ago and, surprise, it’s warming.

      If there was something wrong with the basic physics, there’s a whole bargeload of physcists out there that could point out exactly what is wrong with the physics. They haven’t. The American Physics Society endorses AGW theory.

      The fact of the matter is, the Earth is warming and the best explanations of why include the CO2 effect.

      There is plenty of room for improved understanding, this science is difficult and the climate is complex but the basic science is correct. We’re not going to be saved from our own folly by wishful thinking or denial.

      Now, if you can find an explanation for why CO2 will not increase heat retention, when you can explain the current warming trend without CO2 effect (it’s not volcanos but that would probably be good for a laugh at the upcoming AGU conference), then you’ll be on to something. We eagerly await your paper.

      • 0 avatar

        Earth is 4.5 billion years old and we’ve only been studying climate for less than 10,000 years.

        Recurring ice ages, recurring EXTINCTION LEVEL EVENTS, recurring warming periods…

        Rodenia to Pangea to Pangea Ultima.

        You’ll get my paper when we have SUFFICIENT SAMPLE SIZE and DATA RECORDS.

        For now, I’m gonna keep burning super premium unleaded, synthetic oil and Goodyear/Pirreli rubber.

        After all -when the dust settles all the waste I create will be recycled into new elements for better organisms.

        Thank the Sun, comets and asteroids for brining me mass and energy.

        • 0 avatar
          KixStart

          We have sufficient sample size and records. What we don’t have is a decently scientifically literate population to deal with the information that is freely available and a collection of people who depend on being ignorant of the effects of incrased CO2 in order to have short-term personal gains or, maybe, fun.

          • 0 avatar
            APaGttH

            Disease is caused by evil spirits.

            Earth is at the center of the known universe.

            The gods (plural) rule over us.

            Moses parted the Red Sea with his staff.

            The earth is flat.

            Galileo was heretic.

            There are sea monsters that eat ships.

            Tesla was a lunatic and AC power is completely unsafe compared to low voltage high amp DC power.

            Heavier than air flight is an impossibility.

            Robert Goddard is a lunatic and we can never, ever put a man on the moon.

            Science shows us that if you’re not of white European descent, you are an inferior race.

            We can’t break the sound barrier. It is an absolute – it would be like hitting a brick wall.

            Atomic testing with troops stationed as close as a mile from ground zero is completely safe. Radiation is our friend.

            Global warming is not real. Cold fusion is impossible. We will never travel faster than the speed of light.

            We are an arrogant species who does not like having our belief system questioned.

      • 0 avatar
        jacob_coulter

        If the Earth is experiencing global warming, why did the lowest temperature ever recorded on Earth occur just a few days ago?

        http://www.usatoday.com/story/weather/2013/12/10/antarctica-cold-record/3950019/

        • 0 avatar
          APaGttH

          you don’t understand global weather do you?

          • 0 avatar
            jacob_coulter

            I love how they keep changing their story.

            So the ice caps aren’t melting now from global warming?

            Now the ice caps are getting larger

            http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/capital-weather-gang/wp/2013/09/23/antarctic-sea-ice-hit-35-year-record-high-saturday/

            You don’t seem understand that the Earth goes through natural cooling and heating cycles and that it has nothing to do with man-made carbon dioxide levels.

            How do you explain the Ice Age?

          • 0 avatar
            APaGttH

            This is what I know. A single point of temperature at a single location a trend does not make. I could just as easily declare the sky is falling because Seattle was a 103 in 2009 and that has never happened before in history and go, see the earth is warming.

            Lets look at the facts at the “coldest temp” ever recorded. It was done via satellite, not earth based temp measurement in an area of Antarctica that is basically unexplored. So there is no point of reference if that is the coldest temp – or if that area historically gets that cold (get it).

            This is what I do know. Supported by science and fact.

            The earth was much warmer than even today in the 1300′s and 1400′s. How do we know that? Well those crazy British and French kept darn good records back then. We can look at trade records and see that England was raking it in with the wine trade in the 1400′s while French vineyards were shriveling up. We can also look at records in Italy and Greece that supports things were much warmer.

            Then there was the little Ice Age, a year without a summer, plague, starvation, and the Dark Ages. Pretty darn well documented. It got colder. A lot colder. Fast.

            We also know that the little Ice Age ended sometime around 1850. It is an interesting connection (but is it causation – ahhh – the real question) that the earth started getting warmer at the start of industrialization.

            We know that the earth has steadily gotten warmer. That point is pretty undeniable. There are very few in scientific circles arguing that the earth has not gotten warmer at this point.

            We know sea level is rising. Also pretty undeniable at this point. From the north slope of Alaska, the the islands and atolls of the Pacific, to the impact of Hurricane Sandy.

