While the cost of building a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle continues to go down over time, reports over the last few years have steadily maintained that the first Toyota hydrogen-powered vehicles for customers should ring up for around $50,000. Company officials cited this figure way back in 2010, and have reiterated it in subsequent years.

So, while a recent Automotive News report about the cost of Toyota's 2015 Hydrogen car doesn't offer up any new figures, it does offer an interesting pricing wrinkle. According to the report, the "cost factor" for the hydrogen vehicles will be in the $50k ballpark, meaning the retail price could be anywhere from there, up to as much as around $100,000.

While certainly not inexpensive, being able to produce a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle for fifty large is a pretty massive improvement over the prototype cost of a few years ago, when the sticker was about $1 million a pop. While these very expensive prototypes are based on previous-generation Highlanders (pictured above), we're told to expect that the final product will be a lot more in line with the Prius, as far as size and shape.



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  • 123 Comments
      vietnamvet1967
      • 1 Year Ago
      And the States will find away to Tax them for not enough Gas use
      Spec
      • 1 Year Ago
      That is a pretty wide range.
      kingswincup
      • 1 Year Ago
      The big problem here is where the hydrogen comes from. I wouldn't have a problem if they were electrolyzing water, however the hydrogen in this case comes from steam reformation of natural gas. When you take the h4 out of CH4 you are left with carbon that you don't want
        aeheywood
        • 1 Year Ago
        @kingswincup
        "The big problem here is where the hydrogen comes from." Absolutely agreed. But until electrolyzing water ,or photodissociation of water, is a reality natural gas in an ICE is an immediate carbon reduction on gasoline, as Snowdog suggests. It's done in Australia, their huge Land Trains included.
      Annika
      • 1 Year Ago
      At that price I'll stick with a hybrid or an EV. If I buy a brand-new Prius for $25K I'd have to go through at least another $25K worth of gas before I'd even reach the bottom sticker price of the Hydrogen car. With a plug-in hybrid that would take a while, with an EV even longer. So, no thanks!
        Chris M
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Annika
        What makes matters worse is that the per-mile fuel cost for hydrogen is similar to the per-mile fuel cost for the gasoline equivalent, so you wouldn't save much if anything on fuel costs. (Hydrogen costs $8 to $13 per Kg, which is the energy equivalent of a gallon of gas, but fuel cell vehicles are twice as efficient, which cancels out the higher cost) Electricity, on the other hand, is significantly less expensive, the equivalent of 70 cents a gallon, so there is significant potential savings for plug-ins.
          Marco Polo
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Chris M
          @ Chris M The object of Hydrogen is not to save you money at the pump, but to provide an environmentally more acceptable alternative to gasoline. Obviously, as H2 became more widespread it's price would stabilise and the price of the vehicles would reduce with volume manufacture. H2 vehicles have one enormous advantage over EV's, the fill-up time is identical to gasoline. I still favour EV technology, but the release of a $50,000 must be recognised as an advance for Hydrogen Tecnology as an alternate fuel.
      Jesse Gurr
      • 1 Year Ago
      The best use for hydrogen would be for heavy duty tractor-trailer trucks. Could you imagine the battery required to get any kind of decent range out of a big rig. Thats what I think. H2 for passenger cars is not worth it.
        Letstakeawalk
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Jesse Gurr
        Large trucks are an obvious benefactor of FCV tech. So are large sedans.
      mike
      • 1 Year Ago
      Screw that idea for us average people. Whatever happened to the guys who invented 50 miles per gal. for gas fueled cars many years ago? Every year we seem to get more gas milage, strange isnt it? The technoligy is there people, just big profit oil companies stand in the way.
        2 wheeled menace
        • 1 Year Ago
        @mike
        Actually, emissions controls and safety features helped squish fuel economy in the 1990's to 2000's. You could buy a car in the early 1990's that may have been a bit of a tin can, but could squeeze 40-50mpg out of a very primitive engine, and still have half decent power. It's been an uphill battle to produce better and better emissions numbers from gasoline cars, plus the average economy car has gained about 500-800lbs in the past 2 decades due to safety requirements. So you have a safer car that stinks less but gets the same fuel economy.. Coincidentally, CNG cars have been around for a long time and CNG, per gasoline gallon equivalent is about half the price of gas... and they emit less.. but those haven't been popular. No conspiracy there - people just haven't bought them, but why?
