Fuel-cell vehicle costs may eventually approach diesel vehicle costs because of the relatively expensive process of both making a diesel engine and including it with particulate filters and other treatments required to reduce the soot once associated with such engines, Automotive News says, citing comments from Toyota executive Katsuhiko Hirose. And, while engineers initially estimated that fuel cells and diesels would reach price parity in about 15 years, Hirose said Toyota higher ups weren't satisfied with that answer and think the timeframe could be cut in half.
The Japanese automaker in January said it would ramp up the manufacturing rate of its first production fuel-cell vehicle, the Mirai, to about 700 units this year and to 2,000 vehicles for 2016. Later this year, Toyota will start selling the Mirai in the US for either $57,500 as a purchase or $499-a-month lease, and both options come with free hydrogen. Who can say that about diesel fuel?