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Toyota to launch its fuel cell vehicle in Japan before April 2015, priced around $68,700; reveals exterior

Toyota’s Mitsuhisa Kato briefs the media in Japan on the timing and pricing of the FCV, and outlines the company’s view of the role of fuel cell vehicles. Click to enlarge.

Toyota Motor Corporation revealed the exterior design and Japan pricing of its hydrogen fuel cell sedan, first unveiled as a concept at the Tokyo Motor Show last year. (Earlier post.) The car will launch in Japan before April 2015, and preparations are underway for launches in the US and European markets in the summer of 2015.

In Japan, the fuel cell sedan will go on sale at Toyota and Toyopet dealerships, priced at approximately ¥7 million (US$68,700) (MSRP; excludes consumption tax). Initially, sales will be limited to regions where hydrogen refueling infrastructure is being developed: Saitama Prefecture, Chiba Prefecture, Tokyo Metropolis, Kanagawa Prefecture, Yamanashi Prefecture, Aichi Prefecture, Osaka Prefecture, Hyogo Prefecture, Yamaguchi Prefecture, and Fukuoka Prefecture.

Toyota has yet to decide pricing for the US and Europe. The company will announce more detailed information, such as specifications, exact prices and sales targets, later.

The Toyota FCV Sedan. Click to enlarge.   Layout of the powertrain components. Click to enlarge.

In a briefing in Japan, Mitsuhisa Kato, Executive Vice President and Member of the Board, said that Toyota’s commitment to environment-friendly vehicles is based on three basic principles: embracing diverse energy sources; developing efficient, low-emission vehicles; and driving real and positive environmental change by popularizing these vehicles.

Toyota’s vision of a sustainable society is based on the use of diverse energy sources—including fossil fuels—with electricity and hydrogen infrastructures. Source: Toyota. Click to enlarge.

Toyota believes hydrogen will be a leading energy source in the future, Kato said. Toyota’s stance is that hydrogen is a particularly promising alternative fuel since it can be produced using a wide variety of primary energy sources, including solar and wind power. When compressed, hydrogen has a higher energy density than batteries and is easier to store and transport. In addition to its potential as a fuel for home and automotive use, hydrogen could be used in a wide range of applications, including large-scale power generation.

Top: Toyota’s view of primary energy sources, automotive fuels and powertrains. Bottom: Characteristics of alternative automotive fuels. Source: Toyota. Click to enlarge.

Hybrids are a core technology for Toyota, Kato said, noting that the company has introduced hybrid models in all vehicle categories, and adding that “We really feel that the hybrid car is in the phase of true popularization.” Hybrid technology underpins Toyota’s plug-in hybrids, battery-electric vehicles, and fuel cell vehicles, Kato said.

“We want to show how serious we are.”
—Mitsuhisa Kato

Each of those types of electrified drive vehicles have roles to play, he added, with BEVs slotted into roles for short-distance commuting and fleet vehicles, PHEVS as next-generation vehicles with widespread and convenient use, and FCVs ultimately as the solution for medium- to long-distances and for heavier vehicles. Toyota believes that fuel cell vehicles are ideal eco-cars, Kato said.

In addition to zero tailpipe emissions, driving pleasure, and energy diversification, FCVs offer good performance. The FCV going on sale shortly has a range of approximately 700 km (435 miles) on the JC08 cycle; a low (~ 3 minutes) refueling time; and cold-start capability (-30 ˚C). Too, FCVs have emergency power supply capabilities, Kato said; a fully-fueled FCV can supply power to an average household for more than a week

The FCV. Toyota began fuel cell vehicle development in 1992. In 1996, a Toyota FCV took part in a parade in Osaka. In 2002, Toyota began limited sales of the FCHV in the US and Japan. In 2008, Toyota introduced the FCHV-adv with improved range and cold-start capabilities. To date, Toyota has leased more than 100 fuel cell vehicles, which have driven more than 2 million km (1.2 million miles) in the US and Japan.

