We know that Toyota is gung-ho about delivering its first hydrogen fuel cell sedan to early-adopter markets like southern California and part of Japan next year. The Japanese automaker's European H2 plans have long been part of the mix, but a new press release shows just how committed Toyota is to hydrogen all around the world.

"The volume will be limited, but they will be visible on the streets" – Didier Leroy

Toyota says hydrogen fuel cells are a "major, but logical next step" after the company's pioneering work on gas-electric hybrids for 15 years. Didier Leroy, president of Toyota Motor Europe (pictured), said in a statement that he knows there will be H2 hurdles, and so Toyota will start with "a reasonable number of cars" in Europe. "The volume will be limited," he said, "but they will be visible on the streets."

Karl Schlicht, Toyota Motor Europe executive vice president, compares Toyota's current hydrogen progress with where the company was with hybrid's in the not-too-distant past. When it comes to infrastructure and cost, he said, "There is of course a long way to go, as with any game-changing technology, but remember the same was said about hybrid only 10 years ago." You can read the full PR below.

We don't remember a lot of people saying the infrastructure for hybrids simply wasn't there in 2004, but maybe we missed that memo.
Show full PR text
TOYOTA EXECUTIVES SET THE SCENE FOR DELIVERING FUEL CELL TECHNOLOGY
16/04/14 from Toyota

The next era in Toyota's technology development is about to become production reality, with the market introduction next year of the company's first hydrogen fuel cell-powered car. It's a major, but logical next step for the company, as it builds on the success it has achieved with hybrid over the past 15 years.

Karl Schlicht, Executive Vice President of Toyota Motor Europe, is explicit about Toyota's commitment to hydrogen power and the potential of fuel cell vehicles to deliver on the company's ambitions to develop the ultimate eco-car.

He says: "Our unique hybrid history and experience have proven invaluable for the next big leap. Back in 2010, we promised our first fuel cell car for 2015 and we are fully on track to honour our commitment.

"Fuel cell is a technology that can secure our concept of personal mobility. That's because fuel cells combine the strengths of EVs (electric vehicles) and hybrids, with those of conventional cars. That means zero emissions – they only emit water vapour – and full usability; refuelling only takes about three minutes."

Schlicht also highlights the facts hydrogen fuel is easy to store, is better at capturing renewable energies than batteries, and can be produced anywhere.

"Taking these facts into account reinforces how Toyota is convinced fuel cell can deliver our ultimate goal of zero emissions and sustainable transport," he says.

The model with which Toyota will pioneer its new technology is the FCV saloon concept, shown for the first time in Europe at this year's Geneva motor show. Schlicht explains the car gives "clear hints" of the design of the production version to be delivered next year, and that with the benefit of a high energy density fuel stack and a maximum 100kW it will have the potential to cover more than 500 miles on a tank of fuel.

Schlicht acknowledges that issues of infrastructure, public awareness and cost need to be addressed: "There is of course a long way to go, as with any game-changing technology, but remember the same was said about hybrid only 10 years ago.

"Toyota is ready to back and lead this change, so we will be pioneering fuel cell step by step."

This time the company is not working alone, having entered into a partnership with BMW to further fuel cell research and development.

Didier Leroy, Toyota Motor Europe's President, likewise sets out his vision of how fuel cell technology – which itself is a hybrid system – will arrive in Europe.

"Fuel cell technology will take time before it takes off," he says. "To help that happen we will bring a reasonable number of cars to Europe. The volume will be limited, but they will be visible on the streets."


