Toyota Fuel Cell Sedan revealed

Toyota Fuel Cell Sedan front
25 Jun, 2014 10:30am Jordan Bishop

Toyota reveals exterior styling for its new hydrogen-powered Fuel Cell Sedan that’ll arrive here summer 2015

The final design for Toyota’s hydrogen-powered Fuel Cell Sedan has been revealed ahead of its Japanese launch in April of next year.

A limited number will make it over here for the summer of 2015 and although UK price and specification details are yet to be confirmed, in Japan the four-door saloon will start from around seven million yen, which works out at approximately £40,475. 

Based on the close-to-production FCV concept unveiled at last year’s Tokyo Motor Show, the Fuel Cell Sedan uses Toyota’s compact fuel cell stack and a pair of high-pressure hydrogen tanks.

Electricity is then generated from the chemical reaction between hydrogen and oxygen gathered from the air, with water vapour the only waste product created by driving.

Performance and range a match for petrol cars

The benefits aren’t purely emissions based, either. Toyota claims performance and range both match up closely to that of a petrol-engined vehicle, whilst refuelling takes roughly three minutes – a little way off internal combustion-powered cars, but well short of the lengthy charging time required for EVs.

The Japanese manufacturer also believes hydrogen has “great potential” as an alternative fuel because of how easily can be produced from energy sources like solar and wind power, as well as being straightforward to store and transport.

A claimed higher energy density than batteries and potential application beyond automotive use (such as in large-scale power generation) are likewise appealing.

Most economical cars

“We are very excited by the arrival of fuel cell technology,” commented Karl Schlicht, one of Toyota’s European executive vice presidents. “Of course there are many challenges ahead, such as the availability of fuelling infrastructure and customer awareness.” 

“In Europe we will be taking it step by step, gradually introducing the car in selected markets. But we are confident that hydrogen will become increasingly popular as a way of powering vehicles.”

Disqus - noscript

Oh dear, we are having a battle to see which manufacturer can come up with the most far-fetched idea today, aren't we? Still, not really much competition from the Volkswagen-Audi who had to invent the rotary damper generator...
Hydrogen "straightforward to store and transport"?. Sorry, perhaps I'm being slow, but let's suppose I've got a tanker lorry with a few thousand gallons of cryogenic fluid, close to absolute zero. Now I want to pour it into the storage tank at the petrol station. I'll just run it through a plastic hose then... except at that temperature, it's going to be just a bit brittle. Then I've got to get it into the car's fuel tank... No, AE, I think you and Toyota may have just slightly glossed over some of the very real engineering, materials and health and safety concerns. There's also the other very minor issue of the non-existent re-fuelling infrastructure. Slow news day?