            We also know that CO2 levels have increased, and are at higher levels than we’ve seen. We also know its been higher. Much higher. We can look at ice core samples with frozen bubbles of atmosphere in them and test it. Its pretty established basic science.

            What we don’t know is – why. Are we contributing to it, a little, a lot, at all. Are we fighting it? We don’t know.

            But to say the earth is not getting warmer, if we go back to your basic point of the coldest temp being recorded to date (can’t I use the same argument, how do we know it wasn’t colder during the Little Ice Age???) suddenly means all the observation and science is wrong.

            Consider this – if we are wrong. If this is all chicken little the sky is falling, what exactly is the harm in increased efficiency?

            Today we live in an era where cars with 300 HP that get high 20 MPG highway and can blast to 60 MPH in around 7 seconds, burn the 1/4 mile in the 14′s and go 150K to 200K miles with only the most basic of care are a big ball of so what. Are you then going to argue with me, that’s a bad thing???

          • 0 avatar
            WheelMcCoy

            >> If this is all chicken little the sky is falling, what exactly is the harm in increased efficiency?

            +1.

            Why are conservatives called conservatives anyway? They don’t conserve anything.

          • 0 avatar
            jacob_coulter

            So now you’re saying the Ice Age ended in the 1850′s because of the Industrial Revolution? That’s a new one. So I guess humanity saved the day for the world by taking us out of the Ice Age?

            BTW, I also LOL’d at using temperature records from the 1300′s to make your case. Yea, you can take those recording straight to the bank. Were leaches involved?

            Does your side ever become embarrassed at the intellectual gymnastics it has to do on a regular basis in order to support such a bankrupt theory? The hacked emails from leading climate”scientists” show the depth of dishonesty their side is willing to take.

            I also love the big pivot now from “global warming is real and will kill us all” to “even if its not true, we should do everything we can to tax and control carbon emissions just in case”

          • 0 avatar
            brandloyalty

            @jacob_coulter:
            http://www.skepticalscience.com/Climategate-CRU-emails-hacked.htm

            You might also want to have a look at your other claims at:
            http://www.skepticalscience.com/argument.php

          • 0 avatar
            APaGttH

            @jacob, I NEVER said that. You have a reading comprehension issue.

            Do the words (is it causation mean anything to you)

    • 0 avatar
      L'avventura

      Hydrogen isn’t an alternative energy, its actually just an energy carrier.

      Japan’s current plan is to start building a hydrgoen transportation system based in Australia in 2017.
      http://www.greencarcongress.com/2013/09/20130928-khi.html

      Hydrogen will be made from gasification of brown coal (lignite). Its suppose to be designed as a carbon-free system due to sequestration, but its using one of the most abundant sources of energy in the world. Regular old coal.

      Of course there are also ‘green’ ways of producing hydrogen, but coal and natural gas will be the main sources of hydrogen.

      The most important thing about hydrogen is exactly that its reliant on current energy infrastructure, more importantly, its a method for using abundant coal and natural gas for transportation.

      It offers flexibility in energy usage that current petroleum based engines can’t. Hydrogen is just a chemical intermediary for energy from different sources.

      • 0 avatar

        #1 HYDROGEN is not stable enough to use as a fuel source. These fuel cells are too costly and Hydrogen gas is too dangerous. Go to the very beginning of our energy pyramid and you come to photosynthetic organisms changing light into chemical energy. People use fossil fuels for energy, NOT HYDROGEN. ELECTRICITY is a byproduct of fossil fuel production. Nuclear Fission is costly, Uranium fuel is non renewable and terrorist threats make storing and protecting the waste an energy waste.

        #2 To anyone who thinks “EARTH IS WARMING”, please do some research on LORD KELVIN. Earth is steadily cooling down. The atmosphere IS NOT WARMING. CO2 IS NOT a pollutant. The soil is a carbon dioxide sequester.

        • 0 avatar
          L'avventura

          I really don’t want to touch on your ‘global warming is a lie’ comments, I’m sure there are entire forums dedicated to that.

          However, the whole point of these fuel cell cars is too show that hydrogen can be used as a fuel source.

          Again, hydrogen itself is ONLY THE ENERGY CARRIER (store for energy created by other means).

          Its still expensive, its still early in its development. Its decades away from any real mass production. But the research needs to be done, the first to get it right reaps the benefits.

    • 0 avatar
      krayzie

      They can really improve on minimizing their carbon footprint if Toyota would just tell their staff to commit suicide in the name of saving the planet.

    • 0 avatar
      redav

      For the love of God, put the period after the last letter of an acronym: I.C.E.

