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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.


Roger Pham

There are some concerns regarding the cost of these 1st Gen FCV as may be too high. However, let's break down the components: The FC has a cost of $50-70/kW when mass produced, so $5000-7000 for 100kW. The H2 tank should cost around $2,000-3,000. The rest of the car is just like other EV's but MINUS the battery pack.

The Tesla model S with 85 kWh pack costs around ? $100,000, even though the battery pack costs around $12,000 for a replacement pack. Probably a lot of the cost is due to amortization of development cost and future cost of recalls and correction. The same is probably true for FCV.

The initial cost of 1st-gen FCV will depend largely on how the MFG's want to recoup the R&D cost. The 1st gen Prius was affordable because Toyota chose to price it below cost and to recoup it later with subsequently higher sale volume. Otherwise, with billions USD spent to develop the Prius spread only over a few thousand cars sold initially, each copy would have cost nearly a million USD!


I chose to look at the weight metric in my response to you, and simply took on faith your assertions about volume being way more than batteries.
I thought I would look at them in a bit more detail this morning, and the first thing that I noticed is that you confound kilowatt hours with watthours!

I am no engineer myself, just pretty good at basic arithmetic, so I make sure I steer well clear of stuff which needs engineering knowledge, as I am out of my depth, and simply quote people who are engineers.

With the greatest respect, it looks like you are taking on way too much in attempting to do calculations like this.
I am not going to go into calculations on the volumetric comparisons for exactly the same reason, that I am too likely to come unstuck, but on a common sense basis here you will find a picture of the underside of the Toyota which is supposed to have a range of around 300 miles:

Note the relatively small size of the fuel tanks.
Most of the rest is the fuel cells and ancillaries, which it is fair to count against the FC£V in comparison with BEVs, as they don't need them, but both of course use an electric motor so that does not come into it.

Here is the 265 mile range Tesla:

eyeballing them, the Tesla pack looks slimmer and less volumetric than that of the Toyota, although of course the Tesla body is, I assume, rather longer.

However if you want to double the range of the Toyota, all you need is a couple more of those relatively small tanks, everything else stays the same.

To double the range of the Tesla, you would exactly double the volume.

Toyota have presumably not bothered about giving it more range as the infrastructure is not in place to permit long journeys at the moment.

In the link I gave they indicate that adding more tanks is not a problem, although maybe they mean in a different model:

'FCV’s range and fast refueling offer no worries and same goes for extending range – either a fill-up of gaseous H2 would be available en route for a 300-mile-range FCV, or added hydrogen tanks can multiply distances for passenger or commercial applications.'

So, volumetric considerations do not seem any great problem certainly not once we get to much longer ranges than 300 miles.

Watch those decimal places, Henrik!
Its odd the difference a factor of a thousand can make! ;-)

Account Deleted

Davemart just remove the k in the last sentence of the third paragraph and it is all correct. Just an obvious typo. I do not block for a living so don't expect me to clean out all the typos. The 300 miles range for the Toyota is not a Toyota statement as I read it but rather the journalist speculating. Moreover, it is a concept car so it really does not matter what they writhe. Let's do this discussion when the EPA rate the range of a production fc sold in the US. I am pretty sure that Tesla can trump both the range and the trunk space of any fuel cell car with a 300kW engine like Teslas Model S.

Roger the hydrogen tank is far more expensive than a tank for natural gas and so far all the midsize cars that can be bought in the US with a natural gas tank added cost over 10k USD more than the version with just gasoline.

We may one day get below 10k USD for a hydrogen tank but I expect at least 100k units per year for any car before that is possible. Also as long as fuel cells are based on using platinum these vehicles cannot be mass produced on this planet as there is not enough platinum in stock or to be mined. Now add the expensive infrastructure for H2 fueling and the low volumetric energy density of fc cars and it is quite reasonably that Musk branded fc vehicles as "so bullshit". Personally I prefer "so pipedream".

Karl I do not have a problem with fraking natural gas and oil. It is a blessing innovation that buy us just the time we need to develop replacement technologies without experiencing a slowdown in the economic growth. If fraked gas can replace coal and nuclear I say we have won a huge victory for a better environment and a safer future.



Misswriting once is credible.
Writing about a whole bunch of 'kilowatt hours' without correction is not.
Its pretty plain that you are actually shaky about the units.

Once again instead of dealing in any of the issues with what you have already written you come out with more assertions, none with any references at all.

Well, I am not wasting any more time on parsing nonsense.


If indeed you typed kwh repeatedly, when you meant wh and were perfectly well aware of the distinction, why should anyone bother reading what you have to say when you have so little respect for them that you don't bother in any way to make sure it is accurate?

I repeat that no-one who was actually clearly aware of the meaning of the terms could possible make such a mistake many times over.

Roger Pham

The CF H2 tank's cost was quoted by Quantum to be around $3k for a 4-kg tank many years ago. Since then, technology has improved and cost is expected to come down a bit. The DOE had an estimate for the cost of the CF H2 tank that was close to Quantum's number.

The reason that NG version of ICEV has a $10k cost premium is due to more than just the cost of the fuel tank. The engine head must be replaced with more durable valves and valve seats. The fuel injectors are replaced. The engine computer must be changed. The entire fuel piping and fuel supply system must be changed out.

And then, even more significantly, you have amortization of a hefty sum of money spent to get EPA certification and other red tapes for the new power plant using new fuel system, when divided over a small number of vehicles...

Account Deleted

In volume production natural gas engines cost the same as gasoline engines. Only the fuel system (tank, pipes and safety features like leak sensors and burn protection) adds cost to a bifuel cng gas car. I admit the US sales of bifuel cng cars are not volume cars only selling a few thousands per year at most. However, in Europe it is 10 or 100 of thousands of bifuel cng cars and the premium for a midsized car like the wv passat is still about 5000 EUR or 7000 USD. They use simple low tech steel tanks which cannot be used for hydrogen that need cutting edge carbon fiber tanks with expensive absorption material inside to prevent huge explosions in traffic accidents with fuel cell vehicles. This is very expensive and I stand by my estimate that getting below 10k USD for the hydrogen tank system is going to be really difficult and only possible in large volumes over 100k per year. Also did you know that the first fuel cell vehicle was made in 1959. Since then 10s of billions of USD have been invested in perfecting the technology and yet we are still far from a vehicle that can compete with the price and the specifications of an ordinary gas car. We still have no viable platinum free fuel cells that can power a car and not be extremely bulky. The fc project is hopeless in my view and you will see that when another 10 years passes without any meaningful sales of fc vehicles. Nissan's Ghosn also says that fc vehicles are not going to sell by any meaningful number at least until 2020.


Between 2015 and 2045 or so, HEVs, PHEVs, BEVs, FCEVs, ICEVs (gasoline, diesel and NG) will coexist and compete for market share, much the same way as 200+ ICE models from 20 manufacturers are currently competing.

If common sense prevails, ICEVs and HEVs should be the first to be progressively phased out, starting as early as 2020.

PHEVs with ICE or FC range extender should hang on for an extra decade or so.

BEVs and FCEVs should lead and be the kings of the road by 2040/2045.

That is my guess?

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