Toyota is a key proponent of hydrogen as a next-generation fuel source and has been demonstrating this enthusiasm with the roll out of its Mirai sedan, the world’s first mass-produced car equipped with a hydrogen fuel cell stack. Toyota is planning more fuel cell cars, though, and some of these will be from the automaker’s upmarket Lexus division.
According to reports, the first Lexus fuel cell car is likely to be based on the next-generation LS flagship sedan. Japan’s Nikkei is reporting that Toyota is considering launching an LS sedan equipped with a fuel cell around 2020.
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If built, the car will likely serve as a technology demonstrator, meaning it may end up being quite pricey. According to the report, Toyota is investigating cost-cutting measures for its fuel cell technology and the progress here, together with market trends, are factors in determining the possibility of a Lexus LS fuel cell car.
The next-generation LS is due on the market next year and will initially offer V-8 and hybrid powertrains. By 2020, the car would be approaching the midway point in its life cycle. We’re expecting to be treated with a preview of the new LS at this week’s Tokyo Motor Show, so perhaps we’ll hear more about plans for a potential fuel cell version in the coming days.
Toyota’s mid-term target for fuel cell sales is 30,000 units by 2020. Since launching this year, Toyota’s Mirai has garnered around 1,900 orders in the United States alone, which the automaker says was above expectations.