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Toyota to introduce FCV fuel cell concept in North America at CES in January

Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc., will stage the North American debut of the FCV Concept, a sedan-based hydrogen fuel cell vehicle, on 6 January at the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. The Toyota FCV Concept made its global premiere at the Tokyo Motor Show in November.

The reveal will also introduce the fuel cell test mule, which logged thousands of miles during rigorous quality and durability testing on US roadways.

The FCV Concept is a practical implementation of the fuel cell vehicle Toyota plans to launch around 2015. The vehicle has a driving range of at least 500 km (311 miles) and refueling times as low as three minutes, roughly the same time as for a gasoline vehicle.

The new Toyota FC Stack has a power output density of 3 kW/L, more than twice that of the current “Toyota FCHV-adv” FC Stack, and an output of at least 100 kW. In addition, the FC system is equipped with Toyota’s high-efficiency boost converter. Increasing the voltage has made it possible to reduce the size of the motor and the number of fuel cells, leading to a smaller system offering enhanced performance at reduced cost.



Toyota, Honda, Nissan and specially Hyundai will probably mass produce FCEVs by 2015/16.

Will those 4 pioneers create a JV to produce H2 and install H2 distribution stations? Other producers could join latter?

Roger Pham

Even Tesla as a small startup auto company can afford to build many fastcharging stations. The combined size of many large auto companies is thousands of times larger than Tesla, and so surely they have the financial capability to open a much bigger network of H2-stations. The initial investments in H2 station will be recouped in time, so it won't be money wasted. Eventually, they will be able to sell off these H2-stations and even make a profit once FCV's will takeoff. FCV's sale will take off because this is the future, of clean transportation with little maintenance and no more petroleum dependency.


There is plenty of money going in to the H2 networks, both from Government and from business, after the Government contribution has taken the edge off of the initial high costs.
Before battery only advocates start moaning again about how unfair that is, the UK is fairly typical and is providing comparable amounts for both electric and hydrogen infrastructure.
A hydrogen station costs a lot more than a fast charge point, but can serve a lot more cars too, at any rate when we have enough FCEVs to justify bigger stations.


Is anyone interrested to buy one of these marvel. Here in montreal canada, there is not a single hydrogen station, this is a shame especially considering that there is a surplus of clean electricity that could have been harmessed for doing electrolisis of water for these fuelcell cars.

Account Deleted

Roger a hydrogen infrastructure is much more expensive than a fast charging infrastructure like Tesla's infrastructure. How much? About 200 times more because the H2 fueling station cost about ten times as much as a similar capacity EV charging station and you need 20 times as many H2 stations as public EV stations as Tesla's EVs charges 95% of their electric consumption at the home of the Tesla owner. Fuel cell owners will fuel 100% of their fuel at public stations so you need 20 times the capacity.

Therefore don't expect Hydrogen to be free for life as Tesla can promise their customers that fast charging will be.

Also another reason that Musk publicly discredited fuel cell cars are that their energy system (fuel cells plus fuel tank) has significantly lower volumetric energy density than Tesla's battery pack and future development is just going to widen this gab in capability as battery technology is progressing whereas the size of a hydrogen tank is not going to improve. For example, hydrogen stored at Hydrogen, at 690 bar and 15°C has 4.5 MJ/L or same as 1.25 kWh/L. However, in a car the round shape of this high pressure tank and the thickness of its armor and the space of the full cell and its very large cooling system means you will get at most one quarter of this theoretical limit. So about 300kWh/L. For comparison, Tesla uses Panasonic cells with about 700kWh/L at the cell level and at the pack level it is about 350kWh/L. In the future expect fuel cells to top out at 400 kWh/L and battery cells to do 700kWh/L.

Conclusion: Fuel cell cars will always have less range than feasible with battery electric EVs and they will have less storage space. They will also have more costly fuel. Expect the cost of hydrogen to be at least three times more expensive per driven mile than electricity. Nor do they provide the convenience of fueling at home. The only argument for going with fuel cells should be that maybe (and a big maybe) it will be possible to mass produce fuel cell cars at lower cost than long-range battery EVs as a 90kWh battery needed for a long-range EV will be a very costly component also in 20 years from now.


