By on June 25, 2014



Toyota’s first mass production fuel cell vehicle was unveiled today in Tokyo, prices from just under $70,000.

Specs and global pricing were not announced, but Toyota said the roll-out of the car would be initially limited to areas in Japan with hydrogen fueling infrastructure.  A roll-out in the United States and Europe is coming in 2015.

Despite many observers taking a bearish stance on fuel cells, Toyota is all-in on hydrogen, after ditching their EV program in 2012. The question is, what do they know that we don’t that is giving them such confidence about a technology many thought was dead in the water?

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27 Comments on “2015 Toyota FCV Unveiled, Priced From $68,688 In Japan...”

  • avatar

    Great. But why so ugly?

    This might be their ace for the next decade.
    70s – Landcruiser, pickups
    80s – Camry, corolla
    90s – Lexus,
    00s – Prius,
    10s- FCV?

  • avatar

    Were probably 20 years out from FCVs really being a viable option for the average joe. Electric cars are probably 5 years out before being viable for the average joe.

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      Hopefully in that time, Toyota hires better stylists. I’m convinced that any other automaker could have given it more palatable styling and still gotten the same coefficient of drag or cooling airflow…or whatever justification Toyota has for those ungainly looks.

    • 0 avatar

      We’ve be twenty years out on hydrogen-powered vehicles for twenty years.

      Normally, Toyota is pretty savvy at this sort of thing, but FCVs seem like a dead-end street.

    • 0 avatar

      They’re really all just electric vehicles. It comes down to refueling via a hydrogen pump versus a power plug versus a swappable battery pack.

      I have been led to believe hydrogen can be made directly from fossil fuels with lower net energy loss than generation/battery storage. Hydrogen is currently a royal pain to store, but that is the kind of problem an engineering organization like Toyota is maximally well suited to iteratively solve.

      • 0 avatar

        Given the head start batteries have over fuel cells, I don’t see fuel cells ever catching up, regardless of the advantages in infrastructure batteries already have. Also, I expect supercapacitors to be incorporated into BEVs’ energy storage to address some of batteries’ deficiencies.

        The problems of hydrogen storage has been around for the better part of a century. Toyota isn’t the first engineering team to tackle it. We already have workable solutions, and that’s what Toyota will roll out, but I don’t see them revolutionizing the tech.

  • avatar

    This car hasn’t changed at all since it turned up at the 2014 CES, has it?

    Anyway, that is the angriest hydrogen-powered vehicle I’ve ever seen. It looks like it wants to pop my skull like a bubble because I drive a Chevrolet Movie Theater instead of a blue Predator Darth Vader.

  • avatar

    I’m trying to think of a modern car with a more hideous taillight arrangement…. I got nothing.

  • avatar

    Sound the All Clear on the uglies…

    Last time around (June 9) TonyJZK provided this link for the real life version:

    Crouching Dragon, Hidden Gerbil

  • avatar

    $70,000? That’s not bad. I’m sure when it makes it to the US it’ll receive about $45,000 in taxpayer-backed incentives, to “ensure the technology gets a foothold in the market.”


  • avatar

    “…dead in the water?”

    I see what you did there

  • avatar

    I saw a hydrogen fuel cell powered Honda Civic in Kawasaki in 2004. Always wondered what Honda did with the technology. Looked like a regular Civic.

  • avatar

    Isn’t this fuel cell packaging quite compact? I wonder why they made the car with such a high beltline and hoodline since there isn’t even a tall petrol engine in the front.

  • avatar

    Here you go. This FCV is the industry wide game changer of the century. Sorry Ford … this is the game changer … not the Fusion.

    I bet Detroit will try to compete with the standard playbook … stuff more LEDs into the taillights, then inflate EPA MPG on the sticker.

    • 0 avatar

      Sorry, but I don’t know where to begin to disagree. Perhaps refuelling infrastructure? There are about 120k gas stations in the US. Even if you installed one tenth that number of hydrogen refuelling stations – heck, lets say one 20th – the cost would be around $12b. Alternatively, to instal the same number of rapid chargers for EVs would cost a mere $6m. Add to that the fact that you are still either using a fossil fuel (as that’s where all the H2 comes from at the moment) or, if you go down the electrolysis route to make H2 from water (which is getting scare enough as it is), you end up using more electrical energy than the H2 you are making contains. Hardly a very sustainable solution to our transport needs. Alternatively, EVs can use electricity with an efficiency of at least 4 times better than ICEVs and twice that of FCVs, so why bother? And you can’t make your own H2 on your roof like you can with electricity. If there is going to be any game changing, it won’t be because of FCVs!

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    Oh dear. This FCV is one car that I wish had strayed far from the concept. It doesn’t even have the eco-chic styling of the Prius, C-Max, Volt, i3 or Leaf (each of which may or may not be good-looking, depending on who you ask). This FCV is just plain ugly. It looks like a nineties’ reject with LED lights.

  • avatar

    Looks like a baked corrola from the front.

  • avatar

    I predict hydrogen cars will be a dead end. In most cases, operating a hydrogen car will be much more expensive than operating a BEV for the simple reason that generating electricity and storing it in a battery is way cheaper than making/compressing/storing hydrogen.

    While these are technically interesting, that’s not enough to change the big economic and infrastructure disadvantage.

    And for the price they’re asking, they’re competing with the Tesla Model S.

    I’d rather have a Tesla. With a Tesla, I could refuel/recharge it at home right now… and the range is more than good enough to use it as a daily driver. Also… no explosion risk.

    With a hydrogen car, I wouldn’t be able to refuel at home and there are no stations near me. And I don’t like the idea of driving a car with a tank pressurized to 5000+ psi. There’s always some explosion risk when you’re dealing with pressures like that… even if it’s plain air.

  • avatar

    I would like this if it had more of a Buick Verano-esque rear and the new WRX engine.

  • avatar

    I’m all for fuel cell cars, but seriously, Toyota, learn from Tesla. Make your car a premium car and sell it on hype. This is one of the most ugly cars I have ever seen from any time period. There is no excuse for this rolling abomination.

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