The cost of a hydrogen-powered vehicle will be roughly on par with that of an electric or hybrid vehicle by 2025, Toyota believes.
The Japanese automaker has been an outspoken proponent of hydrogen-powered passenger and commercial vehicles. It currently sells the hydrogen-powered Mirai in the US at price of $57,400 – but eats a cost of up to $100,000 on each one sold. However when Toyota rolls out its second-generation of fuel cell tech, the cost of buying, owning and operating a fuel cell vehicle will be on par with EVs and hybrids, it claims.
"In the early 2020s we will launch the next generation hydrogen fuel stack technology, and that will provide a substantial move forward," Naomichi Hata, head of new business planning at Toyota, told Autocar in a recent interview. "Today production of the Mirai is limited to 3000 cars a year, but by 2025 we expect that figure to be ten times higher.”
"As a result of these gains we expect – in Japan at least – the same car type to cost the same price whether it is a hybrid or powered by hydrogen."
Hydrogen may be a feasible alternative to EVs and fossil fuels in Japan, but unfortunately, that’s not the case in the US. The only state where you can really get around on hydrogen is California, which has a piddling total of 25 hydrogen fueling stations. Almost all of those are in the Bay Area and the Los Angeles Metro region, so if you’re not a so-called ‘urbanite’ you’re fuel cell vehicle will also be of little use.
For now, hydrogen faces a fueling infrastructure problem. If automakers can sell consumers on the idea and hydrogen fuel stations become more widespread, many of us may be buzzing along in hydrogen-powered passenger cars by 2025. That would solve the two biggest issues with EVs: charge time and range. Just don’t style our hydrogen cars after the Fine Comfort Ride concept, okay Toyota?
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