Third-gen Toyota FCHV-adv – Click above for high-res image gallery

Toyota has reportedly cut the cost of its current fuel-cell prototype, the FCHV-adv, down to ten million yen, ($129,270 U.S. at the current exchange rate). This is according to a Toyota engineer who spoke with Ward's Auto at the Center for Automotive Research's Management Briefing Seminars in Traverse City, MI.

In the past, Toyota targeted a price point of $50,000 for its ready-by-2015 production fuel cell sedan, but that's the price at which Toyota intends to sell the vehicle to the public and has no direct connection to production costs.

That's not to say that progress has not been made. In fact, Toyota says that moving production of hydrogen storage tanks in-house has reduced costs and sped up the process. Justin Ward, Toyota's advanced powertrain program manager, told Ward's Auto that:
What we've done is looked at the best wrapping machines out there in the industry, and we've developed our own, [which] is six times faster than the current state-of-the-art. And production quality is much, much better. We have less variance across our batches. So we think we're going to have a significant advantage on the tanks and reducing the cost of the vehicle.
Ward declined to comment on whether or not Toyota will stick to its targeted $50,000 price tag, but did say that further cost reductions can be realized between now and 2015.


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Photos by Sebastian Blanco / Copyright ©2010 AOL

[Source: Ward's Auto]


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