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  • 60 Comments
      Joeviocoe
      • 8 Months Ago
      --"... re-write the facts to suit your own agenda. " Nope, that number was quoted as the starting price of the Hyundai FCV when it goes on sale in Korea. I told you that reality will sink in for Hydrogen advocates when they finally get around to real prices. --"These stakeholders, do not need to " listen to the general public" , they can create the market." Better Place tried to "create the market" too. Countless other companies, both startup and well established... have fallen for hubris time and time again. They gamble more when they are gambling with other peoples money. Maybe you would understand if you were paying US taxes that go to fund these debacles.
      Marco Polo
      • 8 Months Ago
      @ Edge It's only natural that many ABG readers are aghast at the thought of HFCV technology. That reaction is very similar to the disparagement of EV technology by ICE adherents. The big difference between EV and HFCV technology, is some EV fans consider EV technology part of a wider ideology. Many supporters see EV progress as a revolution against what they perceive as the 'evil' of whatever corporation or colour of politics they hate. For many years EV development was advocated by small clubs of enthusiasts, eager students, futurists, etc. Hobbyist's could convert their own cars to EV's. Many saw EV's part of a wider struggle against the 'evils' of 'capitalism' , 'oil companies' , scary 'Middle Easterners' , ect, the folk often identify EV (or green) with aspect of leftist ideology Even after EV technology became mainstream and incorporated into a large number of mass-manufactured vehicles, produced by giant corporations, supporters still felt part of a great crusade. In contrast, HFCV technology, needs no such supporters. Researched, designed and developed by engineers employed by some of the worlds largest corporations, HFCV technology can't be replicated by "pioneer" hobbyists. The technology is engineered without any input from the general public, and will succeed, or fail, purely on it's ability to produce a practical, more convenient zero emission alternate to gasoline/diesel. Arguing about the motives of why these huge and powerful corporations are investing vast sums in HFCV technology, is pointless. (Like fleas, arguing who owns the dog). Elon Musk needs the good will of shareholders, customers and public political support to succeed. To his credit, he (and Carlos Ghosn) have succeeded brilliantly in making the EV dream a reality. The stakeholders in HFCV technology, need no such support. They just don't care. If it can be made viable, within a predetermined commercial terms criteria already decided, they have the financial, logistical, and political resources to replace ICE technology, in their own time, on a global scale. The only thing that would disrupt such a development , is either a breakthrough in ESD technology, or series of rapid dramatic improvements, throughout the " generation to usage' electricity supply chain. Naturally there will be ABG readers who take great exception at this analysis. Especially among those who have forgotten that it's just a technology, not a revolution, religion or a crusade. Such a development would destroy the basis for HFCV economic viability. In the end, it's just business. But genuine environmentalists, will accept any technology that can lower emissions on a global scale, (and can be actually implemented) ,as beneficial.
        skierpage
        • 8 Months Ago
        @Marco Polo
        You spew a lot of blather and condescending mischaracterization of people who make better arguments than you do. The only sentences you wrote that matters are this one: "The technology is engineered without any input from the general public, and will succeed, or fail, purely on it's ability to produce a practical, more convenient zero emission alternate to gasoline/diesel." Way to completely miss the point. HFCV technology works, nobody but you thinks there's a debate. But you mention "practical", which to everyone means "How many H2 stations are near me?" and so you're no longer talking about technology but its deployment. And how will HFCV ever be MORE convenient than gasoline/diesel? (Answer: by adding a plug, but joeviocoe has explained ad infinitum how that limits the demand for H2 stations a tremendous amount.) And then you acknowledge that it isn't about the technology with this garbled sentence: "If it can be made viable, within a predetermined commercial terms criteria already decided..." Plug-in hybrids are genuinely convenient and mostly zero emissions. I fail to see how HFCVs become viable against that competition, until gasoline/diesel soars in cost. Since the same HFCV stakeholders (oil companies) are happy to sell gasoline/diesel, it's much better business for them to continue to do so while campaigning against attempts to tax or reduce fossil fuel consumption. I'm genuinely curious how you see HFCV viability happening. Will oil companies subsidize HFCVs and build stations at a loss to slow the declining demand for gasoline due to increased sales of plug-ins? Do you foresee CO2 taxed so heavily that HFCV becomes cheaper than fossil fuel, or zero-emission vehicles mandated everywhere, not just cities?
        Joeviocoe
        • 8 Months Ago
        @Marco Polo