Toyota’s fuel cell system includes a proprietary fuel cell (FC) stack and high-pressure hydrogen tanks. Toyota has made significant improvements to the fuel cell system since 2002.

  • The new stack offers twice the output power density (3.0 kW/L) of the FCFV-adv, with output power of more than 100 kW.

  • The new fuel cell system is smaller and performs better; key system components are placed under seats.

  • The new stack requires no humidifier, and features enhanced reliability, reduced size, weight and cost. The use of a boost converter enables the use of fewer cells, and a smaller motor.

  • The hydrogen tank storage density has improved by approximately 20% compared to the FCHV-adv. (5.7 wt%). The number of tanks has been halved to two.

  • Different materials and manufacturing processes have reduced tank cost, while performance has increased.

Toyota envisions further reduction of fuel cell system costs. Click to enlarge.

Toyota Group companies are also engaging in other hydrogen-related initiatives, such as developing and testing fuel cells for use in homes, and developing fuel cell forklifts and fuel cell buses.



At 100kW this is giving me deja vu of the Cadillac ELR except it's slower and has a significantly smaller fueling infrastructure to support it.

What's also concerning is based on the FC system cost chart it seems like there won't be much additional cost reduction in the future (hopefully it's just a marketing error).


Interesting that their proposed sources of hydrogen include oil, natural gas or plants, but not electricity (see light blue arrow in diagram).


Turn biomass into methanol, dispense it from mid grade pumps (the 89 octane that no car maker recommends) reform it to run in fuel cells and I.C.E. cars using blender pumps. (Open Fuel Standard)

There are many more practical ways to clean the air, slow climate change and eliminate imported oil, it is right in front of us if we would just look. Dr. George Olah has outlined the "methanol economy", leaders should take the time to read it.



That is an illustration, not a chart, as there are no scale markings on the left hand side.

Its designed to show the ~95% cost reduction since the early fuel cell stacks.

Of course that is going to slow, or they would be only a few dollars each, but they are on track to be fully cost competitive with ICE by 2025-30.


The problem is that our leaders seldom or never lead. They do whatever business and large donators tell them to do. Getting elected and/or re-elected is all our leaders really want. Demoncracy and Democratic elections have become a repetitive very costly fantasy.

Most business have only one objective called maximum profits (at all cost) and the lowest taxes or no taxes at all.

With that in mind, talks about ways to clean the air, reduce environment caused illnesses, reduce health cost, reduce GHG and climate changes etc are only talks and 'make believe' PR campaigns for most businesses.

NB: Canada's self-reported GHG has gone up by 19% (probably closer to +30%) since 1990 instead of down by 20% as expected. The two (2) culprits are: 1) Alberta Tar Sands and 2) ICEVs. GHG from electricity generation from all sources is down -9% in the same period, so CPPs is not the main problem.

Switching from ICEVs to electrified vehicles (HEVs, PHEVs, BEVs and FCEVs) and progressively increasing our Hydro, Solar, Wind and H2 energy generation mix, seems to be the appropriate solution to get rid of both culprits, but it will not be done as long as being elected with money from we know where is allowed.

Nick Lyons

So Toyota's 'vision' of a 'sustainable future' combines renewables and fossil fuels--nuclear is not even in the vision picture. Can't say that I find this 'vision' encouraging, as it actually implies a non-sustainable fossil fuel dominated future.

Yes, uranium is shown on the second graphic as an electricity generator.

Unless the H2 Fuel is cost-competitive with electricity by 2030, it's hard to see H2 cars selling well. In 17 years, batteries will be cheap. (At -8% per year, a $10,000 will cost $2,634 by 2030).

Energy density will also be relentless driven up (by consumer electronics, if not Tesla). At 8% improvement per year, today's 200Wh/kg battery will be 685Wh/kg at the cell level, 291Wh/kg at the pack level. 30% of the size and weight of the Tesla Model S pack for similar performance (>265 mile range, the car will be smaller and lighter).

