Toyota FCV Fuel-Cell Concept Headed to 2014 CES


Toyota FCV concept, 2013 Tokyo Motor Show

Toyota plans to put a fuel-cell vehicle on sale in 2015, and until then it has a hectic schedule of appearances lined up for the FCV concept that will preview the production model.

The latest FCV concept debuted last month at the 2013 Tokyo Motor Show, but Toyota has a North American debuted planned for the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas January 6.

In addition to the concept, Toyota will exhibit the fuel-cell "test mule" that allowed engineers to try out the fuel cell stack and electric powertrain on U.S. roadways. It's essentially a non-hydrogen production car that's been gutted to hide the fuel-cell system.

The production 2015 Toyota fuel-cell car will be a sedan that will probably echo the FCV concept's styling. While it was originally expected to cost around $50,000, the actual price will probably be closer to $100,000. Still, it will be much cheaper to build than the small batches of prototype cars Toyota has fielded over the years.

While the fuel-cell stack will provide electricity, the car will actually be driven by a modified hybrid setup. The fuel cell will essentially replace the gasoline engine in the system; the electric motor and other components will be cribbed from Toyota's existing hybrids to save money.

Toyota predicts a range of about 300 miles and a refueling time of about 3 minutes for the finished product.

When the Toyota fuel-cell vehicle finally reaches showrooms, it will compete against a production version of the Honda FCEV concept from the 2013 Los Angeles Auto Show, which is also expected to go on sale in 2015.


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