Toyota plans to introduce a hydrogen fuel cell car by 2015, according to comments made by vice president Masatami Takimoto in response to a question during a shareholders’ meeting at Toyota headquarters.
In a conference session at SAE World Congress 2009 in January, Justin Ward, Advanced Powertrain Program Manager, Toyota said that while Toyota sees market opportunity for small EVs, the company finds that a fuel cell hybrid vehicle has the advantage in well-to-wheel efficiency even now. (Earlier post.)
We feel that there is a place for EVs in the future, but what is that place? It’s pretty challenging for a full-range larger vehicle. We do see a market for the smaller, shorter range EVs. The key is to make sure your grid is clean. We don’t talk much about it these days, but we are still working very, very strongly on fuel cell technology.—Justin Ward
In 2008, Toyota introduced a new, advanced version of its Highlander-based fuel cell hybrid vehicle (FCHV) equipped with a newly designed higher-performance Toyota fuel cell stack. The FCHV-adv provides a 25% improvement in fuel efficiency through improved fuel cell unit performance, enhancements to the regenerative braking system, and a reduction in energy consumed by the auxiliary systems. (Earlier post.)
Toyota is also applying its fuel cell technology in buses, material handling equipment, and residential co-generation systems.