The fast charge infrastructure will almost certainly be widespread enough to travel wherever you want to go, except maybe for the wilds of Nevada or Montana (you might have a 340kWh battery in your electric Hummer for that).

Electrical costs will continue to fall with the continuing decline of solar costs and the addition of stationary storage.

Who will pay substantially more for H2 fuel if it's above the <$1 gge electricity that people will be able to get at home, work and commercial charge networks?



Nuclear power isn't all that popular in Japan right now. Besides, generating hydrogen from nuclear reactors is how the Fukushima plants blew up in the first place, so nuclear hydrogen is probably a non-starter for the forseable future.


How many kWh can the hydrogen out of a reformulated gallon of gas (or GGE from natural gas reformulation) get out of these fuel cells? Needs to be at least 16kWh to be interesting IMO..


LOL - that is all.


Unlimited future low cost clean Sun and Wind energy will soon produce enough low cost H2 for a high percentage of the world ground vehicle fleet.

FCEVs will soon compete with extended range BEVs but both may be around for a long time.

Roger Pham

A FCV is more than the. Cadillac ELR. It uses no petrol, and the H2 can come from non-GHG energy sources.

Roger Pham

@EC insidder,
Who would pay for H2 if it costs more than $1 GGe? The same people who are paying for gas @$3.5/gal. H2 is worth $7 GGE, meaning plenty of profit margin for oil company to get involved. They have so much capital and political influence that they can transform to tbe H2 economy rapidly.


The only way there'll be widespread H2 infrastructure for fuelling cars that doesn't involve piggybacking on NG pipelines is if there's LFTRs in every state if not county putting out electricity at half a cent per kWh or less, and onsite electrohydrolysis. I find reformulation of NG a lot more likely. Depending on the efficiency/cost that could still be a net win over refining and distributing gasoline/diesel.

the fuel cell sedan will go on sale at Toyota and Toyopet dealerships, priced at approximately ¥7 million (US$68,700).... To date, Toyota has leased more than 100 fuel cell vehicles, which have driven more than 2 million km (1.2 million miles) in the US and Japan.

Meanwhile, Tesla sells almost 20 times as many vehicles PER MONTH and by now probably racks up 1.2 million miles every couple of weeks.

Roger Pham

@E P,
Tesla is restricted by battery availability, while Toyota's FCV will not have any restriction due to material shortage.


Daimler had the NECAR 5 fuel cell car with on board methanol reforming that drove across the U.S. in 2000. Now we have higher temperature PEM fuel cells that can do it even better, but running 40 miles on $1 gallon of methanol just is not good enough.

Roger> The same people who are paying for gas @$3.5/gal. H2 is worth $7 GGE, meaning plenty of profit margin for oil company to get involved.

Roger, I respect you, but this is pretty tortured logic. A typical driver will not drive a car whose cost to operate is 4x the cost of readily available alternatives that compete head to head on features, styling, reliability, quality. The primary reason electric cars are not the vast majority of the market share now is that people are not sufficiently aware of them, aware of the total cost of ownership (most mistakenly believe they are too expensive, because a few years ago, they were).

When battery energy density only doubles (typical 150 mile range) it's over for ICE and H2 at $4 gge and above, except for specialized applications.


Let's not give up too quickly on early FCEVs from Hyundai, Toyota and Honda. Mercedes, VW and BMW FCEVs (and other Asian sources) will follow about 2 years latter.

It is not that important if GM, Ford and Chrysler (North America) stay on the sideline for 5 to 10 years. Car manufacturing has been moving to Asia and EU and it may be more so by 2020+.

Will Tesla get to be large enough to make a difference?

Roger Pham

@EC insider
The auto market is more about emotion than logic. For $20k you can get a very comfy midsized ca w all features, but many people paid $50-100k for a car. H2 will appeal to those who are against petroleum dependency yet prefer not having to plug in. Toyota hinted that a. FCV will cost no more than an ICEV in time.

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