' About 200 times more because the H2 fueling station cost about ten times as much as a similar capacity EV charging station and you need 20 times as many H2 stations as public EV stations as Tesla's EVs charges 95% of their electric consumption at the home of the Tesla owner.'

You had better write the DOE, as they put the costs of both battery electric car infrastructure and hydrogen fuel cell infrastructure at similar levels, and in any case minor compared to the cost of buying the vehicles, at around 5% of total expenditure.
Here is one analysis, based on work by McKinsey, which in my view overestimates battery infrastructure costs but shows some of the framework of analysis:

The bottom line is that hydrogen stations cost in the same ball park as petrol stations at volume, and now that regulations about pollutions and leaks are stricter, which they didn't worry about at one time which made them cheap:
'Krafcik is unfazed by the lack of hydrogen-refueling stations in the U.S. He notes the cost to install a station is $1 million, about the same as gasoline stations spend to comply with new environmental laws that call for the replacement of underground tanks to prevent seepage of fuel into soil and water.'

Note that hydrogen infrastructure will not be built overnight and that petrol stations don't last forever.
Since fuel cell cars go 2-3 times further per gallon equivalent, it would seem likely that rather less pumps would be needed than if petrol pumps were simply replaced.

So it would seem to be difficult to demonstrate ANY net cost for building hydrogen stations.

BEV infrastructure in contrast will be brand new, not using much existing infrastructure.

Note that I am in favour of building BEV car infrastructure as well as fuel cell, but some of the arguments about cost of fuel cell infrastructure seem to me way, way over the top.
For instance your notion that it would be 200 times as expensive.

Account Deleted

Davemart I cannot be much wrong about the Tesla owners doing 95% of their charging at home and only need to do the remaining 5% at a public fast charging station for the rare long-trips. I think Tesla already has statistics confirming that. That is the 20 times. I might be wrong about 10 times more expensive for the same capacity fuel station. One hydrogen filler can do about 6 cars per hour and I assume it cost 10 times as much as about six 120kW Tesla chargers that can also fill 6 cars per hour. My loose estimate is 300,000 USD for the Tesla station and 3 million USD for that hydrogen filler. If I am wrong and the hydrogen filler only cost 1 million USD it will be 3 times 20 = 60 times more expensive to build a hydrogen infrastructure of similar capacity needed to fuel X number of Tesla EVs or hydrogen EVs in public. This argument is not rocket science.

There is a reason that Toyota has not build a hydrogen infrastructure of their own. That reason is it is too expensive even for them and the cars are not ready at the price they need to be sold at in order to sell them at all. If they cost more than gasoline cars people will not buy them even if there are lots of places to get hydrogen as that fuel will be more or equally expensive as gasoline per mile driven.


As for the rest of your post, you are simply assuming that batteries make enormous progress, and that hydrogen doesn't, and what is more choosing the most convenient metrics and ignoring others.

CF cylinders are not the only way of storing hydrogen, although they are the most practical at the moment.
There are umpteen possibilities to use hydrides and adsorbents etc, and if you want to argue that they are not developed yet, neither are the equally numerous approaches to increasing battery energy density and, above all, decreasing cost, which is what the scenario for battery cars you lay out needs.

You chose a volumetric metric, as it suits your case, but firstly that is not always terribly important.
Early fuel cell cars were often SUVs, which have plenty of space for the cylinders, ignoring for the moment non-cylindrical storage.
That is why the DOE etc see fuel cells having the advantage in large, long distance vehicles, whilst battery vehicles at sub-Tesla prices have the advantage for short ranges and smaller cars.

The other main metric is of course weight, Had you focussed on that instead it is plain that the advantage is all the other way.
Including everything else in the stack as well as the cells, and including the heavy carbon fibre storage tank and fuel, the system in a fuel cell car comes out to something like 1,500Wh/kg.

That is a multiple of around 7-8 times what you get in the Tesla, which uses the most energy dense batteries available.