        --" The technology is engineered without any input from the general public, and will succeed, or fail, purely on it's ability to produce a practical, more convenient zero emission alternate to gasoline/diesel." --"Lot's of stuff works in laboratories or small scale projects in certain areas, but large scale technologies, often require logistics that become mind-bogglingly impractical, environmentally harmful, or rely on components for which the technology hasn't been invented." Well, the engineers are not economists and as you have said yourself... the engineers in the laboratories can not determine economic practicality or viability in the real world. The other thing is... automakers DO need to listen to the general public when it comes to assessing demand. They tend to create Fuel Cell Vehicle surveys that skew the results... by letting the survey taker assume that H2 prices will be significantly cheaper than gasoline, and the H2 availability will be as abundant as gasoline. It is time to re-ask the public if anyone is willing to buy a $144,000 Hyundai Tucson which can only refuel in Los Angeles. Plenty of people might be willing to spend $500/mo for a lease only deal... but just like the EV-1's $500/mo deal... it is really just a limited test fleet that the automaker MUST take back the cars.
        Marco Polo
        • 8 Months Ago
        @Marco Polo
        Good grief the ABG "comments" gremlins have struck again, this was supposed to be a reply to "Edge " Have I missed the the explanation as to why the forum has become so plagued with problems ?
      korblalak
      • 8 Months Ago
      Exactly what we need more pollution and construction to support the distribution of a fuel which is less efficient than pure electricity off the grid, which mind you, we already have.
      GoodCheer
      • 8 Months Ago
      "but remember the same was said about hybrid only 10 years ago." What? The year the 2nd generation Prius entered its 2nd year of production and the Highlander hybrid was presumably through design and development and well along in production line set-up? I didn't say that then. Maybe he meant 20 years ago, when the Prius was still 3 years away from production.
      Joeviocoe
      • 8 Months Ago
      ""The volume will be limited, but they will be visible on the streets" " So strictly speaking... they could build and lease TWO FCVs... to meet this quote. They have already met this goal... the leased FCVs in LA are technically "visible". This is a nonsense statement that doesn't quantify anything. I am sorry, but they have been going on and on about 2015 being the date... for a while now. Now, in Q2 of 2014... they still can't give any real quantifiable estimates of production numbers? Looks like 2020 is the new 2015. The Great Backpedal continues.
      Rotation
      • 8 Months Ago
      So they're going to do what GM, Honda and Hyundai already did. And maybe Ford too? I can't remember. Ho-hum.
      2 wheeled menace
      • 8 Months Ago
      ...so excited about hydrogen that they don't plan on producing many, i see.. ;)
      Letstakeawalk
      • 8 Months Ago
      I've found an article that quotes Hyundai for a hard number on their FCV: "Hyundai Tucson FCEV (Yonhap file photo) The company said the price of the car has been set at 150 million won (US$144,400) at present, but with full-scale production, prices are expected to come down to affordable levels by 2020. Besides South Korea, the car will be sold in Europe and leased in California starting this year. The car is the only mass-produced fuel cell car in the world and can be built on the same assembly line as the conventional, internal combustion-engined Tucson crossover utility vehicles (CUVs)." http://english.yonhapnews.co.kr/business/2014/04/17/3/0501000000AEN20140417003100320F.html
        Joeviocoe
        • 8 Months Ago
        @Letstakeawalk
        --"...The car is the only mass-produced fuel cell car in the world and can be built on the same assembly line as the conventional, internal combustion-engined Tucson crossover utility vehicles (CUVs)." What they DON'T tell you... is that they are just parsing words. They take vehicles from the ICE assembly line, before they are fitted with drive trains... and proceed to hand build the rest of the FCV. There is NO assembly line production of any components that are specific to the FC drive train. So what if it takes only a few hours to go from raw components, to a glider... if it takes days, weeks or months to go from glider to finished FCV. Bottom line, they are only using the "mass-produced" line for marketing purposes to say they were "first".
          Joeviocoe
          • 8 Months Ago
          @Joeviocoe
          $43,200 for the stack cost. And $100,000 for the rest of the vehicle? Which mean that it is likely the H2 tanks are extremely expensive too. Probably another $40k for tanks. Not good news. ------------------ " $1.9 to $2.8 Million per station, similar to estimates here in the US, and about the same price as building an average gasoline station. " Yet demand for each station is not going to be anywhere near that of a gasoline station.... and likely not to warrant building any using private money... and public money will be an investment with no return. A $2mil gas station has no problem with demand... H2 does. And few thousand vehicles in the first few years will not be enough demand to warrant building more stations. Still a Chicken/Egg problem. ------------- And I highly doubt they can even sell 1,000 per year (that was a max capacity of their proposed production line). At $144,000.... that is well within supercar pricing... for a family SUV. I've test driven it a few weeks back.. Loved it. But barely worth $44,000, ... certainly not worth $144,000.
          Joeviocoe
          • 8 Months Ago
          @Joeviocoe
