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.