So battery electric cars are permanently lugging around huge amounts of excess weight.

Maybe batteries will do much better and reach much higher energy density, but it is impossible also to rule out that hydrogen storage will greatly improve further reducing weight, and the volume penalty you were concerned about.

The part about battery cars having more range is just odd, as to date they certainly have not, and that includes the mighty Tesla 85kwh.

That car is rated at 265 miles on the EPA.

The pretty bulky and less aerodynamic Toyota FCEV came out at 431 miles of range, in this comprehensive test:

That test, if you look at how it was conducted, was far more rigorous than the EPA.

The new Toyota on release is supposed to have something like 300 miles of range, which they clearly have not prioritised, so that it comfortably exceeds the range of the very best BEV with a massive battery pack.

I am not knocking BEVs, and for all I know batteries may improve so fast and costs may drop so far that they power most transport, but it is way too early to declare the winner.

That is why every Government and almost every car company including Nissan is developing fuel cell cars as well as battery ones.

If working things our were so easy that a few simple calculations on a blog could determine the winner, those thousands of scientists and dozens of Governments and companies involved would be well aware of it.

It is not that easy, as study of the relevant information on the DOE website and elsewhere clearly shows.

They ain't just missed something, and aren't waiting for some bright spark to point it out, so that they will say:
'Dang! Why didn't we think of that!' ;-)

Account Deleted

Davemart the big car companies are merging their fuel cell development efforts in order to cut the cost of that development. They spend less on it now than they used to do when most still thought it had a good chance of becoming a viable future vehicle technology. Today there are still few who dare to pull the plug entirely on full cells because those who do risk being blamed for allowing huge past development expenses in the first place when it was in fact a hopeless project (or so they will be forced to argue if they pull the plug. They risk digging their own grave by being honest about it so they are not.).

The politically less risky way to manage the company is to do what everybody else do and then merge development cost with others in order to cut these costs. Tesla does not have these concerns and that is why Musk is the only one at the moment that is able to talk as bluntly as he does about the viability prospect for fuel cell vehicles.

Do not worry about weight it does not matter to the consumers of cars. Trunk space and range does matter and this is why volumetric energy density is the right measure. Also Davemart the absorption materials that have been developed for hydrogen gas tanks have to the best of my knowledge only had the benefit of preventing an outright explosion if the tank ruptures in a traffic accident as the absorption material delays the time it takes for the hydrogen to escape the tank. The absorption material also lower the needed pressure so less armor is needed for the tank but not to the point where rectangular tanks are possible and the net effect on volumetric density is to my knowledge negative not positive because that material takes up space in the pressure tank even though it also allow the hydrogen atoms to group more efficiently.


Hi Henrik:
That is a bit difficult to respond to as you are mostly not directly addressing the criticisms I made of your argument, but rather switching the grounds.

You assert knowledge of why car companies are merging development efforts, which is in any case a common practise for all sorts of components of cars such as engines and gearboxes without any suggestion that that is because they don't believe in engines anymore.
It was and is also very much the fashion for batteries, so not applying the same argument to them is rather unfair.

You must also be the only person who does NOT worry about the weight of battery cars.
That is why BMW for instance spent hundreds of millions or perhaps as much as billions of Euros developing carbon fibre for mass production.

If you have an energy supply such as a battery which is of the order of a hundred times less dense than petrol, the last thing you want to be doing is adding still more weight, and so more batteries, in a downward spiral.

It is a bit early for detailed engineering critiques of hydrogen adsorption methods on vehicles, as they aren't being built yet, in the same way as I don't offer criticism of very high energy density batteries such as lithium air or silicon on the grounds of low cycle life which are also not in production, nor anywhere near it.

You don't respond to my comments on range.
In my view your own claims were clearly unsupportable, as are in your latest post your claim that weight is not important.

An awful lot of very clever and highly qualified people and organisations which have spent large sums on research make no claims to be able to predict how fuel cells and batteries will pan out.

I don't know either, and doubt the claims of those who feel that they do.