      EJD1984
      • 1 Year Ago
      Does anyone know what the build cost is for the Honda FCX Clarity? I know you can only lease it for around $600 monthly, but there has to some information of the cost of vehicle. See if it compares to this proposed Toyota.
        coolwubla
        • 1 Year Ago
        @EJD1984
        They are not selling it.. My guess is they are loosing so much money on them that they want are basically beta testing them on people so they get the parts back at the end.
          Chris M
          • 1 Year Ago
          @coolwubla
          Two, eh? That brings them up to a grand total of 22. Of course that is well shy of their original announced plan to have 200 produced and leased by now. Mark me down as underwhelmed.
          EJD1984
          • 1 Year Ago
          @coolwubla
          I know Honda isn't selling the FCX, just curious as to how much it's costing Honda to build each vehicle.
          Letstakeawalk
          • 1 Year Ago
          @coolwubla
          How you feel about FCVs is irrelevant.
          Letstakeawalk
          • 1 Year Ago
          @coolwubla
          Two have been sold/leased this year, according to another ABG post "By the Numbers".
      GasMan
      • 1 Year Ago
      Car companies have lots of smart people and they keep working on hydrogen technology. What am I missing? A typical process runs like this: Get some water or CNG. Run lots of electricity through it to make Hydrogen. (lots of energy) Capture the hydrogen. Compress and liquefy it. (lots of energy) Deliver it by truck (or someday pipeline) to a fueling center. (lots of energy) Pump it into a car. Burn it, producing only water as a tailpipe emission. (the only advantage over gasoline) The electricity to run this process creates more pollution than a clean-burning internal combustion engine so it is not green. If you have all this electricity or natural gas, why not just run your car off it? Electric cars are developing so fast this technology will be obsolete before it ever makes it to your garage.
        montiem2
        • 1 Year Ago
        @GasMan
        Fuel cells don't burn hydrogen. They produce electricity, taking H and O and making water and electricity
          Letstakeawalk
          • 1 Year Ago
          @montiem2
          How much faster do you anticipate BEVs will get in regards to charging? The Tesla Supercharger - astoundingly fast charger - can only add 4-5 miles per minute. (265-300 mile range, one hour charge) http://www.teslamotors.com/charging This Toyota FCHV-adv can refill from a hydrogen dispenser at about 80 miles per minute. (400 mile range, 5 minute fill) http://www.nrel.gov/hydrogen/pdfs/toyota_fchv-adv_range_verification.pdf
          GasMan
          • 1 Year Ago
          @montiem2
          methos, fair enough. You can produce hydrogen on-site from CNG or water and electricity. It is still far less efficient than using the electricity directly in the vehicle. Given that we have quality functional electric cars today, what is more likely? The electric car gets more refined (faster charge, longer range, lower cost) More electric chargers are built out (an ongoing process today) or An entire infrastructure of hydrogen fueling centers are built (with all that hydrogen generating equipment) Hydrogen cars (not currently a commercial product) are refined for better packaging and lower cost
          methos1999
          • 1 Year Ago
          @montiem2
          @GasMan montiem2 is correct, fuel cells don't "burn" hydrogen. They do combine hydrogen and oxygen, but they don't produce power via the heat released - the hydrogen proton passes through a membrane, while the electron out through a current collector, hence producing the electricity. Also, I believe your fuel chain is misleading. Also your description of the hydrogen supply chain shows a lack of understanding, worst case scenario is like this: Get water to station via existing infrastructure Split water directly to high pressure hydrogen (yes, energy intensive) Store in on-site tanks High pressure gas flows to low pressure empty car tank Recombine with oxygen in efficient FC process Your mistake is assuming many of the processes can't be done on-site, and that you need several pumping steps. Gases go from high pressure tanks to low pressure tanks without the need to compress. It's like pumping water up a hill - do it once, and gravity takes car of bringing it back down.
          GasMan
          • 1 Year Ago
          @montiem2
          "Burn" = combine with oxygen in an exothermic reaction to create energy and heat. A classic "burn" creates kinetic energy. A fuel cell "burn" produces electricity that must run through a motor to create kinetic energy. Another inefficiency of the hydrogen fuel cell process.
          methos1999
          • 1 Year Ago
          @montiem2
          @GasMan Also, forgot to mention your biggest mistake about the pumping is that it is very energy intensive. Electrolysis systems can produce hydrogen roughly at the pressure of the source water, and since water is an incompressible fluid (as opposed to ideal gases), it's actually quite efficient to compress the source water (think hydraulic equipment).
