Toyota prices hydrogen car at $69,000 for Japan, U.S. model coming next summer
Hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle is Toyota's hedge against battery-electric cars.
The FCV -- a temporary model name standing for fuel cell vehicle, which converts gaseous hydrogen in an on-board chemical reaction into electricity and water vapor -- is Toyota's first hydrogen-powered car built from the ground up. While Japanese executives have promised a 435-mile range based on their country's fuel economy tests, Toyota's American arm has quoted the FCV with a more realistic 300-mile range -- a feat that if true would outpace every battery-electric car on sale.
Toyota has made it clear, despite its strong leadership in hybrids, that it doesn't regard battery-electric cars as the solution to gasoline. Last month, when Toyota announced it was severing its contract with Tesla to finish off the RAV4 EV, North America CEO Jim Lentz said those cars were practical only for “short-range vehicles."
"But for long-range travel primary vehicles, we feel there are better alternatives, such as hybrids and plug-in hybrids, and tomorrow with fuel cells,” he said.
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The state government has promised $200 million through 2024 to fund up to 100 more public stations and Toyota has also said it would cover operational and maintenance costs for some of the new stations. So far, there is no firm U.S. price and production numbers (expected to be very small) haven't been announced.
Until then, Hyundai has begun leasing its Tucson Fuel Cell in California for $499 per month for 36 months, including all fuel and maintenance, while claiming a 265-mile range. Honda has finished California leases on its FCX Clarity and plans to introduce an all-new model next year.
Toyota has been leasing Highlander-based fuel-cell models in the U.S. and Japan for several years and has been developing fuel cell stacks and hydrogen technology since 1992. More hydrogen partnerships, spurred by the Department of Energy and between automakers such as Toyota and BMW, will net even more models by the decade's end.
Alternatives and choices...no one is forcing anyone to buy an electric...or hybrid... or fuel cell vehicle.
Let the market decide.Maybe we end up with a variety of fuel types.
Give it a few years...plenty of people said they would NEVER own a color TV...then it was plasma (too expensive)...look at what we have thse days.
Remember when 30-35" inches was a HUGE TV?
Now even 65 is looking kinda small.LOL
Take a bunch of solar panels - hook them up to a bunch of copper wires (+ positive and - negative pairs) - put the wires up into inverted glass containers filled with water. When the sun comes up - VOILA! You get Hydrogen Gas in one container and Oxygen in another (the + and - electrodes). It is called ELECTROLYSIS!
I did this "experiment" 50 years ago (only I used a dry cell battery instead of solar panels)!
WHO NEEDS NUCLEAR POWER PLANTS (as one reader suggested) TO "CRACK" WATER TO MAKE HYDROGEN??? I CAN MAKE HYDROGEN IN MY BACK YARD RIGHT NOW!!!
I've felt for some time now that hydrogen may be the only real alternative to gasoline in that it could be carried in a tank which could be refilled at dispersed supply stations. For awhile, one of the biggest problems was safety...there was a real danger of explosions. That has been addressed in numerous ways now.
There is still one problem, however: production. Currently, the best method we have involves the use of fossil fuels and results in just as much CO2 released as if the fuel had been burned. Not much point in that. Wide scale nuclear energy from breeder-type plants to electrically "crack" the hydrogen from water would be a viable and "green" solution, though not terribly efficient and creates problems all it's own (such as what to do with a sudden, perpetual supply of plutonium).
There are studies investigating the use of various catalysts and other methods for making the production of hydrogen both efficient and green but no one has really had a "Eureka!" break-through yet.
How about a big windup spring? I can afford that.
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