          --"The tanks might run $5-6k each." So where are you suggesting the other $95,000 is coming from? According to you and Dave over the many years... fuel cell stacks should be down between $50/kw and $100/kw by launch time. Which would have been $8,000 for the stack. But instead... the first few years will have $540/kw I think we will see $100-$150 / kwh battery packs, before we see even a $100 / kw fuel cell stack. ------------------------- --"Still lots of room to bring costs down via mass-production." Quite true.... I think the biggest driver of costs reduction has always been economies of scale. But that requires enough people to initially purchase the expensive generation of $144,000 FCVs. FCVs demand will not only be limited by its high price... but the unavailable H2 infrastructure. Hyundai would need to sell x0,000 or more per year for several years... before Economies of Scale can work its magic. @ $144,000?? That is NOT gonna happen. --------------------------- ++"...certainly not worth $144,000." --"To which Hyundai replies, $499 a month, fuel included" Except lease only prices do NOT reflect the true costs of purchase, since the property never leaves the hands of the automaker. The EV-1 also had a $500/mo lease price... but GM reported that the car was $80,000 just to build without a margin. If this FCV is ever offered to customers to actually buy... say goodbye to that $500/mo deal. As soon as an "option to buy" is on a lease contract... the economics change drastically for the automaker. At that point, the monthly lease price must be a reasonable devaluation of the vehicles resell price with X miles and X years. A $144,000 car, cannot continue to be leased for $500/mo which has an option to buy.
          Letstakeawalk
          • 8 Months Ago
          @Joeviocoe
          Correction, Hyundai is not providing insurance.
          Letstakeawalk
          • 8 Months Ago
          @Joeviocoe
          "...certainly not worth $144,000." To which Hyundai replies, $499 a month, fuel and insurance included.
          Letstakeawalk
          • 8 Months Ago
          @Joeviocoe
          Lots of good info in that link, thanks. "The fuel cell stack that generates power uses very expensive platinum as a catalyst, with this unit alone accounting for 30 percent of the vehicle's total cost." 30% of $144.4k is $43,200 for the stack cost. "The company plans to build two more hydrogen fueling stations within the year to augment the 11 already in operation. Each station costs 2 billion won to 3 billion won to build at present cost." That's $1.9 to $2.8 Million per station, similar to estimates here in the US, and about the same price as building an average gasoline station.
          Joeviocoe
          • 8 Months Ago
          @Joeviocoe
          1000 /year? That would be less than 3 per day. I am not sure that qualifies as a "line". Must be 50 foot line, that doesn't move. Either way, they certainly are not producing them even that fast currently. Right now, "months" is correct. ---------- Hyundai Motor aims to sell more than 10,000 fuel cell cars in S. Korea by 2025. The company said the price of the crossover utility vehicles (CUVs) has been set at 150 million won (US$144,400) at present, but with full-scale production, prices are expected to come down to affordable levels by 2020. Soooo... they don't even plan on building any higher than 1,000/yr... and the initial price is going uncompetitive against any EV or PHEV on the market. Yeah... good luck with that. http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/yonhap-news-agency/140417/hyundai-motor-aims-sell-more-10000-fuel-cell-cars-s-korea--0
          Letstakeawalk
          • 8 Months Ago
          @Joeviocoe
          Maybe $40k for the Balance of Plant, which is more than just storage tanks. The tanks might run $5-6k each. But as you point out, they're not being made on an assembly line yet. Still lots of room to bring costs down via mass-production.
          Letstakeawalk
          • 8 Months Ago
          @Joeviocoe
          Hyundai builds the Tucson FCEV on a dedicated line at its Ulsan plant. The line is capable of producing 1000 vehicles a year. Days, maybe, but definitely not weeks or months. It's unclear exactly where Hyundai produces their stacks, but the Hyundai Eco-Technology Research Center in Mabuk is the most likely location.
      • 8 Months Ago
      With visibility come awareness, with awareness comes demand with demand comes the infrastructure. "We don't remember a lot of people saying the infrastructure for hybrids simply wasn't there in 2004, but maybe we missed that memo." The fallacy is we need the infrastructure before the market can develop. The infrastructure follows the demand and this can be incredibly swift. An ITM type container designed for rapid deployment could be delivered to any forecourt in the country and commissioned within days If you doubt this consider the speed with which the mobile telecoms infrastructure was deployed, global communications (satellites and seaborne fibre optics) and the internet
        Joeviocoe
        • 8 Months Ago
        cellular towers were put up before cell phones were put in place. And they didn't cost $2 million per installation. There were plenty of existing radio AM/FM towers that telecom companies used to install the transceivers. So it is more analogous to Fast Charging being installed where existing power capacity is already located. They just need to install HVDC equipment on an existing infrastructure to make it a Fast Charging infrastructure. Although H2 stations can co-locate with gasoline station.. a Gaseous fuel like H2 cannot use ANY existing equipment or logistics of gasoline. It must ALL be installed from scratch.
