• Image Credit: Toyota
  • Image Credit: Toyota
  • Image Credit: Toyota
  • Image Credit: Toyota
  • Image Credit: Toyota
  • Image Credit: Toyota
  • Image Credit: Toyota
  • Image Credit: Toyota
  • Image Credit: Toyota
  • Image Credit: Toyota
  • Image Credit: Toyota
  • Image Credit: Toyota
  • Image Credit: Toyota
  • Image Credit: Toyota
  • Image Credit: Toyota
  • Image Credit: Toyota
  • Image Credit: Toyota
  • Image Credit: Toyota
  • Image Credit: Toyota
  • Image Credit: Toyota
  • Image Credit: Toyota
  • Image Credit: Toyota
  • Image Credit: Toyota
  • Image Credit: Toyota

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California isn't Nevada, but Golden State residents are nonetheless being given a chance to make a small bet on what may be a large prize, courtesy of Toyota. The Japanese automaker will start selling its first hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles on the West Coast late next year, and before that, Toyota would like to pick up some positive publicity by giving America's first one away to one lucky Californian.

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Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Ministry has certified Toyota to self-inspect its high-pressure hydrogen tanks. The approval allows more freedom in production timing, as outside inspectors previously had to be on site during the manufacture of hydrogen tanks for vehicle prototypes. Toyota has passed the stringent standards to become a registered manufacturer of the 700-bar hydrogen tanks, which the company will use in its upcoming fuel cell vehicle (FCV). With the improved efficiency this

UC Davis Finds Prospects For H2 Are Good, But There's A Catch

*UPDATE: As our commentors have pointed out, it costs less than 10 cents a mile to drive an EV today. We apologize for the error.

Japan's prime minister has a lead foot, apparently. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe recently had a photo op with Toyota's first production hydrogen fuel cell vehicle, even getting behind the wheel for a spin (no chauffeur for him, so much respect on our part). His primary impression was that the car had great pickup, before settling on the more politically correct view of noting the vehicle's lack of emissions.

Motley Fool says 'Fuel Cells Are An Inferior Automotive Technology'

Japan hopes to expand the use of hydrogen energy by subsidizing fuel cell vehicles, according to The Japan News. The trade ministry plans to include the subsidies in its 2015 budget to coincide with the expected launch of Toyota's Fuel Cell Vehicle and the Honda FCEV hydrogen car. By jump-starting purchases of hydrogen cars, Japan hopes that innovation and mass-production will get a boost and the cost of fuel cell vehicles will be competitive with gasoline-powered models by the year 2025. Japan

H2 supporters say he's wrong, of course, but he fights back

The Japanese government is really paving the way for hydrogen fuel cell technology on its roads. Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry is changing regulations on fuel tanks to make hydrogen cars more appealing to drivers, which should help put the country ahead of others in the race to develop a viable H2 fleet.

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.

Fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) powered by hydrogen were taken more seriously at the LA Auto Show and Tokyo Motor Show last month than ever before, but their presence in the market is still shrouded in fog. Soichiro Okudaira, chief officer of research and development at Toyota, is confident fuel cell costs will come down enough to make FCEVs "just one alternative of the eco cars," but that probably won't happen for another 10-15 years.

A presentation made by Belgian researchers at Electric Vehicle Symposium (EVS) 27 in Barcelona might irk fans of battery-driven EVs. A new study found that the numbers prove fuel cell hybrid electric vehicle (FCHEV) powertrains partnered with supercapacitors have better fuel economy than powertrains that blend a fuel cell and a battery.

Like the very slow drip of water coming from the tailpipe of a hydrogen fuel-cell electric vehicle, information about the first production fuel-cell model from Toyota – slated for 2015 – is coming rather deliberately. The latest is that Toyota might use the Prius badge for the fuel-cell sedan, Auto Guide says, citing comments made by Bill Fay, Toyota's US group vice president and general manager, at the Los Angeles Auto Show earlier this month.

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.