  • avatar
    jimmyy

    While Detroit car makers are investing in 30 year old turbo technology, then claim success with doctored EPA numbers, Toyota is investing in the powertrain that will threaten Detroit’s existence. Detroit executives will claim the fuel cell is not economically feasible. Perhaps, in a short term ROI framework. If I remember correctly, Detroit executives claimed Toyota Hybrids were not economically feasible in a short term ROI framework. Detroit continues to fall further behind as a technology leader in the automotive space.

    • 0 avatar
      Luke42

      Except that hydrogen fuel cells have been a pipe dream of the thermodynamically challenged since I was a kid.

      BEVs, on the other hand – well, I’ve seen and driven several and I’ve got the sales brochures to prove it. They exist and they work, despite their obvbious limitations.

      I own a couple of Toyota vehicles and they’re great… But, while I wish Toyota good luck with this one, I won’t be holding my breath!

      • 0 avatar
        WheelMcCoy

        >> Except that hydrogen fuel cells have been a pipe dream of the thermodynamically challenged since I was a kid.

        There’s a joke about that. The hydrogen fuel cell was, is, and always will be… the future.

        • 0 avatar
          jimmyy

          That must be why there will be thousands of them on the streets shortly.

          • 0 avatar
            WheelMcCoy

            >>That must be why there will be thousands of them on the streets shortly.

            I fall into the camp that doubts the viability and commercial success of fuel cells. There’s no refueling infrastructure, and building such an infrastructure is extremely expensive.

            It just seems like an effort to spread FUD for electric vehicles, which solve a real world problem right now at a lower cost.

    • 0 avatar
      APaGttH

      Volkswagen is from Detroit?

    • 0 avatar
      Loser

      jimmyy, Tell me about this 30 year old turbo technology. GM has been investing in fuel cell technology since the mid 60′s. How do you know what GM and Ford are and are not working on?

  • avatar
    jacob_coulter

    Why not just skip the middle man and make vehicles powered by natural gas?

    Do people understand that it’s going to take massive amounts of electricity to make the hydrogen for fuel cells? How do you think that electricity is made?

    I’m just amazed so many people seem to ignore such an easy solution. The technology is already here, and 90% of the problems with gasoline are solved with natural gas (far less pollution, abundant domestic supply, no geopolitical threats, etc)

    At the very least, use it as a bridge technology.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    Who’s gonna pay for the required proliferation of H2 stations in the US?

    Today there are exactly 10 of them – 9 in southern CA.

    Toyota’s crazy, along with Hyundai and anyone else dreaming of fuel cells.

    • 0 avatar
      APaGttH

      You mean like BMW, Chrysler, Mercedes, Honda, General Motors…

      Just about every major auto maker has a fuel cell car that they plan to sell by 2020ish. Toyota is first to market and Toyota has said for years electrification is a dead end, fuel cells are the answer.

      I agree with other posters that say the no brainer is natural gas. It would be so easy to do today and we have infrastructure in place.

      • 0 avatar
        SCE to AUX

        They’re all fools on this matter.

        Tesla has made it clear they’re building the Supercharger network, and its use is free.

        None of these mfrs has offered to step up and make such an offer for hydrogen.

        At least with EVs, the infrastructure is everywhere, is well-understood, and well-established. The space claim for a charging station is almost nil. Hydrogen filling stations will be large and expensive, and will need to be as plentiful as gas stations to make this work.

        At $8/gallon, the Honda Clarity gets 60 mpg. This works out to 26 mpg if you just drove a gasoline-powered car. So what’s the incentive – clean air? Nobody cares about that if they can’t buy the fuel. EVs have their limitations, but they fill a niche because they’re so easy to use and cheap to operate.

  • avatar
    probert

    If that beauty doesn’t sell the idea, nothing will.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    The comments here are pretty amazing, in basically the first 10 we’ve devolved into global warming is not real and Detroit is doomed because Toyota has figured out fuel cells.

  • avatar
    Dan R

    Looks like Flexor, Supreme Ruler of the Glaxxon Galaxy.
    Is this really the future?

  • avatar
    brandloyalty

    Producing hydrogen from coal is only remotely “clean” if you can store the CO2. No economically viable means of carbon sequestration will be available for many years,if ever.

    Bigtruckseriesreview raises several standard climate change denial/bogus arguments. Those and more (total of 174) can be cross-checked here:
    http://www.skepticalscience.com/argument.php

    Mass production of fuel cell cars, as posters have said, is dependent on a network of refueling stations. Such a network for just one country will cost billions of dollars, and will only be done if they’re paid for out of taxes. Industry is NOT going to pay for them.

    The insurance industry has yet to chime in on insuring fuel cell cars, let alone parking for them in buildings with adjacent or underground parking. Terrorists are going to love this stuff.

    As the lightest molecule, hydrogen is difficult to contain and rapidly leaks out of everywhere you try to store it. These losses severely reduce the utility of the stuff.


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