        skierpage
        • 8 Months Ago
        The fallacy is we need the infrastructure before the market can develop." That's not a fallacy, that's a fact. There is no market for HFCVs in the USA outside Orange County in Southern California, because it's the only place with infrastructure! "The infrastructure follows the demand" What demand? A few hundred cars in Southern California? It IS a chicken and egg problem. "Can" do this and "could" do that don't change it. Besides, the internet ran on the existing telephone network which took decades to deploy, and launching a dozen telecommunication satellites over a decade bears no relationship to building thousands of H2 refueling stations.
      Grendal
      • 8 Months Ago
      It sounds like HFCV's are starting with a whimper and not a bang. We'll get 100 from Hyundai and a "reasonable number" from Toyota next year. All are limited to California. I was kind of hoping to see a bit more than that but I suppose you need to get some infrastructure in place to move forward. At this pace I'm fairly confident to say that batteries are winning handily in the personal vehicle market. Since I haven't seen batteries doing well for larger vehicles I am still hoping for Fuel Cells to do better for larger vehicles. We still have planes, ships, and big rigs that need an alternative to burning fossil fuels to power them.
        Dave
        • 8 Months Ago
        @Grendal
        "At this pace I'm fairly confident to say that batteries are winning handily in the personal vehicle market." At this point, neither is "winning." They are both losing badly to ICE and ICE hybrids. When they can compete without subsidies, then its getting serious. But for now, 80 million annual ICE vehicle sales are not in jeopardy by any stretch.
          Grendal
          • 8 Months Ago
          @Dave
          I agree. However, the writing is on the wall. It will only take a few improvements in battery tech before a BEV is the more compelling and cost based choice over gas and diesel. Again, I am limiting this to the personal vehicle market. There is certainly a long long way to go but I can certainly see where we are going and my impression is that BEV has got a serious lead in the race. Range extenders will be an important part of that transition going into the future though. If the battery tech gets good enough then eventually even those may go away but that is getting too far into the future to be useful. The #1 selling vehicle in the world is a truck and there have been no compelling BEV to take the reins away from gas/diesel. I expect that it might need a serious EREV or HFCV to get the right combination to break into that market. How large a battery pack would you need to pull a large heavy trailer behind your truck? Too large to make it worth the current cost from what I can see.
        Grendal
        • 8 Months Ago
        @Grendal
        I don't want to beat up on HFCV's because I have hopes that there is a lot of potential in their future. Here is the biggest issue I have with them for the future (and limiting to personal vehicles approach) and what I am currently seeing. HFCV's need to compete with gas, diesel, hybrids, and BEVs. There are strengths and weaknesses in each of these when comparing them to each other. The reason that BEVs like Tesla and Nissan are making inroads against traditional gas and diesels is that they have made compelling arguments for the consumer to choose to buy their vehicles. The advantages outweigh the extra cost of paying more up front. In the case of Tesla they are highlighting the performance aspects and eliminating a lot of the negatives with their Supercharger network. This creates a compelling choice for the consumer that is completely separate from the aspect of the positive environmental impact and sustainability. So far, with HFCVs that seems to be the one and only gain for the consumer. It's not bad, but I don't see consumers demanding the cars. This comes across as just another choice and not a compelling one. Where's the fun and excitement? Where's the HFCV that blows away a Corvette in complete silence? Where's the HFCV that makes Ford F350 truck look like a wuss and beats it in practicality? That is what I am waiting to see. I really hope there are some compelling reasons and vehicles showing up soon to give consumers a reason to buy one of these.
          skierpage
          • 8 Months Ago
          @Grendal
          It's worse than that, HFCVs really, *really*, compete with plug-in hybrids. A plug-in hybrid has zero tailpipe emissions for most of your driving, and you can refuel it quickly. But it has the nice feature of getting in a car every morning that you cheaply filled up with electrons, and it eliminates range anxiety because the refueling stations are ubiquitous. The group of well-heeled environmentally-conscious buyers who drive long distances near the tiny number of H2 refueling stations and don't have a plug at home is damn well near microscopic! infinitesimal! Honda has offered the FCX Clarity, a fantastic spaceship from the future, for 8 years and was never able to lease as many as it hoped; I think there are 20 of them.
      CoolWaters
      • 8 Months Ago
      http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/04/15/rising-sun/ What you're seeing in this graph is that Natural Gas [ Hydrogen ] is Already DEAD.
      CoolWaters
      • 8 Months Ago
      DEAD END Alert. Solar prices still falling. Solar capacity still rising. Now with solar possible from microwave radiation. Solar will be cheaper then ALL Other Fuels in 5 YEARS. FIVE YEARS.
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