Toyota has been teasing its upcoming hydrogen fuel cell sedan – due in 2015, maybe, see below – for years. The information we've heard is that the car will have a 300-mile range and cost between $50,000 and $100,000, but the one thing we haven't had is a glimpse of what it will look like. That changes now.

Pictured above is the hydrogen-powered Toyota FCV (Fuel Cell Vehicle) Concept, the precursor to the vehicle that Toyota firmly believes will become the next Prius. The actual vehicle will be on display at the Tokyo Motor Show later this month, but we can see here that the H2-drinking concept melds the swoopy sides of recent Hyundai sedans, the front end from an exaggerated Ford and the bottom rear triangle from the Chevy Volt. We like the interesting line that looks like an exposed speaker stretching from the headlights to the A-pillar and the Hybrid Synergy Drive-like logo on the back side. Overall, it looks futuristic yet reasonable and is much closer to the car that we'll see on the road in a few years than the FCV-R concept from 2011.

In the accompanying press release (available below), we learn a few new tidbits about the four-seat FCV concept. The fuel cell stack uses two 70 MPa high-pressure hydrogen tanks and has a "power output density of 3 kW/l, more than twice that of the current 'Toyota FCHV-adv' FC Stack." Most interesting, though, is that Toyota says the fuel cell vehicle is scheduled for launch "around 2015." Toyota has confirmed to us that the 2015 date remains solid, but should something change, don't say you weren't warned.
Show full PR text
Toyota to Display New Concept Vehicles at Tokyo Motor Show

Tokyo, Japan, November 5, 2013-Toyota Motor Corporation will display seven concept cars in its Toyota-brand exhibit at the 43rd Tokyo Motor Show. The show, to be held at Tokyo Big Sight in Koto Ward, Tokyo, will run from November 20 to December 11.

Under the slogan "Fun to Drive, Again,"2 the concept vehicles are aimed to convey Toyota's vision of a future mobility society that values the joy of driving. The Toyota-brand vehicles on display will underline Toyota's efforts to contribute to society while creating ever-better cars that exceed expectations.

The Toyota-brand display will include a concept version of the fuel cell vehicle scheduled for launch around 2015, as well as next-generation taxi designed with usability in mind and a concept car that connects with its driver in an easy-to-use, intuitive manner.

Overview of Toyota-brand Display Vehicles to Debut at the Tokyo Motor Show
The booth will also feature the "i-Road," a personal mobility vehicle which made its world debut at the Geneva Motor Show in March this year, and the "FT-86 Open Concept," a rear-wheel-drive sports convertible.

1 Press days: November 20 – November 21; special guest day: November 22; preview night (invitation only): November 22; public days: November 23 – December 1
2 A play on the Toyota-brand catchphrase "Fun to Drive", which was used in domestic Japanese advertisements from 1984 through 1987; the slogan was also used at the 2011 Tokyo Motor Show


1. Toyota FCV Concept (world premiere)

The Toyota FCV Concept is a practical concept of the fuel cell vehicle Toyota plans to launch around 2015 as a pioneer in the development of hydrogen-powered vehicles. The concept boasts a driving range of at least 500 km and refueling times as low as three minutes, roughly the same time as a gasoline vehicle.

The vehicle's exterior design takes cues from a catamaran and evokes flowing water. The front view features air intakes on each side that symbolize the "taking in air, emitting water" function of the cutting-edge technology. The side view conveys this air-to-water transformation with its flowing-liquid door profile and wave-motif fuel cap, while the rear view conveys a catamaran's stern.

With Toyota's proprietary small, light-weight FC Stack and two 70 MPa high-pressure hydrogen tanks placed beneath the specially designed body, the Toyota FCV Concept can accommodate up to four passengers.

The Toyota FC Stack boasts power output density of 3 kW/l, more than twice that of the current "Toyota FCHV-adv" FC Stack. In addition, the FC system is equipped with Toyota's high-efficiency boost converter. Increasing the voltage made it possible to reduce the size of the motor and the number of FC cells, leading to a smaller FC system with enhanced performance at reduced cost.

Vehicle name

Length (mm)

Width (mm)

Height (mm)

Wheelbase (mm)