        The Wasp
        • 1 Year Ago
        @GasMan
        I don't think you understand. "The only emission is water from the tailpipe." Plain old water. /s
          GasMan
          • 1 Year Ago
          @The Wasp
          That would be great if you lived on the sun where hydrogen is free and plentiful and water is really really scarce!
        Dave
        • 1 Year Ago
        @GasMan
        Here's Toyota's well-to-wheels comparison using natural gas: http://bioage.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8341c4fbe53ef0120a5ba443f970b-800wi Toyota of Australia wants to use brown coal to produce hydrogen. And, in the long term, nuclear power will produce plenty of hydrogen using the SI process (much more efficient than electrolysis).
          GasMan
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Dave
          Thank you for some real information. I would like to see a comparison of CNG cars on the chart. They would have a very high Well to Tank efficiency since there is no conversion required and a Tank to Wheel efficiency equivalent to gasoline (or hybrid if you built a CNG Prius).
          Letstakeawalk
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Dave
          "Yes. I believe that, in the short run, a natural gas hybrid could have the best well-to-wheels emissions." That's a real squeaker, there! An FCV is 2-3x as efficient as an ICE, so even a hybrid-CNG would be hard-pressed to match an FCV. "This calculation assumes that the NGV has the same fuel economy running on natural gas as it does on gasoline. However, the EPAƂ [2] lists the Honda Civic GX NGV at 29.39 mpg combined cycle (24 mpg city and 36 mpg highway) but 24.8 mpgge (21 mpg city and 29 mpg highway) for the gasoline Civic, or a 1.187 times improvement in fuel economy running on natural gas for a dedicated NGV (engine optimized for running on natural gas, as opposed to a dual-fuel engine). If we apply this same improvement factor to the natural gas SUV, then the 2.325 to one advantage of the FCEV calculated above is reduced to 1.99--a given quantity of natural gas will propel a FCEV 1.99 times farther than it will propel am optimized NGV of the same size and body characteristics (aerodynamic drag and rolling resistance)." http://www.cleancaroptions.com/html/natural_gas_efficiency.html Clearly, somebody needs to build a hybrid-CNG so some actual data can be collected!
      Ryan
      • 1 Year Ago
      This could be the only thing Toyota has done since the Supra that I am legitimately excited about. Hydrogen cars should be the way of the future, and should supplement gasoline vehicles so that gasoline vehicles can continue to exist. I know Honda has done work in this area, it is nice to see Toyota doing it as well, and I hope that the Big 3 can produce cars that run on hydrogen as well.
        GasMan
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Ryan
        Please explain why you believe hydrogen cars should be the way of the future. It's not all about tailpipe emissions and if it was, why not just go electric?
        Ryan
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Ryan
        This could get confusing if I say something about hydrogen cars being a distraction and impractical. I probably should have picked a more unique user name... Maybe I will have to add a picture. There will be serious range anxiety and you can't even try to make it back to your house to refill.
      v6sonoma
      • 1 Year Ago
      I'm surprised manufacturers are still pushing for fuel cell tech. It seems like more of a waste of resources since it still basically relies on fossil fuels, but I suppose the research has it's applications. It just doesn't make sense to me as a viable option for the masses though since other options like electric and hybrid already have a pretty good infrastructure built out to make them a realistic option.
        Letstakeawalk
        • 1 Year Ago
        @v6sonoma
        ".... It seems like more of a waste of resources since it still basically relies on fossil fuels..." As do the vast majority of BEVs, based on the current grid production. However, both BEV and FCV technologies have the ability to use energy sources other than fossil fuels, allowing for a gradual transition away from them over the longer term.
          Letstakeawalk
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Letstakeawalk
          "I haven't seen numbers on conversion efficiency..." I'm calling BS here. 2WM has been shown countless amounts of data, ad infinitum, and still professes ignorance. Absurd. SMR production of hydrogen is generally around 70-75% efficient. "When starting with natural gas, SMR is approximately 72% efficient in producing hydrogen on a lower heating value basis (U.S. DOE, 2010)." http://www.cleanenergystates.org/assets/2011-Files/Hydrogen-and-Fuel-Cells/CESA-Lipman-H2-prod-storage-050311.pdf SMR is an extremely good use of natural gas, because you get a greater percentage of energy out of it from using the hydrogen in a fuel cell than you would in any other use of the natural gas. Simply put, using natural gas (into hydrogen) in a fuel cell is a better option than burning it.