After all, many who didn't like the idea of fuel cell cars claimed that they would never go into production, the infrastructure would never be built even on a small scale, hydrogen could not be handled safely by the public, and fuel cell cars would never cost less than $200,000!

It seems to me that their crystal balls are cracked, and like Yogi Berra it is wise never to make predictions, especially about the future! ;-)


Some of the infinity of possible approaches and materials for hydrogen storage for transport do not in any case appear to suffer from the problems you have mentioned, and so would not need engineering around.
For instance:

These beads encapsulate the hydrogen, and won't much care what shape tank they are put in, which is not under pressure.

That is just one possible approach, so it is far too early to present any issues as insoluble, just as I spent considerable time arguing against those seeking to claim that overheating and fires in lithium batteries could not be engineered around.

Karl A

That's all great guys, but it missed the point of an overpriced Hydrogen filling station gets its H2 from where? Fracking Natural Gas, which is neither sustainable, ecologically sound, nor reliably cheap. So you've put the cart before the horse before the hay. H2 production needs to be sustainable and cost effective before it makes sense to convert all of our infrastructure over to it and pay 4 to 1 over petrol cars instead of 2 to 1 that is BEV over cars, the latter solution leaving BEV charging mostly at home but strategically sound as that e- can come from any source and change in different areas of the country and planet at different timelines without upsetting automotive production momentum.

Karl A

And ultimately this is a battle that will likely be fought and won by Petrol Industry unless federal governments have the stones to decide otherwise. Capitalism will always allow the richest companies (oil) to decide the near term fate of any energy shift. I am thankful that CARB forced manufacturers hands to BEV in time for us to possibly skirt the H2 theft-o-lution with compliance cars, Tesla adoption, and hopefully the next step is immediate march toward sustainable, renewable e- for said new cars.


The same old subjects crop up again and again in discussion on the subject, but don't have to be covered in every post in full.

It is hardly reasonable to demand that we should have everything in place right now for fully renewable and sustainable hydrogen production, when electricity production is less than 1% solar, so to move the grid to the same standard you are setting is a multi trillion dollar program, and incidentally those who are really serious about it like Germany are relying on hydrogen for the storage anyway.

You are also going off to the moon with your demand that we should have a clear path for 'all' our production to be hydrogen.
Both fuel cells and battery cars are fledgeling technologies, and need to be taken a step at a time.

In that respect it is encouraging to note that California mandates that hydrogen for transport should be 33% renewable, which is currently provided by biogas from landfill, and that, together with the 2 times better efficiency from fuel cell cars than petrol cars even after allowing for reforming losses from that part which is from natural gas means that even in these days at the very beginning fuel cell cars will only use 33% or so per mile in total (100-33/2) compared to petrol cars.

Fuel cell cars are also twins of battery cars, and don't mean the end of battery cars, but can help out if battery development is slower than many, including me, hope.
They are both electric cars, and battery electric cars are not going to go away, for the people for whom the range, charge times and price are acceptable.

Most of the parts in a battery car and a fuel cell car are identical, so whatever the evil machinations of the oil companies battery cars will be about, and costs will be reduced by sharing parts.


Here is the DOE paper on the status and projections for hydrogen production from a variety of sources:

Basically, renewables are doable but cost more, so having a mix which will still greatly reduce fossil fuel use now, but putting some renewables in to improve experience with the technology is the way to go.

Further out although there are energy penalties if you just electrolysed water to produce hydrogen, the Germans for instance are capturing the process heat (Audi) so are nothing like as great as they would be otherwise.

And still a gleam in the eye, but with important advantages over solar without hydrogen storage, there are a host of possibilities, I put it no stronger than that, for direct solar to hydrogen, and other technologies.

A couple here:

the latter is within 2 tenths of a volt of viability!

Exciting times, so long as one does not demand perfection now!
And don't worry, battery cars and home solar arrays are not going away!

Don't forget when looking at costs that they benefit from subsidies and mandates though, and that motor fuel taxation is currently not paid.
That won't last!


Reporters are talking $100,000 price, 300 mile range and a 3 minute fill time.