Occupancy

Toyota FCV Concept

4,870

1,810

1,535

2,780

4



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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 89 Comments
      goodoldgorr
      • 1 Year Ago
      This is the nec ultra of car technology, the look is good too. It is not the simplistic ill-define typical bev that have already declining sales after been subsidised from researchs to retail sales. It will be a success.
        speddedler
        • 1 Year Ago
        @goodoldgorr
        Babelfish?
          Chris M
          • 1 Year Ago
          @speddedler
          No, just Gorr being Gorr. Actually, that is one of his better posts, he often makes lists of irrelevant items, but this time it made a bit more sense.
      Jon
      • 1 Year Ago
      Well it would be rather impressive if they did accomplish this at the stated price range in 2015. For the same price as a Model S you get the same range. Then people will realize that hydrogen is nearly as expensive as gasoline and available nowhere while electricity is 1/3 the cost and available everywhere.
      throwback
      • 1 Year Ago
      Oh dear. I guess form follows function is what is at work here, because this thing looks awful.
      goodoldgorr
      • 1 Year Ago
      This car along with batteries might push gasoline prices down. Im therefor interrested to buy but later on.
        bonehead
        • 1 Year Ago
        @goodoldgorr
        "buy but" is the appropriate phrase for purchasing this car used. But you left out the second "t"
      pickles
      • 1 Year Ago
      I think it's cool to develop evolving tech. With hope, it will trickle down into common cars. However, Toyota made a pretty strong statement a few years ago that [by 2011 (or 2012)] all their cars would have hybrid variants. Obviously that hasn't happened. Where are those cars for today? I'd love a SIenna that got 35+mpg. A pickup truck which topped 30? Brilliant. I just see opportunities for development money to be spent on more impactful projects. Maybe Toyota should shift to truely usable effecient vehicles.
        SteveG
        • 1 Year Ago
        @pickles
        Part of this blame goes to the EPA. We have a test setup that does not even account for stopping the engine when the vehicle is stopped. This simple technology improves real world city mileage, but their test totally ignores it and thus makes non-hybrid cars look more competitive in mpg than they really are.
      Scooter
      • 1 Year Ago
      Remember the first Prius? Terrible looking car with a high price tag, I guess Toyota is looking for a repeat.
      dxrx
      • 1 Year Ago
      Did Homer Simpson design this thing? I actually think his car was better.
      Marcopolo
      • 1 Year Ago
      With each new model, there are always those who feel obliged to tell the world they think the model is 'ugly'. Looks are pretty subjective. If all Toyota products, were ugly, and terrible, Toyota wouldn't be the world's largest auto-maker ! This hydrogen-powered Toyota FCV is only a concept car at the present time, and is one of a handful of such vehicles from various manufacturers to answer the question of whether an "affordable" FCV can be profitably produced. The ultimate styling of these vehicles will be refined as production becomes a reality.
        FloppyRunner
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Marcopolo
        Not to mention that on a car like this, aesthetics are just about my last concern. It's about the technology in this case, not whether or not it looks pretty.
        Dave
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Marcopolo
        "With each new model, there are always those who feel obliged to tell the world they think the model is 'ugly'. " Aside from the appearance, there isn't much else to comment on here. Hopefully we'll have some serious info (miles per kg, intro date, msrp....) when the Tokyo show comes around.
      raughle1
      • 1 Year Ago
      Seems like the fuel cell hype collapsed under its own weight years ago. Somebody send Toyota the memo.
        Sasparilla Fizz
        • 1 Year Ago
        @raughle1
        There's still lots of government funded money that is keeping all this alive here in the U.S. (lobbied for by the interested companies - fossil fuel industry, auto industry) - I'm guessing its the same in Japan and Germany as well.
      JakeY
      • 1 Year Ago
      "But that's not the point ! FCV's were originally conceived to met the requirements of operating as zero emission vehicles. FCV technology avoids range anxiety problems for passenger , commercial and heavy vehicles, while providing lower operating costs. " The thing is, the only place that requires ZEVs is California and a few other CARB states and compliance EVs will easily fill those quotas for the foreseeable future (Tesla's already expecting to have little to no ZEV credit sales going forward). "The cost of infrastructure is incidental. If FCV's can be produced at only a small premium over existing ICE models, then companies like Shell (who already has an H2 infrastructure budget of $15.6 billion ) will invest in the necessary infrastructure to sell H2." The problem is they aren't going to invest any significant money (esp. without cost sharing) until others prove to them that FCVs are going to be accepted by the market (and they actually accomplish those cost goals in the real world). That's why hydrogen infrastructure is still completely grant funded right now. And relying on grant funding won't be enough to build anything but a very small base network (like what CA is doing), certainly not something that can achieve the advertised goals of the vehicle (something as convenient and cheap as gasoline vehicles for long trips). "The cost of building the infrastructure, is not the concern of the FCV owner. " The existence of it is though, and that's tied into cost. People may not realize that yet, but I bet they will be asking about infrastructure when they actually seriously consider buying (instead of saying they might be interested). If the costs were 10x lower then that can make a huge difference (for example just one year of grants would be enough to establish the entire planned network in CA).
      DaveMart
      • 1 Year Ago
      Jake Y: You are confounding infrastructure at filling stations with the distribution network. My remarks referred to the latter. LPG could also easily be rolled out. It is only the Americans who make a big deal of anything other than gas pumps,
      SteveG
      • 1 Year Ago
      How is it similar to LPG? Does LPG embrittle metal? Is LPG lighter than air and thus require special vented roofs over fueling areas? Either way h2 is coming from natural gas, why not just use that?
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