          Letstakeawalk
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Letstakeawalk
          "TOKYO (Nikkei)--Fuji Electric Co. (6504) has developed a system that uses methane gas produced at sewage treatment facilities to generate power, with plans to get municipalities and factories to adopt the technology. The firm's new device extracts hydrogen from methane gas. Fuji Electric will combine this hardware with industrial-use 100kw fuel cells to create a generation system that costs about 70 million yen -- 40% less than the gas engines typically employed for in-house power generation at sewage treatment plants. The system is highly efficient and quiet, reducing soundproofing costs." http://e.nikkei.com/e/fr/tnks/Nni20130502D0205A21.htm 2WM - "You can't ignore economics. They come into play in every decision." You're right. It's cheaper to buy a system from Fuji to create hydrogen, than it is to buy a gas turbine. On top of that, you've got your government *requiring* you to make a certain amount of hydrogen... as well as giving you pretty good rates on the feed-in tariff on the electricity you generate. No wonder all the big industrial electrical suppliers are so gung-ho on creating stationary fuel cells to generate electricity - SOFCs which also can very easily provide steady streams of hydrogen gas as a side product.
          Gordon Chen
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Letstakeawalk
          Unlike BEVs, when you remove hydrogen from fossil fuel, the gasoline (missing the hydrogen) now has less energy content. You didn't gain anything. Also, BEVs require platinum, which is expensive. Palladium is the only other alternative, and it sucks. BEVs are just PR material to draw in more investor money. No different than the sales man who goes town to town telling people he has a prototype for a perpetual motion machine. BEVs are vaporware.
          Gordon Chen
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Letstakeawalk
          Correction, I meant "FCV" not "BEV" for the second two paragraphs. #oops
          2 wheeled menace
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Letstakeawalk
          1 problem.. Thus far, generating hydrogen renewable is very very expensive, compared to producing it via conversion of fossil fuels. Whereas generating electricity on your roof is approximately cost comparable to paying your electric company to provide it for you.. So yes, you can produce Hydrogen renewably, it's just really expensive and impractical, ~99% of all hydrogen produced currently comes from fossil fuels. You can't ignore economics. They come into play in every decision. The economics of Hydrogen are extremely poor.
          2 wheeled menace
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Letstakeawalk
          A FCV is more efficient than an ICE, but you lose a bunch of energy on the way from natural gas to hydrogen, you also use a lot of energy to do the conversion as well.. I haven't seen numbers on conversion efficiency, but as with all conversions of one type of energy to another, it is probably quite bad.
      Andrew Richard Rose
      • 1 Year Ago
      By the time this comes to market Tesla will have over 100k Model S's on the road and will probably be flogging it with a 500 mile battery to say nothing of the Model X and the forthcoming smaller new car . Fuel Cell does not seem to have much of a future !
        icemilkcoffee
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Andrew Richard Rose
        500mile battery? Do you know something the rest of us dont?
          bonehead
          • 1 Year Ago
          @icemilkcoffee
          no he knows what we all know. i think you may not know what the rest of us do. It will not be long before battery tech is advanced enough to get 500miles on a charge. It could be done now just not cost effectively yet.
          macutty
          • 1 Year Ago
          @icemilkcoffee
          He knows that Musk has been spouting off again and that his deciples preach his every word as gospel.
        chanonissan
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Andrew Richard Rose
        I would not agree, because the two technology is still in development, the cost of fuel cell will go down also the cost of batteries.
      PeterScott
      • 1 Year Ago
      The big problem selling Hydrogen Vehicles to anyone but Hydrogen fanatics is that PHEV/EREV already provide better real world solutions to the same problems, for less money, available today, without need for the massive infrastructure spend. By the time you can buy the first expensive HFCV, limited to fuel at a few select locations, there will be numerous PHEV/EREVs that you can dual fuel everywhere for much less money. Inexpensive Short EV range PHEVs like PHEV Prius, Ford Energi models, Plug in Accord, etc... Longer EV commute range EREVs like Chev Volt, Caddilac ELR, Volvo V60 Plug in, Audi A3 E-Tron, The HFCV is looking to solve an already solved problem at MUCH greater expense, at some future date.
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