The style seems a bit odd, but that is subjective. They talk about a 100 kW fuel cell but then mention a hybrid battery set up.


All fuel cell cars are hybrids, as fuel cells don't like to ramp power up and down, and anyway the energy for regen braking needs somewhere to go and it is much more efficient to send it to a battery or capacitor.

The cost from Toyota is put in the $50-100k range, and I suspect it may need to be towards the lower end to be competitive.

The Hyundai SUV FCEV leases in 2014 including fuel and servicing for $499/mo:

Of course we don't know by how much Toyota or Hyundai will have to subsidise their early low volume production, but Toyota were rumoured to have subsidised the Prius for years.


"A 21 kW battery pack--marginally smaller than that of the all-electric Nissan Leaf--stores energy recovered by the car's regenerative braking system."

More of a PHEV without the plug than an HEV.


That is 21kw, not 21 kwh.
The pack is around 1-1.5kwh.


The guys at greencarreports are just confusing themselves, as well as others!


Sorry, my assumption of 1-1.5kwh.
IOW around the same size as in any other hybrid, and maybe even the same pack as the Prius uses.
After all, it does much the same job, except that it is topping up electrons instead of a gas engine, and capturing braking energy just the same as a hybrid does.
Integration of an all electric system is presumably easier though.
Neither of them need gears, for instance, so one source of transient load is eliminated.


The pack is a bit less powerful than that in the Prius hybrid, which is 27kw:

I wouldn't mind betting that they have stuck to NMH rather than swapping to lithium though.
Toyota's motto is that if it ain't broke, don't fix it, a sentiment with which I heartily concur.

The combined horsepower of the Prius electric and gas is 134hp, which is near as darn it the 100kw of the FCEV, although it is not clear whether the 21kw from the battery is included in that or if that is the fuel stack alone.

I think though that the car is likely to not only look like a Prius, but to drive like one, only smoother.

When Toyota reinvents the wheel, they take great care to make it look and feel as much like any other wheel as they can.

I expect the massive air vents to go prior to production.


The Hyundai has .95 kWh and can produce 24 kW maximum. I would assume that the Toyota FCV is about the same, although I could find no specifications on the battery pack capacity.

Prius has the engine and drive line to help propel the car, this would be more like a Volt with a fuel cell instead of an engine and alternator. I would assume that the stack takes some time to start operating, so I was surprised to read that the Hyundai had less than 1 kWh of battery capacity.

2014 Hyundai Tucson FCV Basic Specs

Fuel Cell Type Proton Exchange Membrane
Fuel Cell Power (max) 100 kW
Electric Motor Type Induction
Electric Motor Power (max) 100 kW
Battery Type Li-Polymer
Battery Energy 0.95 kWh
Battery Power (max) 24 kW
Maximum H2 storage cap 12.4 lbs
Curb Weight 4,101 lbs


I can't track down exact start up times for the stack, as when I google 'fuel cells' and 'start up' what comes up is a list of fuel cell start up companies as long as your arm!

I think you have pretty much answered your own question though, as they don't need a big pack.

Cold weather start up is also a problem which has been overcome, and they are fine down to -20C without engine block heaters and so on.

The remaining obstacles are cost and infrastructure rather than much new engineering.
Talking about cost Toyota have now got precious metal use down to the same as that in a clean diesel car, if there is such a thing:

One noticeable difference between the Hyundai and the Toyota is that Hyundai has managed to do away with the compressor and operates at ambient pressure, which is both more efficient and quieter.

On the whole I think that Hyundai is ahead of Toyota, and indeed everyone else, in its vehicle fuel cell engineering.


I feel safe in saying that there are no start up issues now with fuel cells.

Here is a pretty old video of a drive in the Hyundai:

Note that the car starts instantly, with no hesitation whilst it waits for the fuel cell to warm up.
24kw on a car as big and heavy as this would give absolutely awful acceleration if that were all that were powering it, but it drives perfectly normally from the start.
It the car initially were that underpowered, Hyundai would also have to caution their drivers, as they couldn't safely pull out into traffic.

Its just a normal car, with no start up issues.

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