Hydrogen Fuel Cells

Published on June 25th, 2014 | by Christopher DeMorro

The Toyota FCV Will Cost $69,000 And Refills In 3 Minutes

June 25th, 2014 by  

Toyota_FCV_02The production version of the Toyota FCV has been revealed, and to Toyota’s credit, it has retained much of the concept’s edgy look. While no interior photos have yet been revealed, the Toyota FCV will cost around $69,000 here in the U.S.

Production is set to begin in December, with initial sales limited to the California area, the only place in the country to have anything resembling a hydrogen fueling infrastructure. Toyota is claiming a range of 300 miles between fill-ups, which can take as little as 3 minutes, and 0 to 60 MPH will be in the ten second range.

The $69,000 price means it will still have to compete against the Tesla Model S, though its admittedly less than I thought it would cost. Can Toyota make a case for hydrogen fuel cells over battery electric cars at a time when Tesla is dominating the news cycle? The sole benefit of hydrogen seems to be the fast refueling time, something electric cars have improved by leaps and bounds in the past four years.

Is faster refilling enough to justify the switch to an entirely new and energy-intensive source of fuel? Does Toyota really think the FCV is setting the next 100 years of automotive innovation into motion?

Toyota_FCV_03 Toyota_FCV_04 Toyota_FCV

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About the Author

A writer and gearhead who loves all things automotive, from hybrids to HEMIs, can be found wrenching or writing- or else, he's running, because he's one of those crazy people who gets enjoyment from running insane distances.

  • Leo S.

    The cost for fuel may still be as high as gasoline. The fueling stations will have to be built and it is said they will be expensive and also that the hydrogen is apt to evaporate more readily from the gas tank. Electricity needed to produce hydrogen could be used by EVs or plugins and is available in most homes already. Will hydrogen fuel be the new ethanol?

    • Republic

      Hydrogen is already like ethanol, a political darling with little to no environmental benefit at best, and a technological version of astroturfing that distracts from BEV innovation at worst.

      • Bi-Polar Bear

        You may be right. However, the Japanese government has gone all in on hydrogen power as the fuel of the future. Why, I don’t know. Perhaps they are planning to use cheap electricity from one of their many nuclear power plants to produce the hydrogen needed to make their strategy work?????

        • Republic

          The Japanese government may be beholden to hydrogen proponents the way American officials are beholden to ethanol interests. As for why, I don’t know either. Hydrogen cars make no sense from an engineering standpoint when compared to much cheaper and more reliable natural gas cars. Bonus: there is already a robust distribution system for natural gas.

          • Bi-Polar Bear

            Governments beholden to special interests? I am shocked, sir. SHOCKED, I say! ; )

            Though I am constrained to say I take no comfort from the use of natural gas, knowing the environmental concerns that flow (you should pardon the expression) from extracting it. It may burn cleaner than gasoline, granted. But obtaining it tortures the Earth. I can’t really see that as anything but the shortest of short term alternatives.

          • Republic

            I totally agree. Natural gas is an apt comparison for hydrogen because they both have similar environmental impacts, whereas gas at least is a proven technology that is much cheaper to manufacture. H2 is a dead-end technology; why pay the massive premium for no environmental gain?

            As for electrolyzed H2, that adds an extra step of inefficiency to a battery EV, just as gas-derived H2 adds an extra and expensive step to CNG combustion.

          • UncleB

            Aluminum billets and air provide
            electricity for this car!

            A whole other kettle of fish! nuclear power used to create Aluminum metals, transposed to cars, and the remaining sludge, totally recyclable?
            Imagine now, a Wind Farm producing Aluminum billets, and Wind powered cars? Technically possible in this new age, and fewer American deaths from carcinogenic benzine(gasoline) exposure?

          • UncleB

            In the U.S.A. but China the largest car market is seeking to eliminate fossil fuel engines to reduce smog.

        • UncleB

          Do a u-tube search titled “thorium reactor documentary” to get informed. Understand that U.S. is no longer the only or biggest car market on earth and gasoline(22% efficient) is no longer the king of fuels.

      • Wiggletoes

        First generation corn ethanol is the bridge to second generation “renewable” cellulosic ethanol and corn ethanol replaced MTBE in gasoline which was poisoning ground water.

  • Wiggletoes

    The Stock Analyst
    research states, “Fuel cells represent an exciting and
    dynamic industry that could alter the way we produce and use energy for
    residential and commercial consumption, transportation, electronic devices, and
    more.” The main
    advantage of fuel cell cars is the water vapor exhaust while 40% of electricity
    is made from coal in US and please don’t forget the initial FC cars get 2 – 3 times
    the mileage of conventional cars but with regen braking and super capacitors
    will get 3 – 4 times the mileage and the super-capacitors also quickens
    acceleration to BEV rates. FC cars, light trucks, tractor trailer
    trucks, buses, and trains is more significant than the 30% carbon reduction
    recently announced by the President because FC are in general 3 time as efficient as the engines they are
    replacing meaning a 50 – 67% reduction potential in the total transportation
    sector while there will be no BE trains and long haul tractor trucks. Oh and H2
    currently cost $5kg in CA but is project at $2 – $4 so with appropriate subsidies
    FC cars should cost about the same as conventional cars and their fuel cost
    should be about $1/gal therefore FC cars are potentially the next and most
    significant ever “Big Bang Disruption.”

  • gendotte

    Everyone seems to miss the point that YOU CAN MAKE YOUR OWN HYDROGEN AT HOME! Sure, the tech isn’t quite there, but it will come. The biggest hurdle will be over the oil companies not being able to make a buck out of it.
    That being said, the steam locomotive manufacturers once combined to keep GM out of the steam locomotive business. You see how well that worked out.

    • Wiggletoes

      It’s a good idea to
      keep separate people and rotating equipment, especially that which is processing
      explosive combustibles. That
      said, Exxon positioned themselves many years ago to be able to under price any
      H2 that can be produced in sufficient quantities at home so initially H2 will
      be reformed from natural gas and Exxon is the largest natural gas supplier in
      the country but beyond that Exxon has the technology to make renewable H2 in
      commercial quantities from engineered one cell organisms they’ve found that expel
      hydrogen as a waste product.

      • gendotte

        While I agree with that in principle, many people are quite capable of safely producing their own hydrogen. You can buy or you can produce. 50 years from now people will be wondering why there was all the fuss.

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