Toyota is slated to release its first fuel cell vehicle in 2015, and the price is expected to be in the range of $50,000 to $100,000. While that is still a lot of money, it is far cheaper than the estimated $1 million the first prototype fuel cell vehicles cost to build.
Depending on if the price is actually closer to $50,000 or $100,000, Toyota could conceivably mass produce fuel cell vehicles in the near future. But even if the cost comes down, fuel cells are a long way off from viability, and manufacturers put them on the back burner years ago and decided (with some government prodding) to go with electric vehicles instead. Electric vehicles intended for the masses are currently in the $30,000 to $40,000 range, but are now falling into the $25,000 range. That said, the government now seems ready to give hydrogen fuel vehicles a helping hand as well.
This hydrogen fuel cell vehicle will be based on the FCV-R concept. The FCV-R concept is a four-door sedan (shaped like a Prius) unlike the current test fleet of fuel cell-powered Toyota Highlanders. An updated version of the FCV-R will be displayed at the upcoming Tokyo Motor Show, but a lack of hydrogen refueling infrastructure may limit the vehicle’s initial sales to California and New York. Even there, the number of hydrogen fueling stations are few and far between.
Even so, Toyota still expects to sell 2,000 of these vehicles when they enter the market. Depending on the actual price, they could sell even more. Toyota has been saying for years that it intends to sell these fuel cell vehicles in the $50,000 price range. It’d be surprising if they didn’t at this point. But would you buy one?
Source: Automotive News